April 3, 2014 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #612503
Of course, we all know that one should not view the Torah as a burden. And, yet, I found myself in circumstances where I did just that.
I do a fair portion of my daily learning on the subway to and from work. Yes, I know it’s not an ideal environment for learning, but my free time is quite limited, so I grab what I can. Don’t like it? Tough. 🙂
Anyway, I often use the Artscroll Gemaras to help me. While I can usually cover the majority of an amud without needing the translation, every now and again I’ll come across a phrase that I can’t translate or that I don’t understand how it logically follows the previous one. So, I use the Artscroll to help me. Again, I know it’s not ideal. Don’t like it? Tough again. 🙂
Anyway, when my train pulled into my station last night, I was about ten lines or so away from the end of a perek, which was the last one in that particular volume (but not the end of the Maseches).
As I got ready to leave for work, I grabbed the volume I was in and the next one (since I was planning on learning more than just the ten lines). Then I thought to myself, “Why carry around both volumes all day? Surely it would be easier to carry just one.”
So, I sat down and opened up the first volume, to finish off the ten lines or so, thus enabling me to carry only the second volume to work and back. Right when I was about to start, my inner critic made me realize that what I was doing was learning simply for the sake of not having to schlep the first volume back and forth. If that’s not (literally!) treating Torah as a burden, then what is? The correct and proper thing to do, I reasoned, is take both volumes back and forth, just to show that Torah is not a burden.
And then, I went ahead and shoved a rag in my inner critic’s mouth, secured it in place with some duct tape, and did the wrong thing and learned the ten lines anyway, and left the first volume at home.
Don’t like it? Let me have it.
The WolfApril 3, 2014 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #1010827ChortkovParticipant
Look at the other side of the coin – what can possibly be wrong with learning an extra ten minutes before you go to work?April 3, 2014 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1010828
Look at the other side of the coin – what can possibly be wrong with learning an extra ten minutes before you go to work?
Normally, I might agree with that point. However, as it turns out, I generally stop learning when I find a convenient place to pause once I’m close to my destination. In this case, I would have ended up learning the exact same amount — I just would have gotten to the stopping point a few minutes later in my ride.
The WolfApril 3, 2014 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #1010829🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
WolfishMusings- It doesn’t seem like the torah learning is a burned to you, just the weight of a sefer. Get a kindle loaded with all sefarim and you wouldn’t have this problem.April 3, 2014 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #1010830
Artscroll is the burden, not the learning. The best part of your story is that the train you missed didn’t even crash.April 3, 2014 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #1010831
Get a kindle loaded with all sefarim and you wouldn’t have this problem.
Actually, I have an app for my Ipad that many sefarim (including all of Bavli). However, as I mentioned, I like to use the Artscroll. Yes, Artscroll has an Ipad app, but, personally, it’s just too expensive having already shelled out for the dead-tree version.
The WolfApril 3, 2014 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #1010832☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Make sure you get the one without e-ink. Better yet, get the Artscroll app.April 3, 2014 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #1010833Avram in MDParticipant
It doesn’t seem like the torah learning is a [burden] to you, just the weight of a sefer.
Exactly. I don’t see the equivalence between the learning and the shlepping. Does a guy with a regular sized Artscroll gemara volume get more schar for learning than a guy with the smaller “daf yomi” volume?
In this case, I would have ended up learning the exact same amount — I just would have gotten to the stopping point a few minutes later in my ride.
Assuming that the 10 minutes later train doesn’t magically reach your destination sooner than your normal train, you may well have had an opportunity to learn more than you would have otherwise. I think you did the right thing with your inner critic. 🙂April 3, 2014 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1010834Trust 789Member
Thanks Wolf. Although I disagree with your conclusion, I find your story is delightful.April 3, 2014 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #1010835☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Wolf, my apologies. I recommended the Artscroll app before your post was up.April 3, 2014 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #1010836
Wolf, my apologies. I recommended the Artscroll app before your post was up.
Nothing to apologize for. 🙂
The WolfApril 3, 2014 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #1010837
It doesn’t seem like the torah learning is a burned to you, just the weight of a sefer.
Is the sefer not Torah?
The WolfApril 3, 2014 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1010838zappyMember
i agree with wolf on “is the sefer not torah” a sefer has embedded in it the words of our gedolim it has hshems name its a very precious book that is a fire of torah.April 3, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #1010839
The weight doesn’t add to your learning. In fact, making it lighter added more learning. Is a child a burden? He might be heavy. If you have an easier way to take your child you wouldn’t call that making him a burden. Not to take him because it is hard might qualify, but taking him while making it easier is simply innovative. And making it easier by spending more time with him is ideal.April 4, 2014 5:25 am at 5:25 am #1010840
Wolf: It’s a Machlokes Achronim whether a Sefer is Torah (sorta). Many hold that you can take bound Seforim into a bathroom.April 4, 2014 6:43 am at 6:43 am #1010841sonMember
Sam: Could you give me some marei mekomos for that please? Interested to learn it up as I always took it for granted it was assur.April 4, 2014 7:49 am at 7:49 am #1010842sm29Participant
If you feel bad that your learning beforehand was just for the sake of convenience, maybe work on doing it just for the sake of learning. Of course, that inner voice might still bother you, so you might have to continue carrying two.
I think your care for the matter is awesome and G-d appreciates your care.April 4, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1010843
There is a story about Reb Yaakov Kaminesky, that someone handed him a freshly printed Sefer in the street. He didn’t need it and dropped it in the sewer. When the one he was conversing with was surprized, Reb Yaakov told him that it only gets Kedusha when you learn from it. This Sefer was just printed.April 4, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm #1010844ChortkovParticipant
Halevi – Is that story from a reliable source? It is strange that Reb Yaakov would throw anything down a sewer, even if it has no Kedusha. Especially if somebody juat handed it to him! Sounds a bit wierd.
Anyways, is this even if there are ?????? in the Sefer? ????? ????April 4, 2014 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1010845
I share your sentiments. I can’t picture doing that myself. You can’t Pasken from a story (unless it is said over as Halacha) but you can pick up attitudes from stories which do end up affecting Halacha.April 4, 2014 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1010846
son and yekke: The Tzitz Eliezer brings the whole Sugya down in a T’shuvah. I think it’s towards the beginning of Chelek 11.April 4, 2014 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #1010847dafbiyunParticipant
Wolf- I often face the same dilemma. However I carry the (large size)Mesifta gemora as well as the (large size) Artscroll to work each day; I am fortunate to be able to do much of my learning at work. But there is no way I can carry any more volumes so I make sure I have completed a volume the night before.
I probably should have posted this on the “is it mutter to lift weights” thread as well:)April 4, 2014 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #1010848besalelParticipant
along the same lines as HaLeivi, I dont know if its true or not but i heard the chofetz chaim used to sit on seforim given to him for haskomos in order to raise him higher to reach the table on the grounds that it was never learned from. i heard he stopped the practice when a mechabir saw him sitting on one of his seforim and the chofetz chaim was afraid the mechabir was embarrassed and never wanted that to happen again. true or false? i dont know.April 4, 2014 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1010849
daf, you have a government job?April 4, 2014 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #1010850my own kind of jewParticipant
“There is a story about Reb Yaakov Kaminesky, that someone handed him a freshly printed Sefer in the street. He didn’t need it and dropped it in the sewer. When the one he was conversing with was surprised, Reb Yaakov told him that it only gets Kedusha when you learn from it. This Sefer was just printed.”
That seems very strange…
I wouldn’t throw any kind of book in a sewer like that, especially not a sefer. It’s disrespectful in the extreme to both the author and the subject matter. I highly doubt that story is correct, at least not with the barebone facts you’ve given.
something can be burdensome without being a burden. Something can provide (usually temporary) discomfort without you classifying it as a burden.
Would you consider your children burdens? They might indeed sometimes place a burden on family finances, your time and/or patience etc., but overall, I highly doubt you would classify them as an overall burden. (correct me if I’m wrong).
In the same fashion, not wanting to carry an extra sefer with you does not mean that you consider Tohra to be a Burden. You may consider small aspects of the process of learning Tohra (such as carrying around a heavy sefer) slightly burdensome, but overall you wouldn’t consider Tohra to be a burden. this is especially true when you consider that “Tohra” does not just refer to the actual sefer you happen to be carrying as well-it’s a large metaphysical concept that can extend from a simple chumash to the overall concept of the Tohra.
In conclusion, I would say what you felt was perfectly normal, understandable, definitely not something to be upset about (though I’ve never found much success in telling someone not to be upset about something that they already regret), and certainly not indicative that you find “Tohra” to be a burden.April 4, 2014 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1010851squeakParticipant
Poor Wolf, its getting harder and harder to get a rise out of us zealots.April 4, 2014 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm #1010852ihearMember
I don’t understand, its perfectly normal to view it as a burden we say every morning in birches hatorah “veharev Na” make it sweet for us… I belive it was abaye who said something to the effect of there isn’t any enjoyment in learning and that it isn’t easy… ill have to find the exact language the orchos tzaddikim quotes it in his shar hatorahApril 6, 2014 1:28 am at 1:28 am #1010853zappyMember
the story of rav yaakov i find very very hard to believe a man of such yiras shamiam would never throw something that could possible contain hashems name and anyways he wouldn’t do that because it would hurt the other person and its a bezyon to throw a sefer into the sewer!April 6, 2014 4:57 am at 4:57 am #1010854–Participant
There is a story about Reb Yaakov Kaminesky, …
I’m going on record to say the story isn’t true. Regardless of what the halacha is, R’ Yaakov would never show such disrespect to the Sefer, author, or gift giver.April 7, 2014 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1010855dafbiyunParticipant
halevi- I run my own law firm….and don’t bill by the hour.April 7, 2014 7:43 pm at 7:43 pm #1010856nem621Member
Ihear there is a pasuk that says npikudei H’yesharei ve samchei leiv and the gemara in taanis uses this as a mekor for learning being geshmakApril 7, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1010857
I saw a T’shuvah in the Avnei Nezer today (Y”D 376 Os 5) where he disagreed with a T’shuvah in the Masa’as Binyamin (100). The M”B held that Seforim nowadays have no Kedushah and the A”Z said Chalilah to say such a thing. Also see Rambam Shabbos 23:25.April 7, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1010858👑RebYidd23Participant
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