Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend
Rambam

Rambam

Rabbi Yitzchok Etshalom
Talmud Torah 5:7

7. He is obligated to stand before his teacher from the time he sees him from afar until he is out of sight and he can no longer see his figure - then he sits down. A person is obligated to visit his teacher during the *Regel* (pilgrimage festival - Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot).

Q1: Why, in general, is there an obligation to stand up in front of his teacher (and other scholars and parents)?

YE: When it comes to issues of honorific behavior, there are two approaches (as hinted to in the response to Q1 in Halakha 5 above) to understanding the source.

a) There is a cultural/instinctual model of behavior of respect which the Torah adopts and channels towards God - and, on a lesser level, to those objects and persons worthy of respect (the *Miqdash*, parents & teachers etc.). In that case, we would have to posit that standing had always been seen as a sign of deference and honor. (This would likely be R's approach - see Moreh Nevukhim III:32 ff.)

b) Standing is defined by the Torah as a mode of respectful behavior (as evidenced in the law of standing up when doing Avodah - see BT Zevahim 23 & MT Biat Miqdash 5:17 - also, this is exemplified in Vayyiqra [Leviticus] 19:32 - standing for the scholar (see Rashi ad loc.) and for the old person). Since it is particularly emphasized in the case of worship in God's *Miqdash* (i.e. "in front" of God) - it also becomes a model for the proper respectful stance in front of teachers and parents.

In general, it would seem that standing is a way of not being - or showing oneself to be - "at leisure". Being in the presence of God demands action and readiness for action. (Army stances may be an interesting model to investigate and correlate here.) This then becomes the model for associated sanctity or objects/person worthy of respect.

Q2: To whom is the *Regel*-visit obligation pointed? If it is a contemporary student, doesn't he see his teacher all the time? Why the *Regel*? If it is a "former" student - what does that say about teacher-student relationships?

SR: It seems to me that Parents/Teachers hold a special place in Judaism in that they are a kind of "reflections of G-d's presence". Just as G-d created the universe and is responsible for sustaining the world, so too, the Parents and Teachers assume that physical presence and are responsible for sustaining both the physical and spiritual well-being of the world. Insofar as Parents/Teachers are given such high esteem and responsibility, it seems fitting that just as G-d requires us to visit the Him in the Sanctuary on the three "regalim", so, too, we are required to visit those to whom we owe our physical and spiritual lives.

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

 






ARTICLES ON NETZAVIM AND VAYEILECH:

View Complete List

No Excuse Not To 'Do Teshuvah'
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Judging the Day of Judgement
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

An Urge to Be Even Better
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

> Teshuva Must Take Into Account the Root Cause of Sin
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Rosh Hashana and the Kiss of Life
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

Personal Business Plan
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

ArtScroll

Passing Yichus
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Why Bring the Children?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Can the Sun Just Not Rise?
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

It's Already in Your Mouth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5760

Shofar: The Court Summons
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Going For Gold
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Reading Between The Lines
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Unending Continuity
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

A Poor Man's Prayer
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Fear-Yes; Hopelessness-No!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 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