Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Making Time

One time, the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, sent a message to one of the older bochurim in the yeshiva in Radin with a special request. The gadol asked that this very accomplished scholar devote some time to learning with a younger student who needed help to advance in his studies.
When the messenger arrived, the older bochur refused the request explaining, “I’m deeply immersed in maseches Zevachim right now and there is no way that this younger bochur will be able to keep up with the demanding pace I need to maintain.” He apologized profusely for refusing, but didn’t feel that he could really be expected to sacrifice his deep iyun for the sake of another student. He continued learning and forgot about the whole matter.
Some time later, this prominent student came to the Chofetz Chaim to ask a difficult question that had cropped up during his learning. He began to relate a complicated calculation of Tosafos in the sugya he was studying and then said that this seems to nullify a certain pilpul that is needed to answer yet another difficult question. He posed, “How would Tosafos answer this problem?”
After hearing him out, the Chofetz Chaim just looked at the student in a marked manner. Finally, he said, “Aren’t you the one who couldn’t make a little time for a younger student of the yeshiva? I wonder why you think that your problem in Tosafos has anything to do with me?”

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