How To Read The Torah

How to Read the TorahHere is some guidance on how to read the Torah chapter summaries posted on this blog:

The Torah lays out the foundation of the theory and practice of attaining spiritual life. Neither Adam nor Abraham received the full method of attaining the Creator; only Moses did. All other texts are commentaries, that is, other ways of describing the attainment of the Creator or descriptions of partial attainment of Him.

Torah comes from the words Ohr – Light, and Ora’a – instructions. It is written in the Language of Branches, which names spiritual forces by the things they produce in our world. So even though we think that it’s describing our world, it’s actually describing spiritual forces, since in the spiritual world there are only forces without matter.

Why do we need these descriptions of the Upper World?

1. So that by reading them, we will evoke the influence of the Correcting Light (Ohr Makif) on us.

2. So that after we correct ourselves by the Light, we will then be filled by It to the degree we’re corrected.

If it weren’t for this method, we would remain on the animate level of existence forever. We wouldn’t be able to reach the level of eternity, perfection, and equivalence to the Creator.

The Language of Branches (which describes the Upper Forces with the help of their results or branches) has four modifications, or in other words, there are four languages of branches:

1. The language of Tanach – historical narration, like the one used in the Torah chapter summaries posted on this blog;

2. The language of Halacha – laws;

3. The language of Hagadot – legends;

4. The language of Kabbalah – this language is closest to the spiritual roots and the most precise of all the languages. For more on this, See Baal HaSulam’s article, “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah.”

My suggestion: As you read the Torah, start imagining that it’s talking about egoism, the desire that has to be corrected, so that instead of being used for the sake of oneself, it will be used for the benefit of one’s neighbor (or the Creator, which is the same thing); and this correction happens gradually, in parts. Everything divides into the force of bestowal (the Creator) and the force of reception (the creation). The part of creation that’s corrected or undergoing correction is called Israel (Isra-El – straight to the Creator). It also has parts called people, rulers, slaves (of desires), overseers (of correction), Levites, Kohens, and so on. Check yourself to see how much you’re able to discern actions of forces that govern our world behind the “theatrical” scenes you read.

Related Material: Post: The Torah. The Book of Beresheet. Chapter Vaera Post: The Torah. The Book of Devarim. Chapter Vaetchanan Post: The Torah – The Book BaMidbar, Chapter Baalotkha Post: How to Use Kabbalistic Source Texts Post: Dates of the Torah’s Transmission from Moses to Our Days Post: Why Is Studying Kabbalah Good for You?
Kabbalah Today Article: Kabbalah Explains the Bible
Article: The Secret Meaning of the Bible


  1. I love Bnei Baruch,…I’m very attached to the Rav, the instructors, the other students and people who work at disseminating,..I try to do what I can to be a part of the dissemination effort.
    Whereas I’m less critical (more accepting) of all things ‘Bnei Baruch’ , I find I am not any less tolerant of the people I’m close to in my day to day life. Its very hard for me to share,…I have very few possessions, but the few I do have I hold on to I take great care of, …(without ‘worshipping things’,…just so that I’ll have them when I need them later), which I think is reasonable.
    Now I’m in a situation where I have to share with a friend, we live together now, …shes not very careful with her things (she leaves them all over the place, she uses stuff and doesnt put them back in place, things get damaged, lost, misplaced sooo very easilly,…so I’m hesitant to share mine. I mean I feel a really STRONG opposition to this. I saw myself as a pretty kind person, but now in this new situation I’m not sure. I’m not very open and trusting generally and now I have this overwhelming compulsion to hoard everything to protect myself and my daughter from being taken advantage of. Its a new situation,…I’m not used to living with anyone but my daughter. I know this Jewish proverb:
    The pious man says: Mine is yours and yours is yours.
    The wicked man says: Yours is mine and mine is mine.
    Am I being unfair to myself,…am I being unfair to my friend,…whats happening here, …am I failing here, failing at practically applying the principles behind Kabbalah to the people directly in my life ?

  2. how do i know what pages of the Torah to read on what day

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