But understand that everything has an interior and an exterior (aspect).
That is, everything is of cloth and lining; is colored and striking, as well as muted and steady.
Over-all, the Jewish Nation is regarded as be the interior (aspect) of the world…
… since they can comply with Halacha, which is rooted in Torah.
… while the other nations are regarded as its exterior (aspect).
… since they either don’t know of the Torah, don’t care about it, or they haven’t been told of the universal, not exclusively-Jewish aspect of it that all of humanity is to adhere to.
Thus, just as each garment needs both its cloth and its lining, the universe itself needs both Jews and Gentiles.
But even within the Jewish Nation itself there’s (an) interior (aspect), which is comprised of those who wholeheartedly serve God…
That is, those who comply with God’s wishes both inside and out…
… and an exterior (aspect), which is comprised of those who don’t devote themselves to Divine service.
… and only comply with God’s wishes externally, or hardly at all. But, again, both are needed.
And among other nations there’s an interior (aspect) which is comprised of righteous individuals, and an exterior (one) which is comprised of coarser and more destructive elements.
And both of them are needed as well.
But know that even among those within the Jewish Nation who wholeheartedly serve God there’s an interior (aspect)…
… comprised of those who comply with God’s wishes both inside and out, as well as within the interior of God’s wishes, which touches upon Kabbalah as we’ll now see.
… which is comprised of those who are able to grasp the soul of the interior (aspect) of the Torah and its mysteries, and an exterior (one) which is comprised of those who are only occupied with the external aspects of the Torah.
And both are needed just as well.
In fact, within each and every Jew there’s an interior (aspect) which is his inner “Jewish Nation”, i.e., his point in the heart…
As Ashlag indicated earlier on, the “point in the heart” is “the hindmost part of our holy soul … (that) only begins to come into play … after (we reach) age 13 … (and) only to the extent that we observe Torah and mitzvot” (see 30:1, 43:1 and our remarks there). The idea here is that the point in the heart serves as the interior aspect, the motherland, if you will, of every Jew and the core of his or her Jewish identity.
… and an exterior (one) which is comprised of his inner “other nations”, i.e., the body itself. It’s just that the “other Nations” in the latter instance are regarded as “converts”…
That is, as non-Jews transformed, since this person is still-and-all a Jew.
… since they cleave on to the interior (aspect), ..
… by virtue of their native Jewishness …
… and they’re thus analogous to converts to Judaism.
(c) 2013 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
AT LONG LAST! Rabbi Feldman’s translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here at a discount.
You can still purchase a copy of Rabbi Feldman’s translation of “The Gates of Repentance” here at a discount as well.
Rabbi Yaakov Feldman has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).