Monday, April 30, 2018

Ponderings of the Perkei Avot 3:10-11

RaYBaSH’s Ponderings of the Perkei Avot
Chapter 3:10-11
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr

“Rabbi Dusta'i the son of Rabbi Yannai would say in the name of Rabbi Meir: Anyone who forgets even a single word of this learning, the Torah considers it as if he had forfeited his life. As is stated, "Just be careful, and verily guard your soul, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen" (Deuteronomy 4:9). One might think that this applies also to one who [has forgotten because] his studies proved too difficult for him; but the verse goes on to tell us "and lest they be removed from your heart, throughout the days of your life." Hence, one does not forfeit his life unless he deliberately removes them from his heart.

Rabbi Chanina the son of Dosa would say: One whose fear of sin takes precedence to his wisdom, his wisdom endures. But one whose wisdom takes precedence to his fear of sin, his wisdom does not endure.”

The only way not to forget is to “Shema”, the same word that is in Deut. 6:4 for “Hear of Israel ADONAI our God, ADONAI is One” not only means “Hear” but “Hear AND Obey.” You have to practice it, Use it or lose it, so to speak. Like a mattress, you have to sleep on it every night over a period of time before your imprint is permanently left on it; similar with Torah.

The first passage we looked at the theme is “Hear and Obey”, the second passage’s theme would be, “Fear and Obey;” as in a healthy, respectful fear. Just as we fear power lines, not that the power line would just lash out and zap us for no reason, but only if we are foolish enough to trespass against it, by climbing the power poll and grabbing the line.

Specifically what is sin?

I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Disobedience to the Torah is sin.

So make it a priority to Study Torah, Know Torah, Practice Torah and Obey Torah, for the Torah are the very words of the Almighty God.

-- Rabbi Yehudah