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FRUMToronto Articles Thoughts for the Week

Inspirational words of Torah from Gedolei Yisroel.


Blog Image: Hakhel.jpg
Readying Ourselves for Kablas HaTorah
In one week from today, we will celebrate Matan Torah with Shavuos.  Much in the same way as we get closer and closer to Yom Kippur do we feel a need to do Teshuva, or as we get closer and closer to Pesach do we feel a need to rid ourselves of our Chometz, so too, should we demonstrate our recognition of the advent and approach of Matan Torah.  One should not take lightly the need to ready himself for receiving the Torah.  Indeed, Chazal (Pesikta D’Rav Cahana, Piska 12) teach:
 
“HaKadosh Baruch Hu said to Klal Yisroel--when you read this Parsha [of Ma’amad Har Sinai] to me every year, I will consider it as if you were standing before me on Har Sinai and receiving the Torah.”
 
So, we must do something: waiting on line in the bakery for cheesecake (and reflecting on how many reasons you know for why we eat cheesecake on Shavuos) or even setting up a Chavrusah for Shavuos night, should not satisfy us.  Just as B’nei Yisroel were conscious that they were traveling directly from Egypt to Har Sinai, and that they required several days of further preparation upon their arrival at Har Sinai, so, too, must we begin to sense the need to draw near and experience and inspire ourselves with Torah anew.
 
One easy method to accomplish this is simply taking the time out in the week before Shavuos to learn an extra ten to fifteen minutes a day.  If one were told that he was going to be receiving the Crown Jewels as a gift in one week, he would most certainly begin to demonstrate a newfound special love and care, a unique concern and appreciation--and a desire to learn more about them!
 
A second, more difficult, but likewise more rewarding and lasting, manner of demonstrating awareness of the time period that we are now in, is a point we have touched on in the past--properly fulfilling what Chazal describe as one of our important purposes in life--setting aside time for Torah study (Shabbos 31A).  Indeed, every night in Maariv we recite “Ki Heym Chayeinu--for they are our life..."  Likewise, Shlomo HaMelech (the wisest of all men) writes in Mishlei (3:18) “Eitz Chaim Hi...”--it is the Tree of Life for those who grab hold of it.  So, just as one may need, on a daily basis, to imbibe oxygen, to take a particular treatment, to ingest a particular medication, in order to remain alive, we, too, must be sure--very sure--that we, too, are dutifully taking our daily dosage of Torah study, as well.  There are several important points made by the Mishne Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 155) relating to Kevius Itim--designating those special times during the day.  These are the Mishne Berura’s recommendations:
 
a.    One should set aside time for Torah Study immediately after davening in the morning and the in the evening so that he is not sidetracked (or hoodwinked) by the Yetzer Hara and his emissaries;
 
b.    One must be sure that in addition to any daily study of Tanach/Mishna/Gemara, to study books of Halacha.  In fact, if one does not learn several hours a day, it is proper for one’s “Ikar Limud”--primary study--to be in Halacha L’Maaseh, in a way that he will understand and practically apply his studies;

c.    If something happened which prevented him from his regular designated time of study, he should make it up as soon as possible, but the latest before going to sleep.  Even if one cannot study at all, because of some event beyond his control, he should not depart from his place after davening until he has at least learned one Pasuk or one Halacha;

d.    It is recommended that the set time for Torah study, if at all possible, be in a particular, designated place, and that the place should preferably in Shul;

e.    If one learns as part of a group of people, it brings greater Kavod Shamayim (Bei’ur Halacha there); and

f.    The Mechaber (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 238) writes that one should be even more careful with this set time for Torah study at night than by day (see Mishna Berurah there for a detailed explanation).
 
Let us take the time out to rededicate and reinvigorate ourselves with our Tree of Life, as we properly utilize this wonderful preparatory period for our very own, our very personal, Kabalas HaTorah!

--------------------------
Hakhel MIS


Posted 5/21/2009 12:00 AM | Tell a Friend | Thoughts for the Week | Comments (0)

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