Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The Benefit of Learning Torah

I was learning a little from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) and reminded of some beautiful and powerful thoughts. Pirkei Avot is a section from Mishnah that contains a selection of moral teachings from our sages of 2000 years ago.

In Pirkei Avot 6: 9 we learn of a powerful exchange that took place between a rabbi and a certain man. 
"Rabbi Yose ben Krisma said: 'Once, I was walking along the road when a man came up to me. He greeted me and I returned the greeting. He said to me, 'Rabbi, from what place are you?' 

I said to him, 'I am from a great city of scholars and sages.' 

He said to me, 'Rabbi, would you be willing to live with us, in our place? I would give you thousands upon thousands of golden dinars, precious stones and pearls.'

I replied, 'Even if you were to give me all the silver and gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would dwell nowhere but in a place of Torah.' And so it is written in the book of Psalms by David, King of Israel: 'I prefer Torah of Your mouth above thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 119:72). Further, when a man departs from this world, neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls escort him, but only Torah study and good deeds, as it is said: 'When you walk it shall guide you, when you lie down, it shall guard you; and when you awake, it shall speak on your behalf' (Proverbs 6:22) 'When you walk, it shall guide you' - refers to this world; 'when you lie down, it shall guard you' - refers to when you are in the grave; 'and when you awake' it shall speak on your behalf' - in the World to Come. And it says:' mine is the silver, and Mine is the gold, says Hashem (G-d), Master of Legions (Chaggai 2:8)" (translation mostly with assistance of Artscroll's edition of Pirkei Avot)

The most precious possession we can acquire in this world is Torah learning and acts of goodness and kindness.  Don't wait until it is too late to try to learn what you should have been learning all your life. Begin your learning today. Contact us at Chessed Ve'Emet. We have learning opportunities for various different levels of Torah learning. 

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