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Torah Scholars Whose Learning Is Their Occupation

Torah scholars whose learning is their occupation must see to it that their path lies correctly before them and that their goal is clear, so that their spirit may be strong and their mind quiet, calm and settled.

How great is the exalted principle, “You are not required to finish, yet neither are you absolved of the work.” Therefore, there is not such a great need to visualize self-encouragement in your Torah-learning service that involves embracing the totality of its knowledge.

This can calm your heart, so that you may learn every topic with a confident and quiet spirit, undisturbed by other things or by worrying in general about attaining total knowledge, which is impossible. Instead, you find your own personal service acceptable.

Nevertheless, you must pave a path for yourself upon which you can still see the complete circumference of the Torah.

In ideology, you must gain clarity about your purpose and the purpose of your desire in your Torah-learning service of God. Also, in practical learning, you must yearn to encompass and incorporate the complete sum of the entire practical teachings that are in the Torah’s practical aspect—as far as you can.

People customarily say that the Torah has no end. In regard to its practical aspect, that is true only within certain parameters—for really, it is possible, when a person goes on a straight path, to attain a total and clear embrace of the entire practical aspect of the Torah.

Those who are great need no explanation for this. But those of middle rank need help, after they arrive at the measure of competent understanding of the depth of halachah, in knowing the form of halachah in a straight and proper way, [which they gain] by serving Torah scholars in correct measure, until they know how to study any Talmudic discussion properly, and how to question and answer in accordance with the path of Torah in the give and take of halachah. Then their main effort must be, first and foremost, to encompass all the halachos of the Rif in their simple meaning, with competent breadth of knowledge. The attainment of this is made much easier by a calm steadfastness.

This service is very sweet in itself, as well as a pleasurable vision that is close to the goal of total encompassing , knowing the complete sum of all the halachos—according to how very close [their study is] to their source in the Talmud in general. Only through the gathering of all the details will the great beauty of the glorious building of the entire practical Torah stand before your eyes.

When you proceed in this fashion every day, continuously, you will add study-times dedicated to an overall mastery of the written Torah, and you will spend set aside times every day for acquiring the wisdom of the aggadah, midrash, ethical works, philosophy and Kabbalah, in proper proportion, and a breadth of time for independent thought, in order to broaden good sensibilities, as well as your set time for learning Talmud quickly every day, and as well as occasional times for clarifying the depth of halachah broadly and engaging in sharp analysis of various topics, in order to broaden your mind and study in-depth, which is crucial for all those who seek the Torah.

When you acquire an encompassing expertise in the halachos of the Rif, there will be born within you the desire to know the halachos clearly. You will learn a great deal of Talmud (Babylonian and Jerusalem), Toseftas and all the words of the Sages, out of an inner recognition of the need for breadth and clarity. The essence of your service must always be in broad learning of the foundations of the halachos and the essentials of the words of Torah, until the perfection of knowledge in all the areas and details will make your awareness whole in all other matters that a person needs. And at that point, people will be inspired by your advice and counsel.

When you proceed in this way, you will also be able to set fixed times for acquiring the wisdom and knowledge that are useful to a person in this world, which broaden the circumference of your knowledge and give you the courage to face the necessities of life. Then you will be pleasing to others and you will find grace in the eyes of God and man.

Orot Hatorah 9:3

Tags:

Torah

Scholars

Whose

Learning

Is

Their

Occupation



















Torah

scholars

whose

learning

is

their

occupation

must

see

to

it

that

their

path

lies

correctly

before

them

and

that

their

goal

is

clear



so

that

their

spirit

may

be

strong

and

their

mind

quiet



calm

and

settled





















How

great

is

the

exalted

principle



“You

are

not

required

to

finish



yet

neither

are

you

absolved

of

the

work





Therefore



there

is

not

such

a

great

need

to

visualize

self

encouragement

in

your

Torah

learning

service

that

involves

embracing

the

totality

of

its

knowledge





















This

can

calm

your

heart



so

that

you

may

learn

every

topic

with

a

confident

and

quiet

spirit



undisturbed

by

other

things

or

by

worrying

in

general

about

attaining

total

knowledge



which

is

impossible





Instead



you

find

your

own

personal

service

acceptable





















Nevertheless



you

must

pave

a

path

for

yourself

upon

which

you

can

still

see

the

complete

circumference

of

the

Torah





















In

ideology



you

must

gain

clarity

about

your

purpose

and

the

purpose

of

your

desire

in

your

Torah

learning

service

of

God





Also



in

practical

learning



you

must

yearn

to

encompass

and

incorporate

the

complete

sum

of

the

entire

practical

teachings

that

are

in

the

Torah’s

practical

aspect—as

far

as

you

can





















People

customarily

say

that

the

Torah

has

no

end





In

regard

to

its

practical

aspect



that

is

true

only

within

certain

parameters—for

really



it

is

possible



when

a

person

goes

on

a

straight

path



to

attain

a

total

and

clear

embrace

of

the

entire

practical

aspect

of

the

Torah





















Those

who

are

great

need

no

explanation

for

this





But

those

of

middle

rank

need

help



after

they

arrive

at

the

measure

of

competent

understanding

of

the

depth

of

halachah



in

knowing

the

form

of

halachah

in

a

straight

and

proper

way





which

they

gain



by

serving

Torah

scholars

in

correct

measure



until

they

know

how

to

study

any

Talmudic

discussion

properly



and

how

to

question

and

answer

in

accordance

with

the

path

of

Torah

in

the

give

and

take

of

halachah





Then

their

main

effort

must

be



first

and

foremost



to

encompass

all

the

halachos

of

the

Rif

in

their

simple

meaning



with

competent

breadth

of

knowledge





The

attainment

of

this

is

made

much

easier

by

a

calm

steadfastness





















This

service

is

very

sweet

in

itself



as

well

as

a

pleasurable

vision

that

is

close

to

the

goal

of

total

encompassing





knowing

the

complete

sum

of

all

the

halachos—according

to

how

very

close



their

study

is



to

their

source

in

the

Talmud

in

general





Only

through

the

gathering

of

all

the

details

will

the

great

beauty

of

the

glorious

building

of

the

entire

practical

Torah

stand

before

your

eyes





















When

you

proceed

in

this

fashion

every

day



continuously



you

will

add

study

times

dedicated

to

an

overall

mastery

of

the

written

Torah



and

you

will

spend

set

aside

times

every

day

for

acquiring

the

wisdom

of

the

aggadah



midrash



ethical

works



philosophy

and

Kabbalah



in

proper

proportion



and

a

breadth

of

time

for

independent

thought



in

order

to

broaden

good

sensibilities



as

well

as

your

set

time

for

learning

Talmud

quickly

every

day



and

as

well

as

occasional

times

for

clarifying

the

depth

of

halachah

broadly

and

engaging

in

sharp

analysis

of

various

topics



in

order

to

broaden

your

mind

and

study

in

depth



which

is

crucial

for

all

those

who

seek

the

Torah





















When

you

acquire

an

encompassing

expertise

in

the

halachos

of

the

Rif



there

will

be

born

within

you

the

desire

to

know

the

halachos

clearly





You

will

learn

a

great

deal

of

Talmud

(Babylonian

and

Jerusalem)



Toseftas

and

all

the

words

of

the

Sages



out

of

an

inner

recognition

of

the

need

for

breadth

and

clarity





The

essence

of

your

service

must

always

be

in

broad

learning

of

the

foundations

of

the

halachos

and

the

essentials

of

the

words

of

Torah



until

the

perfection

of

knowledge

in

all

the

areas

and

details

will

make

your

awareness

whole

in

all

other

matters

that

a

person

needs





And

at

that

point



people

will

be

inspired

by

your

advice

and

counsel





















When

you

proceed

in

this

way



you

will

also

be

able

to

set

fixed

times

for

acquiring

the

wisdom

and

knowledge

that

are

useful

to

a

person

in

this

world



which

broaden

the

circumference

of

your

knowledge

and

give

you

the

courage

to

face

the

necessities

of

life





Then

you

will

be

pleasing

to

others

and

you

will

find

grace

in

the

eyes

of

God

and

man





















Orot

Hatorah

9:3



 Good Luck!