emunah, tefillah, a little mussar, and a shmeck of geula

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We're All Connected

Reb Aharon Kotler points out that the Yesod of all of the mitzvohs of the other Yom Tovim is to relive what happened in those times, such as matzos on Pesach and Sukkah on Succos.  But to relive Kabbalas HaTorah there is nothing physical you can do because every time you open a Gemara/Chumash and learn words of Torah, that itself has everything in it on the same level of the revelation that was experienced at Har Sinai.
Reb Aharon says that we live the Sinai experience by learning Torah itself.  Therefore there's nothing to relive.

It's our life.

The first Mishna in Avos says that Moshe received the Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua, Yehoshua to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly.  And by extension down through the various classifications of sages and scholars to our day.

Reb Aharon tells us that when one learns the Torah that has been passed down to us through the ages from Sinai, that person is connected in real time to the Torah at Sinai albeit without the bells and whistles in the same way, lehavdil, that one can hear a recording of a live concert while still be missing out on the charged atmosphere in the concert hall.

Be it a shiur you are attending, the Gemara you are learning on your own or even the aleph bais you are teaching your four year old, while you are so engaged you are connected by a wireless hookup so to speak to Sinai even if you forget every word you learn the moment you close the sefer.  While you are learning you are connected, the subject matter and the level of the learning notwithstanding.

And if you are blessed, in that you manage to remember what you learn, then you remain connected whenever your learning remains in the active part of your memory.

While it is no doubt true that a Torah scholar's connection is by way of a larger bandwidth which brings in a clearer picture of the D'var Hashem as compared to the fuzziness of the picture that comes by way of the snails pace throughput available to the rest of us, at the end of the day we're all connected.