Torah Study as an Opportunity
Some Jews study Torah like it’s our job. Certainly, my role allows me more time to study Torah, but I would argue that to study it like work cheapens the experience. Haredim (Ultra- Orthodox Jews) in Israel do nothing but study Torah and other Jewish texts all day every day. But if we spend all our time with these texts, how do we make the experience special? The Chazal (ancient rabbis, sages of blessed memory) worked day jobs just like most modern Jews. They set aside time to study Torah, and it was the intention, called kavanah in Hebrew, behind setting aside time for Torah study that made it special and holy. The famous Tannaitic Rabbi, Shammai, is recorded in Pirke Avot (Ethics of our Ancestors) as saying the keys to living a good life are, “Make a fixed time for Torah Study, speak little, do much, and greet every person with a friendly countenance.”
What has this to do with us this February? Come join us for Torah Study! It is a blessing to come together at a set-aside time, like a Saturday morning, to look at the Torah portion, learn some Jewish text, and uncover new meanings just as Jews have been doing for thousands of years. The famous (possibly for his funny name) Rabbi Ben Bag Bag said of Torah, “Turn it, turn it, turn it again, for everything is in it.” Come join us on Saturday, February 10th, at 10am for Torah Study, and we can dig into the source of all Jewish history, ethics, and religion together.
Samuel A. Stern, MAJCS