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20.8.17

The Torah is not at all exclusive about who can come to true holiness. It does give objective standards, but as far as the Torah is concerned, anyone who fulfills those standards graduates.

(1) Accepting the yoke of Torah is not the same thing as being "Davuk"(attachment)  to God --but it is close.

(2) Some people think their feelings of a spiritual high are automatically classified as being "Davuk" to God. But as a rule,- feelings of spiritual highs are not from the realm of holiness. These come from counterfeit Torah, and counterfeit spirituality. And counterfeit spirituality can be awesomely powerful; and in externals it can look and sound just like real Torah.

(3) Accepting the yoke of Torah does not automatically lead to true devekut ((attachment)) but it tends to protect from the false kind of spiritual highs that are common in the religious world.

(4) Devekut is a part of Torah. The reason it is legitimately ignored by the Litvak world is because it so easily decays into its opposite, and the fact that it has a short half life.  But attachment with God is in fact one of the 613 commandments. [It is mentioned twice in Deuteronomy as being one of the three purposes of the Torah which are to come to (1) Love of God, (2) Fear of God and (3) Attachment with God. ]
(5) But a spiritual high is not the same thing--but it can be from the realm of holiness. It is what is called numinosity. But a spiritual high can be from (1) holiness or from (2) its exact opposite or (3) some mixture of the two (as usually happens to people when they enter into spiritual practices). They get caught in the Intermediate Zone.

(6) One difficulty about all this is the fact that the Torah is not at all exclusive about who can come to true holiness. It does give objective standards, but as far as the Torah is concerned, anyone who fulfills those standards graduates. גדולה לגימא שמשרה רוח הקודש על נביאי הבעל. "Great is bringing in guest for it brings true prophecy even to false prophets."
This idea is brought in the Gra on Shir Hashirim chapter 2, and in a Midrash mentioned in the Talmud that is a set of statements given by Eliyahu the Prophet to an Amora. [It is a well known Midrash, but it is not the same as Midrash Raba or Midrash Tanchuma.]

(7) That is to say the giving of the Torah is a one time event in history, but the standards it sets are set in stone,-- objective morality. Anyone that fulfills its conditions gets the prizes.
Being a part of any group does not count towards holiness. It is how one acts that matters.

(8) The standards of Torah are well defined in the classical Musar books. Musar is not a purely Litvak thing. The daughter of Bava Sali was telling me how important Musar is, along with the basic books of Rav Joseph Karo.
(9) Good character is the basic thing Torah wants. This is explained best by Rav Sar Shalom Sharabi in his Nahar Shalom on the Eitz Chaim.