Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Exertion for Torah

Rav Yisrael Freidman, shlit”a, encouraged those who have a hard time toiling in Torah with the following words. “Our sages tell us that if someone claims that he has found Torah,יגעת ומצאתי , believe him. But if he claims that he has attained the Torah without toil, don’t believe him. Yet not everyone is able to learn Torah in an analytical or deep manner. How can such people acquire Torah which can only be attained through the expenditure of much effort?
“The answer to this question can be extracted from the gemara in Menachos 7. There we find that when Avimi forgot Meseches Menachos he went to Rav Chisda to learn it again. The gemara asks why he didn’t call Rav Chisda to come to him? It replies that Avimi understood that if he went to Rav Chisda the effort he put forth going to Rav Chisda would aid him in relearning the forgotten tractate. Rashi explains that this is because of יגעתי ומצאתי תאמין. We see that there is another way to obtain Torah which can be done by anyone: working hard by going out of one’s way to learn whenever possible and as well as he can.
“This is why Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt”l, and other greats where always particular to get the seforim necessary for the shiur themselves. They knew that even the exertion of getting up and obtaining a necessary sefer would help them to achieve more and deeper understanding of Torah.”
Rav Shamai Ginsburg, zt”l, made a similar comment to someone who expressed regret that some of his questions to the Rav had embarrassed him publicly. “I am actually glad of this, since shame is an excellent way to attain more success in learning, as we find in Menachos 7...”

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