Thursday, March 5, 2009

Learning with Pleasure

Very many gedolim would learn with a heartfelt melody such that anyone who overheard them could feel how enraptured they were with their studies. Interestingly, this was part of the test to see if one was worthy of entering the Yeshivah of the Vilna Gaon, zt”l. One was given a piece of Gemara to learn and review for several hours, and if after all that time the prospective student was still learning with the same nigun of enthusiasm as when he started, it proved that he was worthy of joining the Gaon’s Yeshivah.
Many years ago, a certain masmid in Camp Morris in the Catskills would spend the entire day learning devotedly, and his nigun was a pleasure for all to hear. One day, a member of the cleaning staff commented to someone passing by, “That guy doesn’t do nothing but sing the whole darned day!” The young man was clearly enjoying himself so thoroughly that the man was convinced that he was just “goofing off!”
When Rav Shmuel Huminer, zt”l, went to see Rav Eliyashav, ylt”a, he was very impressed with how completely immersed in his learning the gadol was. Rav Huminer would tell everyone he met, “He sounds literally like a malach!” This is the kind of learning that produces gedolei Yisrael.

1 comment:

yaakov said...

whew. we should all be zoche to learn like this!!