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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Parshas Bamidbar

וידבר ד' אל משה במדבר סיני
The Midrash (Bamidbar Rabah סימן ז) gives an insight into the greatness of Torah.

From here the Chachamim learned: The Torah was given in three things (בשלושה דברים) :In fire, in water and in the desert. In fire, from where? “והר סיני, עשן כלוֹ”(Shmos 19:18) And Mount Sinai was all smoke. And in water, from where? “גם-שמים נטפו גּם-עבים, נטפו מים”(Shoftim 5:4) The heavens dropped and the clouds dripped water. And in the desert, from where? “וידבר ד' אל משה במדבר סיני” And Hashem spoke to Moses in the Sinai Desert.
And why was the Torah given with these three things? Just as these are for free for all in the world, so are the words of Torah for free. As it says: הוי כל צמא לכו למים (Yishayah 45:1).

A person needs nothing to learn Torah, except the will to do so. You don’t have to be wealthy to become a Talmid Chocham; it may even be detrimental. You can come from nothing and achieve greatness. The Rambam goes at great length in the introduction to the Mishneh Torah to mention that both R’ Meir and R’ Akiva came from converts. You don’t need yichus to become a lamdan, a Gadol b’Torah. You only need one thing, the desire to be Moser Nefesh, to give your life, for the study of Torah. That is the only perquisite to greatness in learning. You don’t even need to be born with an over whelming intellect. It said about the Chazon Ish that he was a mediocre student at best, but he wanted more then anything else in the world to excel in learning. Every time he reached the bracha of Chonayn HaDas in davening, he would burst into tears. He would sit b’hasmada (unswerving dedication) to learn and absorb Torah, until one day it clicked and he began to grow and grow, becoming the Gadol he was. Lo BaShamyim Hi. As the Rambam says in Hilchos Tshuva (5:2) - אלא כל אדם ואדם ראוי להיות צדיק כמשה רבנו Everyone has it in him to be as righteous as Moshe Rabbeinu. And as great in learning as the greatest G’dolim.

For free.

5 Comments:

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, June 02, 2005 11:16:00 PM  

  • "It said about the Chazon Ish that he was a mediocre student at best, but he wanted more then anything else in the world to excel in learning"

    I don't believe this for a second.

    They say this about the netziv, and about r. elchonon, too. It must be true of some people, but not of any of these.

    they used to say it about einstein, that he got failing grades, until someone checked and it turned out that they changed the grading system so that 0=A, 1=B etc was reversed and the O grade had gone from A to F. He'd gotten A's all along.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, June 02, 2005 11:17:00 PM  

  • It wasn't said about the Netziv. He went out of his way to hide himself and it was only after he was married did people start having second thoughts about his greatness since he never spoke with anyone in learning. I don't know about R' Elchonon.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Friday, June 03, 2005 12:37:00 AM  

  • In any event...I stand by my conclusion.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Friday, June 03, 2005 12:37:00 AM  

  • It was said about the netziv, it wasn't TRUE, LOL.

    I agree with your conclusion.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Friday, June 03, 2005 9:31:00 AM  

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