Tuesday, July 26, 2005

To Sell Torah

What is your motivation for learning Torah? In other words, what is your “hot button?” Let me be your guide in a world which few experience. Are you interested yet? Yes, there is a world of Torah. It is its own universe. Set apart from the world of physicality. It is not tangible to only a select few. It is up to you to feel, to experience, to design your destiny. Let us start with the atheist, the lowest of the low, the one who does not believe what his eyes see. The atheist does not see because he chooses not to. Out of convenience, he decides not to be in proximity of the assistance that God has granted the Jewish nation. The atmosphere of his universe is denial. He places his reputation in this world and the next in jeopardy. He is constantly looking for alternatives to what is apparent. The location of his mind is with himself. Where does he get his respect from? By degrading what is holy and pure, he aggrandizes his association with impurity and idolatry. He feels secure in his compact life. He is never looking to grow.

Consider the Balhabus, the simple working man, who comes home after a long day on the subway and work. He is weary to the bone. His wife and children rely on him for their basic necessities. He rarely gets to see his children and when he does they sap his energy. Where does he get his strength? That little bit of sweetness he accumulates by learning from the Talmud or Bible. His nachas is when his children come home from school and show him their grades in Jewish studies. He feels at peace knowing he is continuing the Jewish nation.

Moving on to the knowledgeable scholars, those who dedicate their lives to the sacred text, we begin to see a pattern emerge. Their craftsmanship is excellence to the enth degree. They slave over word contexts and obscure passages, trying to reconcile apparent contradictions. Questions, used to mine the depth of written thought, which is the will of God transferred into words, become important tools of the trade. The questions become as important as the answers. The friendships and bonds that are developed over deciphering a piece of Gemarah are as strong as cement. The hours are accumulated and duly noted. They will not go unrewarded.

What is the common denominator between these three classes of people? They are motivated to find the truth. Their reputation is on the line. The location is unimportant. The sentimental value of their belief is in the genes. East or West, North or South, across oceans and time, they are connected and respected. They will never be forgotten. The durability of their significance in history and continuation of the Jewish people is based on the connection to God. Each is suitable of creating worlds. Each in his unique way is priceless. The obvious will resonate when you grasp and discover the beauty of Torah. Contemplate on what you know. Allow your emotions to take you to great heights. Bask in the warmth and feel speechless by it views. Use it as a support when you are down, and as reality check when you are high.

What is your motivation?


Blogger TRW said...

Your interview:

1) What is the goal you most deeply long to achieve?

2) What is the most fantastic memory of your life?

3) When is learning most special to you?

4) What do you fear the most? Why?

5) If you could have anything in the world, but only one thing, without doing anything to get it, what would you choose?

Now the rules again:

1) Leave me a comment saying "interview me please."

2)I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as above)

3)You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.

4) You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5) When others comment asking to be interviewed you will ask them five questions.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I think you are really oversimplifying things here.

I'll leave the atheist alone, although I don't agree with you on that either.

Your condescending attitude toward Baal Habatim needs to be reevaluated. Don't believe me. Look at the invitation to the fund raising dinner that your yeshiva is hosting. I don't know what yeshiva you come from or where you are from, but it more than likely a Bal Habus whose picture or bio graces the invitation.

Have you ever worked a day in your life? How dare you marginalize the "simple balhabus" and reduce his life to coming home tired from work, barely having time for kids, and somehow finding strength from from torah study.

There are plenty of Baal Habatim who are doing their part, with an excellence every bit as comparable and as important, to help continue and build the jewish people.

And please, rethink your cement bonds forged over a difficult gemara. It is no stronger or weaker to bonds forged in a hundred other places.

Rabbanim, who learned gemara together, fight. Look at Rav Yaakov Emden and Rav Yonason Eibishitz. Two torah scholars whose fights and dislike for one another are legendary.

Take a look for yourself at today's jewish world, instead of repeating the same Yeshivish rhetoric that you have heard since first stepping into a yeshiva classroom. You might be surprised at what you find.

2:46 PM  
Blogger EN said...

Air time- I don't undrstand what you're so upitee about. I was in no way being condenscending to a Balhabos. I only wrote my perspective of what I know. My father comes home tired, stressed, and hungry from work. In spite of that he goes every night to a shuir in gemarah with out fail. He sheps nachas from his children learning. I respect him for who he is and his goals in life. It defines him. He is special in his own way, but in others ways he simple in his understanding of the "world of torah". I don't compare him to a posek. They have different lives and different priorities. One is not "better" than the other. Each has their place among the jewish people and its continuity.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

EN - Would you write "Consider the Torah Scholar, the simple learning man, who comes home after a long day of seder and shuir?"

11:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home