Breisheit - Learning Torah for the Sake of the World

and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day
 וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי
Breisheit 1:31
For each day in the process of creation, the days are noted as 'a day', 'a second day', 'a third day' etc, but for the last day of creation, it is noted as 'the sixth day.' The word six is preceded by the letter 'hey' (ה). Why does this day appear differently, what message is embedded in this?

The Kli Yakar says the additional letter Hey (ה) comes to represent

  • The Jewish people receiving the five books of the Torah, since Hey has the numerical value of five.
  • The Jewish people at Mount Sinai receiving the Torah, since the numerical of the letter Hey spelled out is (Hey - Aleph [ה"א]) is 6, representing the sixth of Sivan when the Torah was given to the Jewish people.

Essentially both of these ideas represent the historic revelation of the Torah to the Jewish people.

Spiritual and Material at Odds

The world is an extremely unstable place with the fundamental opposing forces of spiritual and material, the upper and lower forces, at odds with one another. The world would not hold together without a way to connect these two forces.  The element that binds these opposing elements together is the man, who is composed both of the spiritual and the material.

The way to maintain the spiritual side is through the receiving the Torah. So if the people of Israel wouldn't have received the Torah, then there wouldn't be anything to bind these two opposing forces, and the world would need to return to previous state of emptiness.

Holding the World Together

Prior to giving the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, the world had the few Tzadikim studying Torah, and their efforts served to hold the world together. Great people like Noach, Shem and Ever, and the Patriarchs were the forebearers, learning Torah in depth, bearing the responsibility of the fate of the world. Hashem was close to them, and their efforts brought the name of Hashem (יקוק) into the world, a name that has the numerical value of 26.

Receiving the Torah

These efforts held the world together for 26 generations, from Adam to Moshe.  After 26 generations, the power of the name of Hashem combined with the efforts of a few individuals learning Torah was not enough to carry this task through. This brought about the need for the giving of the Torah, and the widespread learning of Torah. Hence the Jewish people received the 5 books of the Torah, on the 6th of Sivan.

Another element showing this idea that has been encoded into these verses can be seen in the following:
and it was evening and it was morning, the sixth day. Now the heavens and the earth were completed and all their host.
וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי . וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם
Breisheit 1:31 -2:1
We see the name of Hashem (יקוק) embedded in these verses, further emphasizing the role that the name of Hashem played along with efforts of individual Tzadikim for 26 generations.

As we kick off the new year we should all be endowed with the opportunity to study more Torah and grow in our learning, bringing greater stability to our world.

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