14 November 2007

Living Large

Ki hem chayenu…
“Because it’s our life and the length of our days”

One must strive to insure that every Jew attends a Torah class on a permanent basis.
It is widely written on the efforts directed to implement the commandment to study Torah with the goal that Jews will busy themselves with Torah study.

This matter should avail itself of the excitement felt as a result of the Simchas Torah celebrated this year. This excitement should be used to dedicate specific attention at this auspicious time to make sure, to the extent possible, that every Jew has an opportunity to learn whenever possible, regardless of location, situation, or conditions.

Whenever we meet a Jew on the street, we need to inquire if he already has established times for Torah study. If that’s the case, he should be encouraged to add to them and what is even more preferable, to become a “magid shiur”, a Torah study group leader. And if, G-d forbid, he doesn’t as yet have fixed times for Torah study, he must be influenced in pleasant and heartfelt ways to begin learning Torah regularly.

If it’s possible to influence him to study Torah several times a day whereby fulfilling the precept of constant Torah study, that is indeed very good. But even if he’s only able to learn once a day or even once every few days, so long as it’s done on a regular basis, he will eventually allocate more time for additional learning.

Which part of Torah to learn is immaterial, be it Tanach or Talmud or the Shulchan Oruch, etc. One should proceed to learn whichever part of Torah one wishes to learn. Because when one is holding a portion of a whole, one in essence is holding the entire entity. Acting this way will eventually influence him to keep adding in his Torah study until he learns and knows the entire Torah - “Kol HaTorah Kulo”

When one encounters a Jew and starts discussing the matter of fixing regular times for Torah study, this discussion shouldn’t involve any other aspects, i.e. one shouldn’t start inquiring about his general behavior or how well or how often he fulfills various commandments, what needs to be emphasized is that since he is a Jew, he is a son of Avrohom, Yizchak, and Yakov or she’s a daughter of Soroh, Rivka, Rochel, and Leah, so he that he’s able to relate to Hashem Himself – “Who spoke and there was the world”, in this vein he will come to the realization that he‘s obligated to study Hashem’s Torah.

Again, his general situation or outlook as regards this matter is immaterial, we do not ask to see his “passport”. We’re simply asking “Give me the soul, sit and learn Torah”! “Because it’s our life and the lengths of our days”!.

He must be brought to the understanding that the will of Hashem is for him to learn Torah regardless of the conditions he finds himself in at any given time!

(Based on a sicha Parshas Breishis, 1985)

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