Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend
Rambam

Rambam

Rabbi Yitzchok Etshalom
Talmud Torah 5:13

13. The students add to the teacher's wisdom and expand his understanding. The sages said: I have learned much wisdom from my teacher, more from my colleagues and the most from my students (BT Ta'anit 7a); and just as a small piece of wood ignites a large one, similarly a small student sharpens the teacher['s mind] until he extracts from him, through his questions, wondrous wisdom.

Q1: Is this a separate idea, extolling the value of the students - or a continuation of the reason why a person should value and embrace his students?

HH: If my answer to Q1 above (on Halakha 12) made any sense, then Halakha 13 is a continuation of the reason.

YE: Perhaps both explanations fit:

(a) Rambam is providing a reason why it is to the teacher's advantage to cultivate his relationship with his students - and why they are worthy of his honor and affection;

(b) Rambam is instructing the teacher as to how he should relate to the students' questions and comments. Up until now, Rambam was advising the teacher to show his students honor and affection - as students. In this Halakha, they become part of the teacher's learning process and growth - which demands a more serious, respectful attitude.

Q2: In the original version of the statement, the word *Hokhma* (wisdom) is not there. It reads "I have learned much from my teachers; from my colleagues more than my teachers and from my students more than from anyone else." Why does Rambam add the word *Hokhma*?

HH: To make clear that one learns not only from the mistakes of one's students, but also from the students' wisdom (which is brought to light by the teacher).

Q3: Following the logic here, a person must maintain a certain respect and closeness with his colleagues; why doesn't Rambam mention that here?

HH: Because Rambam is focusing on the teacher-student relationship.

Q4: How does the student extract "wondrous wisdom" from the teacher through his questions?

HH: The student's questions clarify the teacher's ideas, make him pay attention to what he has previously glided over, and give him more topics to think about. Besides, a student gains particularly from the teacher's answers to his questions because he is particularly interested in the themes of the questions.

YE: In addition, the need to explain to others forces the teacher to reevaluate the premises upon which he based his explanation - and this reevaluation often leads to a deeper conceptual explanation of the material.

Rambam, Copyright (c) 1999 Project Genesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Giving it All We Have
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

In Every Generation
Shlomo Katz - 5766

That's Chanukah
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Redeeming Factors
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Vayeitzei
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

How Extrordinary The Result
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Seekers of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

Just Doing My Job!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Rachel's Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

> Anti-Semitism: The Original Source
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Chanukah, Chutzpah, and Coming Close to G-d
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Birth of a Nation
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

ArtScroll

It's Good For You
Rabbi Moshe Peretz Gilden - 5763

You've Got To Have Heart
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Basic Concepts and Laws
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Some on Chariots, and Some on Horses
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information