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What Came First, the Torah or the Jew?

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What Came First, the Torah or the Jew?

The Midrash asks: “Torah and the Jewish people both preceded creation. But which of the two came first?” The Midrash concludes that in G-d’s Divine plan, the Jewish People came first...
Tevet 24, Lubavitcher Rebbe
What Came First, the Torah or the Jew?
Disc 83, Program 329

Event Date: 24 Tevet 5741 - December 31, 1980

The Midrash asks: “Torah and the Jewish people both preceded creation. But which of the two came first?” The Midrash concludes that in G-d’s Divine plan, the Jewish People came first – and the proof is from Torah itself, which constantly states: “Speak to the Children of Israel…” proving that the souls of the Jewish People pre-exist Torah.

The Talmud explains that in the first of the Ten Commandments, “I am the L-rd your G-d…,” the word “I – Anochi” forms an acronym: “I inscribed My soul and gave it over.” This means that G-d invested His very essence into the words of His Torah. Nevertheless, the Jewish people are higher in G-d’s mind, even than Torah.

“Tzaddikim emulate their Creator.” When a person studies Torah properly – especially a Rebbe, the leader and collective soul of the generation – their primary concern is not to produce works of Torah scholarship, but to bring people closer to G-d.

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