I am a very bad Jew, in the sense that I know little of the ritual of our religion. Yet I know that according to Jewish tradition, the world's existence rests on the thirty six hidden tzadikim. Why thirty six, and why hidden? Apparently, the number thirty six has mystical meaning in the religion. It also means that Hashem knows how bad we humans are, and therefore, not much good is required of us. Why hidden? Hashem also knows that humans are vain and therefore they cannot be trusted with knowledge of what real holiness is. All those who claim that they are sages betray the real spirit of Jewish monotheism. Perfect knowledge of G-d is impossible, and any claim of perfect knowledge is sacrilege. As Rabbi Hillel said, do unto others as you would others do unto you, and all the rest is commentary. The sages should remember this greatest of all commentaries.
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from the article: How great are the words of the sages?