- Rewards of Learning
- Rabbi Reuven Mann - Dean, Masoret Institute
- I have come across another problem. I am preparing Pirkei Avos,
- about 4 midos in talmidim.
- 1) grasps quickly and forgets easily
- 2) grasps very slowly but doesn't forget
- 3) grasps quickly and doesn't forget (this is a good lot)
- 4) grasps very slowly and forgets easily (this is a bad lot [chelek
- My question is on the last one. R' Yonah points out that despite his
- poor ability to grasp and retain, he persists in learning. He gets
- reward for his persistence. Are we judged (is our purpose) according
- how much understanding and knowledge of God that we acquire? Or is
- purpose to devote all of our energy to the eternal? It seems like
- student who persists in studying despite his inability to gain
- understanding has directed all of his energy towards pursuing the
- and eternal. It is not his "fault" that he has no binah,
that's not his
- chelek. So why is this a "bad chelek?" Does Hashem expect
- him? If you maintain that he has a bad chelek compared to the
- understanding possible, the closest relationship with Hashem based
- knowledge; but that can't be what Hashem demands of him. That is not
- purpose. So how can this be a bad chelek (other than the frustration
- feels at grasping slowly and not retaining)?
- I was thinking that when Hashem created the world, he had a specific
- purpose in mind for humanity. This purpose involves using our minds
- gain understanding, which will lead to a relationship with Him.
- it is His will that each person be given a unique chelek and
- ability to pursue this goal. Each person's purpose is to perfect
- insofar as he is able to with the unique abilities that Hashem
- him with. If he does that, he is successful. However, it is possible
- that Hashem endowed him with abilities far inferior to the rest of
- mankind, and compared to what mankind is able to achieve (compared
- Hashem's plan for mankind), he has a bad chelek because he will
- able to achieve the great knowledge and understanding which is
- for a close relationship with Hashem.
- But that's where I get stuck. Because so what that he can't achieve
- knowledge necessary for a relationship with Hashem. He is fulfilling
- Hashem's will completely on his level. Is it a tragedy that a cow
- doesn't have knowledge of God? At least this person is using his
- to direct all of his energies to the good. Where is the tragedy?
- With regard to 4 middos in talmidim: There are 2 things to consider;
- objective purpose of the activity of learning and the subjective
reward of one
- who learns but doesn't achieve it's highest purpose.Learning is
- for the acquisition of the knowledge which perfects us and shows us
- of G-d and rechannels our energies to a love of Hashem. If the
- acquire knowledge is seriously compromised then one's chelek of
Torah will be
- limited. This is an objective reality which can't be altered. One
- is the benefit of the one who is slow to absorb and quick to forget?
- that R.Yonah means that there is a gain in involvement in the beauty
- Torah which has a profound effect on the soul. Also persistence in
- the fruits come with great difficulty expresses a profound love of
- may be absent when the learning is providing the joy and
- of"success" There are 2 rewards for learning; the natural
perfection of the
- soul which results from the activity and the Divine reward that G-d
- to those who faithfully follow His will. Regarding the first, ie.
- benefits of the objective activity of learning he has a bad chelek-
- limited in this area in terms of how much he can partake of the
- Torah. However as you say he is fulfilling his purpose in line with
- that G-d gave him.In regard to the reward G-d gives to those who are
- servants in that they absolutely live according to His will he of
- not have a chelek ra.