Closer to Hashem now, than in the World to Come

“One hour of repentance and good deeds in this world is better than the whole life of the World to Come.”
The reward in the World to Come consists of enjoying the radiance of the Divine Presence, it is the pleasure derived from comprehension of G-dliness.
Now no created being, even a spiritual being of the higher realms such as angels or souls, can comprehend any more than a glimmer of the Divine light, for which reason the reward of the souls in the World to Come is referred to as “the radiance of the Divine Presence,” since it is no more than a remote gleam of the Divine light. But as for the essence and glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, no thought can apprehend Him at all.
Only when it apprehends and clothes itself in Torah and its mitzvot does it grasp and clothe itself in Hashem Himself, for “Torah and the Holy One, blessed be He, are one and the same.”
For, although the Torah has been clothed in lowly material things, and it is only these material things that man’s intellect grasps when studying Torah, not the essence of Hashem’s Will and wisdom, yet — it is, by way of illustration, like one who embraces a king. There is no difference in the degree of his closeness and attachment to the king whether he embraces him when the king is wearing one robe or many robes, since the king’s body is in them.
Similarly, when a Jew “embraces” Hashem’s wisdom in Torah study, the fact that His wisdom is clothed in material “robes” is irrelevant.
Similarly, when the king embraces one with his arm, though it be dressed in his robes. As it is written, “His right hand embraces me,” which refers to Torah.

(Tanya Chapter 4)


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