Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Joy of Torah

The Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh zt”l explained the joy of Torah through a parable.
“A musician was playing his instrument with such skill and sweetness, everyone who heard him was swept away by the sound. His tune was so powerful that his audience couldn’t hold themselves back; they started to dance with more and more energy and joy, until they were leaping nearly to the ceiling!
“The closer one got to the music the more intense was the sound, and the pleasure and joy of the dancers grew and grew. Whoever was closer was more enrapt, and danced with all the more fervor. At the height of the dancing, a deaf man entered the room. All he could see were wild people, leaping and whirling like marionettes, as if they were under some sort of spell. Because he was cut off from the music, the scene looked to him like something only a madman would dream of, and all the people seemed foolish, or insane.
He said to himself, “Is this what they call happiness?” The Baal Shem Tov would then conclude: “If only the deaf man could sense that the source of all this rejoicing is the sweetest of music, he too would dance with all his might!”

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