At this point, though, we must realize that Jewish mysticism - the Kabbalah and Chassidism - is not just a legitimate and respectable part and dimension of authentic Judaism, of Torah.

The Torah is an organism, a complete whole in which every part is most intimately interrelated and interwoven with every other part; in which everything is interdependent upon everything else.

The Torah is an organism analogous and parallel to, and in complete interaction with, the organism of the universe in general and the organism of man in particular. No part or particle, therefore, can be taken in isolation from the others.

Thus, even as it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to pursue the study and practice of the "body" of the Torah - Halachah, mitzvot - so it is obligatory and essential for each and every one of us to pursue the study and inspiration of the "soul" and fruits of the Torah and its interpretation.

To be sure, each of us is limited by his or her natural capacities. No one can absorb the totality of the Torah in its Divine infinity. But everyone can and must actualize his or her own potential, can and must reach out as far as his or her abilities can take them.

In fact, nowadays more than ever before, there is a most urgent need for the illumination and inspiration of the mystical dimension of the Torah. This very need is the great vision and contribution of the Baal Shem Tov and Chassidism.

These events were not meant to be another series of lectures for intellectual stimulation and academic knowledge. If they do not lead to practical consequences, if they will not inspire practical results and enhance spiritual and moral consciousness, then they may very well have been a waste of time.