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Torah Anatomy

by Yehudis Golshevsky


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught…
Reb Nosson wrote: “In order to effect a remedy, a physician must have complete knowledge of the human anatomy…all of its parts, its limbs and arteries and veins… He must know how each and every organ is interconnected and interdependent with the others… Then, and only then, can a physician understand the nature of the illness he seeks to cure. In the same manner the Torah is a body of law with each individual mitzvah representing an ‘organ’ of that ‘body.’ To be able to fathom the true value of the Torah, a person must know its ‘anatomy’—its laws and ideals—how each mitzvah is interconnected with the others, as an individual, integral part of an entire Torah.”
(Likutei Halachot, Rosh Chodesh 5:6)

What does this mean to me?
Often when I teach students that are newer to Jewish studies, I find myself in the position of trying to encourage patience. As they become more familiar with Torah concepts and mitzvot, questions always arise: “Why is this so important? What does this mitzvah really mean? Why does G-d care so much if I eat this, wear that, or do the other?”

The Torah is a vast and interconnected system, a single organic whole with a multitude of complex parts. We wouldn’t expect even an interested and intelligent layperson to be able to provide us with a diagnosis or a treatment plan when it comes to our physical anatomy. Why should we think that arriving at a clear understanding of the depth of the Torah’s nature and intent will come without devoting a great deal of time and focus to its mastery? When we embark on Torah study, Reb Nosson reminds us that our quest is going to demand patience, and also real humility.

A prayer:
Please, my G-d,
open my heart and mind
so that I will be worthy
of hearing and deeply understanding
all of the words of Your holy Torah…
May I come to truly feel
its awesome sweetness and delight…
and devote myself to its study.

(Likutei Tefillot I:91)

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Firstly I’d like to thank you very much for the beautiful inspirational emails. Secondly, I really loved the story with the chanukat habait and I will use it bli neder and with HASHEM’s help at the workshops I give.
May we always share good things together in order to grow in our service of Hashem

The emails received are inspirational and seem always to be filled with important and time valued messages from Rabbi Nachman.


NarrowBridge.Org sends out twice weekly inspirational emails. These emails include small doses of Rebbe Nachman’s wisdom, enabling us to get through the week in a more spiritual way. If you are not signed up and would like to receive these emails, click here.

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1 comment

Lee Pinero May 31, 2020 - 4:33 pm

I am Jewish and besides Reform Judaism, I have been inspired by some of the CHaBaD teachings. Recently, a friend told me about Breslov. He told me that I should get familiar with the teachings and inspirations of your group.
If you can tell me where to start, please send me a link.


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