Kav HaMidah – The Measuring Line – 1:19

However, before there can be any actual revelation, there must first be a determination as to how long the Line and Thread should be. In the teacher-student relationship the line of explanation is what connects the teacher’s intellect to the student’s intellect. The length of the line represents the length of the descent which is necessary from the teacher’s mind to the student’s mind. Depending on the intellectual level of the student, that is “how far” the teacher will find it necessary to “bring down the subject” to the level of the student. In order for the teacher to shape his teachings to the capacity of the student, he must assess exactly who it is he is teaching. This assessment is at the very beginning of the line, so to speak, and is a slight protrusion from the point. It is called Kav HaMidah (The Measuring line) or Amat HaBinyan (The Builder’s Rod), because, though it is short, like a builder’s rod or a measuring line, nevertheless, all the measurements of the building are done with it.

In the same way, the Kav HaMidah (Measuring Line) is the ability of the teacher to “measure” and “assess” the student before the actual line of explanation itself. He must measure and assess the capability and intellectual level of the student. If he is teaching college students he will teach one way and if he is teaching third graders he will teach another way? Likewise, whenever someone speaks, before he begins, there must be a measuring process of who exactly he is speaking to. Only after he has measured the listener, will he be able to tailor his words according to that person. The type of person he is speaking to will determine the length of the line. If he is speaking to his intellectual equal, he will not have to bring the concept down too far and the line will be very short. If he is explaining a deep concept to a small child, however, the concept will have to be brought down very much and the line will be quite long. This applies to every action. If one is doing a simple task, the line need not be long. If one is doing a great task, such as studying a difficult subject, the line must be longer.

In the same way, in the creation process, the Kav HaMidah represents the ability to measure all of Creation, on all its levels. According to each spiritual level within the Seder Hishtalshelut, (Chaining down of the worlds) so will be the “length” of the line necessary to reach them. It is through this short “Yard stick” that the “measurement” of everything that ever existed or ever will exist comes about. It is all determined by the Kav HaMidah, the short measuring line which protrudes from the Reshimu. Furthermore, though a measuring line is short, it can measure anything. This represents G-d’s infinite ability to reveal Himself on any level, whether it is the highest or the lowest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*