Vayak'hel: Chapter 8

The book above and the book below


Rabbi Chiya explains in this section the written and hidden Torah above and the Oral Torah below. He says that when God created the world, He did so solely for Yisrael so they would come and receive the Torah; by the Torah the world was created and upon the Torah it perseveres. The man who studies Torah is saved from the ordeal of this world, the ordeal of the angel of death who cannot have power over him, and the ordeal of Gehenom. The Torah above, that is Chochmah, is referred to as a book of remembrance, the sign of the holy covenant. The Torah below, that is Malchut, is referred to as a book of reckoning. The supernal wisdom is hidden in the palace of the Torah above, but wisdom is revealed in the lower Torah when one deciphers it.