The sages tell us that before the Torah was revealed at Mt. Sinai the world was sustained by a “Hidden Torah.” Unlike the Torah of reward and punishment, this Torah exists on an even higher level that consists not of deeds and consequences, but grace and mercy. In reality this hidden Torah is not completely distinct from the revealed Torah, but was nevertheless stored up and concealed in a heavenly storehouse from ancient times.
We learn in a Midrash that Moshe was once shown the heavenly storehouses. Some contained rewards for those who kept certain mitzvot, or performed certain good deeds, but the most grand and beautiful of them all remained a mystery. When Moshe inquired into its content Hashem responded that this was the Storehouse of Grace, and from it He could take and give to whomever He pleased. In Torah we read that when Moshe Rabbeinu asked Hashem to show him His ways He responded, “V’Chanoti et asher achon”; I will grace whomever I choose [And you won’t understand it!].
Our Chasidic masters wrestled with the above midrash. “Who was the grand and beautiful storehouse for,” they wondered. If they answered that the Storehouse of Grace had been kept for those who needed it…sinners and those who were far from Torah…then the greatest gift Heaven had to offer was going to be gifted to sinners and those who had not labored for righteousness. Shouldn’t the greatest reward be given to the greatest Tzaddik, the righteous One? Shouldn’t this most beautiful store house be kept for Mashiach whose very life and soul is bound up in Torah? “But how would that make sense?” they asked. What need does the perfect Tzaddik have with grace? After all…He’s faultless…He’s the Mashiach.
The answer our Rebbeim have put forward is fascinating. The Storehouse of Grace does belong to Mashiach. Of course, He doesn’t need to benefit from the grace contained therein but rather, through His work…His Torah…He has earned this great reward and now gives it freely to His friends, people with flaws and faults—people like us.
The laws were given through Moshe, but chein v’emet (grace and truth) came by the hand of King-Mashiach Yeshua. (Yo. 1:17)