Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Gates of Repentance

The Fourth Instance: WHEN YOU DELVE INTO TORAH

If you accept Torah as true and right; if you accept that it's the very name of G-d spelled out full and bold; and if you accept that it was given us as a gift outright, awash with love and chock-full of the very secrets of the universe.. it's only natural that you'd take what's said there in awe and wonder, and that you'd be loathe to go against it.

Such a person-- who is by definition in search of spiritual excellence-- would be moved to teshuva (to return to G-d) each time he or she delves into a Torah text, much the way an opera aficionado would be moved to tears and depth of emotion every time he or she would sit down to an opera (though there's really no comparison).

To be sure, though, there are opera aficionados, and there are opera tourists, if you will. People who'll sit through an opera in order to claim to have done that, or in order to be dazzled for a time by the scenery and costumes. They miss all the subtleties and nuances, and are neither moved nor transformed by the experience.

There are likewise Torah tourists, so to speak, who will sit through a Torah lecture, skim a couple of pages here or there in a Torah text, or pick away at the history or science therein (which is simply far from the point). As opposed to Torah aficionados, who live to sit quietly and drink in the pure bliss and poignancies of Torah.

Rabbeinu Yonah's point is that a true Torah aficionado would be quickly moved to teshuva when coming upon something said in the Torah that was somehow in dissonance with his or her personality. He or she couldn't help but be thunderstruck by the contrast, and would start to improve and draw close to G-d.

He then cites a statement by the sages that's quite daunting. "It would have been better for the person who studies and does not fulfill to have had his face turned over in his afterbirth than to have been born" (J.T., Berachot 1:2).

That's to say that those of us who *do* delve into the holy Torah-- who might in fact be aficionados-- who nonetheless don't take it quite to heart, and don't apply it to our relation to G-d and to people in our lives, would have been better off not having been born. Since we'd have betrayed our life's goal, which is spiritual excellence. And we'd have blundered away our own inner resources day after day.

At bottom, though, Rabbeinu Yonah’s point is that we're presented with an opportunity for teshuva each and every time we study Torah in depth-- as long as we take it to heart, and incorporate its values.

Subscribe to Spiritual Excellence and receive the class via e-mail.


 






ARTICLES ON YOM KIPPUR:

View Complete List

After Six Comes Seven
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Commandment of Confession
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

The Holy of Holies
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Time to Return
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Saying Is Believing
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

ArtScroll

“The Secrets of Change”
Jon Erlbaum -

Growing Through the Holidays: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkos
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

The Right Fit
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Our Next Big Move!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Are We A Role Model for the World?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5764

Yom Kippur: Of Angels & Men
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

> The Fast of Gedalya
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

A Yom Kippur to Remember
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760

Merits, Middles and Majorities
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

A Fast –Fast Day
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771



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