In light of the above, where it was explained that the distinctive quality of the “active” mitzvot lies in their elevating effect on the body and vital soul, we can understand why our Sages so greatly extolled the virtue of charity, declaring it equal to all the other mitzvot together.12

וּבָזֶה יוּבַן מַה שֶּׁהִפְלִיגוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד בְּמַעֲלַת הַצְּדָקָה, וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁ"שְּׁקוּלָה כְּנֶגֶד כָּל הַמִצְוֹת",

In all of the Jerusalem Talmud, charity is called simply “The Commandment,” for such was the idiomatic expression commonly used to refer to charity: “The Commandment,”

וּבְכָל תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשַׁלְמִי הִיא נִקְרֵאת בְּשֵׁם "מִצְוָה" סְתָם, כִּי כָּךְ הָיָה הֶרְגֵּל הַלָּשׁוֹן לִקְרוֹא צְדָקָה בְּשֵׁם "מִצְוָה" סְתָם,

because charity is the core of all the mitzvot of action and surpasses them all.

מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא עִיקַּר הַמִּצְוֹת מַעֲשִׂיּוֹת, וְעוֹלָה עַל כּוּלָּנָה,

For the purpose of all these mitzvot is only to elevate one’s animal soul to G-d, since it is this vital soul that performs them and clothes itself in them,

שֶׁכּוּלָּן הֵן רַק לְהַעֲלוֹת נֶפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית לַה', שֶׁהִיא הִיא הַמְקַיֶּימֶת אוֹתָן, וּמִתְלַבֶּשֶׁת בָּהֶן

so as to be absorbed into the blessed Ein Sof-light clothed in them.

לִיכָּלֵל בְּאוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא הַמְלוּבָּשׁ בָּהֶן,

Now, you will find no other mitzvah in which the vital soul is clothed to the same extent as in the mitzvah of charity.

וְאֵין לְךָ מִצְוָה שֶׁנֶּפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית מִתְלַבֶּשֶׁת בָּהּ כָּל כָּךְ כִּבְמִצְוַת הַצְּדָקָה,

For in all other mitzvot, only one faculty of the vital soul is clothed (e.g., the faculty of action in the hand donning tefillin or holding an etrog), and even this one faculty is clothed in the mitzvah only while the mitzvah is being performed.

שֶׁבְּכָל הַמִּצְוֹת אֵין מִתְלַבֵּשׁ בָּהֶן רַק כֹּחַ אֶחָד מִנֶּפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית בִּשְׁעַת מַעֲשֵׂה הַמִּצְוָה לְבַד,

In the case of charity, however, which one gives from the proceeds of the toil of his hands,

אֲבָל בִּצְדָקָה, שֶׁאָדָם נוֹתֵן מִיגִיעַ כַּפָּיו,

surely all the strength of his vital soul is clothed in (i.e., applied to) the effort of his labor or in any other occupation by which he earned this money which he now distributes for charity.

הֲרֵי כָּל כֹּחַ נַפְשׁוֹ הַחִיּוּנִית מְלוּבָּשׁ בַּעֲשִׂיַּית מְלַאכְתּוֹ אוֹ עֵסֶק אַחֵר שֶׁנִּשְׂתַּכֵּר בּוֹ מָעוֹת אֵלּוּ,

Thus, when he gives to charity this money to which he applied all the strength of his vital soul, his entire vital soul ascends to G-d. Hence the superiority of charity over other mitzvot.

וּכְשֶׁנּוֹתְנָן לִצְדָקָה – הֲרֵי כָּל נַפְשׁוֹ הַחִיּוּנִית עוֹלָה לַה'.

But this seems to imply that if one does not invest all his strength into earning his livelihood, his charity lacks this quality, to which the Alter Rebbe rejoins:

Even he who does not earn his livelihood from his labors, nevertheless, since he could have purchased with this money that he gave for charity sustenance for the life of his vital soul, he is actually giving his soul’s life to G-d in the form of charity. Thus, charity comprises and therefore elevates more energy of the vital soul than any other mitzvah.

וְגַם מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶהֱנֶה מִיגִיעוֹ, מִכָּל מָקוֹם, הוֹאִיל וּבְמָעוֹת אֵלּוּ הָיָה יָכוֹל לִקְנוֹת חַיֵּי נַפְשׁוֹ הַחִיּוּנִית – הֲרֵי נוֹתֵן חַיֵּי נַפְשׁוֹ לַה'.

This is why our Sages have said that charity hastens the Messianic redemption13:

וְלָכֵן אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה שֶׁ"מְּקָרֶבֶת אֶת הַגְּאוּלָּה",

For with one act of charity, one elevates a great deal of the vital soul, more of its faculties and powers, in fact, than he might elevate through many other active mitzvot [combined]. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the Messianic Era is a result of our efforts in purifying and elevating the vital soul; charity, which effects this elevation in such great measure, thus hastens the redemption.

לְפִי שֶׁבִּצְדָקָה אַחַת מַעֲלֶה הַרְבֵּה מִנֶּפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית, מַה שֶּׁלֹּא הָיָה יָכוֹל לְהַעֲלוֹת מִמֶּנָּה כָּל כָּךְ כֹּחוֹת וּבְחִינוֹת בְּכַמָּה מִצְוֹת מַעֲשִׂיּוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת.

We see, at any rate, that charity is superior to all other mitzvot, including Torah study. But here, one may object:

As for the statement of our Rabbis that Torah study outweighs all other mitzvot14including charity—how can this be reconciled with what was said above?

וּמַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה שֶׁ"תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה כְּנֶגֶד כּוּלָּם",

This is because the study of Torah employs speech and thought, which are the inner garments of the vital soul—unlike action, which is external. Thus, only Torah study, and not other mitzvot, can suffuse the inner garments of the soul with the light of Torah.

הַיְינוּ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה הִיא בְּדִבּוּר וּמַחֲשָׁבָה, שֶׁהֵם לְבוּשִׁים הַפְּנִימִים שֶׁל נֶפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית.

Furthermore, the very substance and essence of the intellectual faculties of ChaBaD (chochmah, binah, daat) of the kelipat nogah in the vital soul are actually absorbed into holiness when one studies Torah with concentration and intelligence.

וְגַם מַהוּתָן וְעַצְמוּתָן שֶׁל בְּחִינוֹת חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת מִקְּלִיפַּת נוֹגַהּ שֶׁבַּנֶּפֶשׁ הַחִיּוּנִית – נִכְלָלוֹת בִּקְדוּשָּׁה מַמָּשׁ כְּשֶׁעוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה בְּעִיּוּן וְשֵׂכֶל.

The intellectual faculties applied to Torah study are absorbed in the holiness of the mitzvah of Torah study and thereby ascend from the realm of kelipat nogah (to which they previously belonged, being a part of the vital soul) to the realm of holiness.

Although it was explained in ch. 12 that the beinoni is capable of transforming to holiness only the garments of the animal soul, not the soul faculties themselves, there is no contradiction here: the latter statement applies only to the middot (the emotional attributes) of the animal soul. The beinoni is indeed incapable of transforming the middot to holiness; ChaBaD, however, can be transformed even by the beinoni. The Alter Rebbe now explains the difference between them.

Although beinonim are incapable of mastering the substance and essence of the middotchesed, gevurah, tiferet, and so on—so as to transform them into holiness,

וְאַף שֶׁמַּהוּתָן וְעַצְמוּתָן שֶׁל הַמִּדּוֹת – חֶסֶד גְּבוּרָה תִּפְאֶרֶת כוּ' – לֹא יָכְלוּ לָהֶם הַבֵּינוֹנִים לְהַפְּכָם לִקְדוּשָּׁה,

this is because the evil of kelipah is stronger in the middot than in [ChaBaD:] the intellectual faculties, since on that level (of middot), they [the kelipot] draw more vitality from holiness than they do on the level of ChaBaD, as is known to the students of the Kabbalah.

הַיְינוּ, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהָרָע חָזָק יוֹתֵר בַּמִּדּוֹת מִבְּחָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת, מִפְּנֵי יְנִיקָתָן שָׁם מֵהַקְּדוּשָּׁה יוֹתֵר, כַּיָּדוּעַ לְיוֹדְעֵי חֵן:

The “shattering of the vessels,” which gave rise to the existence of kelipah, occurred primarily in the middot, and it is therefore more difficult to elevate the evil of middot. The evil of ChaBaD, however, can be transformed to good through intensive Torah study.

Thus, we have two reasons for the superiority of the mitzvah of Torah study: (a) it is practiced with the innermost soul garment—thought; (b) it transforms the actual soul faculties of ChaBaD themselves to holiness.

Aside from this, there is another, far more important, aspect to the superiority of Torah study over all other mitzvot,

זֹאת, וְעוֹד אַחֶרֶת, וְהִיא הָעוֹלָה עַל כּוּלָּנָה, בְּמַעֲלַת עֵסֶק תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה עַל כָּל הַמִצְוֹת,

based on the statement quoted above (ch. 23) from Tikkunei Zohar that “the 248 positive commandments are the 248 ‘limbs’ of the King (G-d).”

עַל פִּי מַה שֶּׁנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל בְּשֵׁם הַתִּיקּוּנִים, דְּרַמַ"ח פִּיקּוּדִין הֵן רַמַ"ח אֵבָרִין דְּמַלְכָּא,

Just as a limb of the human body is a receptacle for a corresponding soul faculty, so is each mitzvah a receptacle for a corresponding expression of the Divine will.

Concerning Torah, however, it is written in Tikkunei Zohar: “Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are entirely one” (unlike mitzvot, which are merely “limbs”). The Alter Rebbe now elucidates the difference:

Just as, for example, in the case of a human being, the vitality in his 248 organs bears no comparison or similarity to the vitality in his brain—i.e., the intellect, which is divided into the three faculties of chochmah, binah, and daat

וּכְמוֹ בָּאָדָם הַתַּחְתּוֹן, דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, אֵין עֵרֶךְ וְדִמְיוֹן כְּלָל בֵּין הַחַיּוּת שֶׁבְּרַמַ"ח אֵיבָרָיו לְגַבֵּי הַחַיּוּת שֶׁבַּמּוֹחִין, שֶׁהוּא הַשֵּׂכֶל הַמִּתְחַלֵּק לְג' בְּחִינוֹת: חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת –

Every limb of the body is of course bound to the soul which provides it with life—yet, they are two separate entities which have been joined together. It is otherwise, however, in the relationship between one’s intellect and his soul. The intellect is an extension and a part of the soul itself: thus, its unity with the soul is not that of two separate entities which have been joined but of two components of a whole.

This difference between the limbs and the intellect illustrates the difference between the other mitzvot and Torah study, as the Alter Rebbe continues:

Just as it is in the case of a human being, so, too, by way of analogy—allowing for the qualification that any comparison between human and divine traits must be distant, however, by myriads of degrees—

כָּכָה מַמָּשׁ דֶּרֶךְ מָשָׁל, לְהַבְדִּיל בְּרִבְבוֹת הַבְדָּלוֹת לְאֵין קֵץ,

is it with regard to the illumination of the Ein Sof-light clothed in mitzvot of action, compared to the illumination of the Ein Sof-light [clothed] in the ChaBaD faculties [of one immersed] in the wisdom of Torah, an illumination commensurate with the level of each man’s intellect and his grasp of Torah. To the extent that his intellect grasps the Torah which he studies, it is united with G-dliness with a unity comparable to that of one’s intellect with his soul.

בְּהֶאָרַת אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא הַמִּתְלַבְּשׁוֹת בְּמִצְוֹת מַעֲשִׂיּוֹת, לְגַבֵּי הֶאָרַת אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף שֶׁבִּבְחִינַת חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת שֶׁבְּחָכְמַת הַתּוֹרָה, אִישׁ אִישׁ כְּפִי שִׂכְלוֹ וְהַשָּׂגָתוֹ.

Herein, then, lies the superiority of Torah study over other mitzvot, even over charity: Torah study effects a much higher level of unity with G-dliness than do the mitzvot of action.

Although one grasps [Torah] only as it is clothed in physical terms (e.g., the law concerning “Two men who clutch a garment…”15 or “One who trades a cow for a donkey…”16), how, then, can it be said that through study of such laws, one attains this lofty level of unity with G-dliness?

וְאַף שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַשִּׂיג אֶלָּא בְּגַשְׁמִיּוּת,

Yet, the Torah has been likened to “water descending from a high place….” The water on the lower level is exactly the same as it was on the higher level. Similarly, the laws of Torah, although they have “descended” to deal with ordinary physical situations, still consist of G-d’s will and wisdom. Thus, in studying Torah, one is united with G-d’s will and wisdom and thereby with G-d Himself, as explained above (ch. 4).

הֲרֵי הַתּוֹרָה נִמְשְׁלָה לְמַיִם, שֶׁיּוֹרְדִים מִמָּקוֹם גָּבוֹהַּ כוּ', כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְעֵיל.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding the superior level of unity with G-dliness attained only by Torah, our Sages have said: “The essential thing is not study but deed.”17

וְאַף־עַל־פִּי־כֵן, אָמְרוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ־זִכְרוֹנָם־לִבְרָכָה: "לֹא הַמִּדְרָשׁ עִיקָּר אֶלָּא הַמַּעֲשֶׂה",

It is also written: “This day, i.e., during our life in this world, the all-important thing is to do them”18 (the mitzvot). And the Halachah rules that one must interrupt Torah study to perform a mitzvah of action when it cannot be fulfilled by others,

וְ"הַיּוֹם לַעֲשׂוֹתָם" כְּתִיב, וּמְבַטְּלִין תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה לְקִיּוּם מִצְוָה מַעֲשִׂיית כְּשֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים,

for “this (the active performance of mitzvot) is man’s entire purpose,”19 the purpose for which he was created and for which [his soul] descended to this world,

מִשּׁוּם, "כִּי זֶה כָּל הָאָדָם" וְתַכְלִית בְּרִיאָתוֹ וִירִידָתוֹ לָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה,

so that G-d may have an abode precisely in the lowest realms, to turn the darkness of this world into light of holiness,

לִהְיוֹת לוֹ יִתְבָּרֵךְ דִּירָה בַּתַּחְתּוֹנִים דַּוְקָא, לְאַהֲפָכָא חֲשׁוֹכָא לִנְהוֹרָא,

so that G-d’s glory fill specifically the entire physical world, and “all flesh will behold [G-dliness] together,” as was discussed above (ch. 36).

"וְיִמָּלֵא כְבוֹד ה' אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ" הַגַּשְׁמִית דַּיְיקָא, "וְרָאוּ כָל בָּשָׂר יַחְדָּיו", כַּנִּזְכָּר לְעֵיל.

Thus, the goal of making this world an abode for G-d is achieved primarily through mitzvot of action. Therefore, when presented with the opportunity of performing a mitzvah that others cannot fulfill, one must fulfill this mitzvah even at the cost of interrupting his Torah studies so that G-d’s desire for “an abode in the lower realms” be realized.

If, however, the mitzvah that clashes with one’s Torah study can be fulfilled by others, the choice is no longer between respecting or ignoring G-d’s desire for “an abode…,” whether he suspends his Torah study to perform the mitzvah or continues his studies and leaves the mitzvah to others, this objective will be realized regardless. The choice is now between studying Torah and actively performing a mitzvah, and here, Torah study prevails because of the superior level of unity that it effects between the Torah student’s soul and G-d.

In the Alter Rebbe’s words:

On the other hand, if [the mitzvah] can be performed by others, one does not interrupt Torah study to perform it, even though the whole Torah is, after all, only an explanation of the mitzvot of action.

מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים – אֵין מְבַטְּלִין תַּלְמוּד תּוֹרָה, אַף שֶׁכָּל הַתּוֹרָה אֵינָהּ אֶלָּא פֵּירוּשׁ הַמִּצְוֹת מַעֲשִׂיּוֹת,

This is because the Torah is the level of ChaBaD of the blessed Ein Sof, and hence, when one is engaged in [studying] it, he draws upon himself an infinitely greater illumination of the blessed Ein Sof-light—greater both in its illuminative power and in its higher quality—than the illumination and influence that one draws upon his soul through mitzvot, which are [merely] “organs” of the King.

וְהַיְינוּ, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁהִיא בְּחִינַת חָכְמָה־בִּינָה־דַּעַת שֶׁל אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא, וּבְעָסְקוֹ בָּהּ – מַמְשִׁיךְ עָלָיו אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא בְּיֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְהֶאָרָה גְדוֹלָה לְאֵין קֵץ מֵהֶאָרָה וְהַמְשָׁכָה עַל יְדֵי פִּקּוּדִין, שֶׁהֵן אֵבָרִין דְּמַלְכָּא.

What emerges from this discussion is that the effect of mitzvot consists primarily of the elevation of one’s body and the physical world in general; the effect of Torah study, on the other hand, is to unite the soul with G-d. Accordingly, the Alter Rebbe explains the following Talmudic statement:

This is what Rav Sheshet meant when he said, “Rejoice, my soul! For you do I study Scripture; for you do I study Mishnah,”20

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁאָמַר רַב שֵׁשֶׁת: "חֲדָאִי נַפְשָׁאִי, לָךְ קָרָאִי לָךְ תָּנָאִי",

For the soul, the unity with G-d attained through Torah (Scripture and Mishnah) is greater than that attained through mitzvot; he therefore addressed these words to it: “For your sake I learn….”

as is explained elsewhere at length.21

כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר בַּאֲרִיכוּת:

Until here, the Alter Rebbe has discussed the superiority of Torah study over other mitzvot in terms of its greater influence on the soul. He now begins to describe a far greater quality found in Torah study. Of all the mitzvot, only Torah study is described as “calling to G-d, as one calls to his friend, and as a son calls his father,” as the Alter Rebbe will state shortly. Whereas mitzvot have the effect of drawing the light of G-d (i.e., of His will) upon the soul, Torah study “calls” G-d’s essence to man as is implied in the analogy of one who calls to his friend: the friend will turn with his entire “essence” to face his caller.

Furthermore: As a means of “calling” G-d, Torah study is superior even to prayer. For this reason, in the verse, “G-d is near to all who call Him, to all who call Him in truth,” the first part of the verse refers to prayer and the latter to Torah.

The difference between the two forms of “calling G-d” is that prayer effects a change in material matters: healing, prosperity, etc., whereas the effect of Torah is in the soul, on the spiritual plane.

In the Alter Rebbe’s words:

This influence and illumination generated by one’s Torah study, which man draws from the radiance of the Ein Sof-light upon his soul and upon the souls of all Israel,

וְהִנֵּה, הַמְשָׁכָה וְהֶאָרָה זוֹ שֶׁהָאָדָם מַמְשִׁיךְ וּמֵאִיר מֵהֶאָרַת אוֹר־אֵין־סוֹף בָּרוּךְ־הוּא עַל נַפְשׁוֹ, וְעַל נַפְשׁוֹת כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל,

(meaning, as will be explained later, that the light is drawn into the spiritual level known as “the Shechinah, Knesset Yisrael”—the source of all the souls of Israel—and thereby, the Ein Sof light reaches not only the soul of the person studying Torah but also that of every Jew)

הִיא הַשְּׁכִינָה, כְּנֶסֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, מְקוֹר כָּל נִשְׁמוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר לְקַמָּן,

This illumination which one draws through his Torah study is referred to as “calling” [as in the Talmudic expression] (concerning a Torah student) קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה (usually translated as “one who reads (studies) the Torah” but reinterpreted here as “one who calls [G-d] through the Torah”).

עַל יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה – נִקְרֵאת בִּלְשׁוֹן "קְרִיאָה" –

Just as calling in its usual sense means that the caller causes the person being called to come to him, to turn to him with his entire being, similarly in the context of “calling through Torah”:

This [phrase] means that in Torah study, one calls G-d to come to him, so to speak,

"קוֹרֵא בַּתּוֹרָה", פֵּירוּשׁ, שֶׁעַל יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה קוֹרֵא לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא לָבוֹא אֵלָיו, כִּבְיָכוֹל,

as a man calls to his friend to come to him or as a child will call his father to come and join him and not to part from him, leaving him alone, G-d forbid.

כְּאָדָם הַקּוֹרֵא לַחֲבֵירוֹ שֶׁיָּבֹא אֵלָיו, וּכְבֵן קָטָן הַקּוֹרֵא לְאָבִיו לָבֹא אֵלָיו לִהְיוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּצַוְותָּא חֲדָא, וְלֹא לִיפָּרֵד מִמֶּנּוּ וְלִישָּׁאֵר יְחִידִי חַס וְשָׁלוֹם.

The former analogy pertains to those Jews designated as “brethren and friends” of G-d; when they study Torah, they call their “friend.” The latter analogy pertains to those designated “children of G-d”; when they study Torah, they are calling their “father.”

This is the meaning of the verse: “G-d is near (a)22 to all who call Him, (b) to all who call Him in truth,”23 and “There is no truth but Torah,”24 indicating that [one “calls G-d with truth”] as opposed to simply “calling G-d,” only by calling G-d through Torah study,

וְזֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב: "קָרוֹב ה' לְכָל קוֹרְאָיו לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָאוּהוּ בֶאֱמֶת" – "וְאֵין אֱמֶת אֶלָּא תּוֹרָה", דְּהַיְינוּ, שֶׁקּוֹרֵא לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא עַל יְדֵי הַתּוֹרָה דַּוְקָא,

in contrast to one who does not call Him through Torah study but merely cries: “Father, Father!”

לְאַפּוּקֵי – מִי שֶׁקּוֹרֵא אוֹתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא עַל יְדֵי עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה, אֶלָּא צוֹעֵק כָּךְ: אַבָּא! אַבָּא!

This refers to the service of prayer, in which one calls G-d out of love for Him, saying “Father…!” Such a call is not considered “calling with truth,” and thus, the illumination of G-dly light generated by this call cannot compare with that generated by Torah, as explained above.

Over he who thus calls G-d the prophet laments: “There is none who calls by Your Name,”25 as explained elsewhere.

וּכְמוֹ שֶׁקּוֹבֵל עָלָיו הַנָּבִיא: "וְאֵין קוֹרֵא בְשִׁמְךָ כוּ'", וּכְמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר.

Since he does not say simply: “There is none who calls You,” his intention must be that although there are indeed those who “call” G-d, yet they do not do so “by His Name,” meaning through Torah, “whose words throughout are the Names of G-d” (Ramban, Introduction to his commentary on the Torah, based on the Zohar).

By dwelling on this matter, the intelligent person will derive means of drawing upon himself a great awe [of G-d] when he engages in Torah study, as explained above (in ch. 23).26

וּמִזֶּה יִתְבּוֹנֵן הַמַּשְׂכִּיל, לְהַמְשִׁיךְ עָלָיו יִרְאָה גְדוֹלָה בִּשְׁעַת עֵסֶק הַתּוֹרָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְעֵיל [פֶּרֶק כ"ג]:

There it is stated that one’s Torah study must be permeated with awe of G-d (despite the apparent incompatibility between the intellectual boldness that characterizes study and the constraint engendered by awe); this awe, moreover, is the goal of Torah study, while study is merely the “gateway.”

The thought that in Torah study, one “calls” G-d to himself, just as, for example, one calls his friend to come to him, will surely arouse in the student a feeling of intense awe of G-d.