Sunday, December 14, 2008
“…Offspring that live and survive, offspring who will not interrupt and who will not cease from the words of the Torah.” (Yekum Purkan-[Shabbos])
This Tefilla, which praises those who involve themselves in Torah, follows the Torah reading on Shabbos. It blesses them with offspring that will constantly be involved in Torah. Why is it so important for the children to "never interrupt" and "never cease" from the words of the Torah? Why does the Tefilla find it necessary to use this double lashon? I heard a mashal (parable) from R' Nissan Kaplan Shlit"a that I think will shed some light on the issue. It goes as follows: Someone has a hot water urn filled with water that they want to heat up. They plug it in for 5 minutes and then unplug it while they go out of the room for something. They return 10 minutes later and plug it back in for another 5 minutes before they are interrupted once again. This goes on until the urn has been plugged in for a total of 25 minutes and yet, the water was still cold! They wonder how this could be! They know their friend had their urn plugged in for just 10 minutes and their water was boiling hot! He assumes the plug must be broken and he tries it somewhere else... The mashal goes on but I think the point is clear. The only way for someone to make a real kinyan (acquisition) in Torah; to have Torah really affect their life, is with consistency. 'The sum is greater than all of its parts.' An hour of learning straight is exponentially greater than 3 scattered 20 minute shifts.
When we leave the Beis Medrash we shouldn't 'unplug' ourselves from the Torah we learn there. As we kiss the Mezuza on the way out we should have in mind that we are taking the Beis Medrash with us. Only with this mentality will we be able to achieve real d'veikus with Hakadosh Baruch Hu. Being an emesdike Eved Hashem (a true servant of G-d) is a constant job without rest. Hashem has blessed us with a constant opportunity for gaining meaning, accomplishment, and ultimately-eternity.
(Top pic courtesy of here)
(Beis Medrash pic courtesy of Shor Yoshuv)