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Enrollment of Chareidim-Don’t Confuse Limudim with Limud!

Published on Tuesday January 8th, 2019

In the midst of an agitated political climate centred around Yeshiva and Kollel students enlisting in the Israeli army, (following the revoking of the Tal Law) Torah-Box attempts to bring to light this mitzvah of Limud HaTorah.

One of the issues that fuels the controversy of the exemption of Kodesh (sacred) students is the difference in treatment they receive, compared to those who undertake long-term university studies.

This controversy however, shows a lack of understanding of the very essence of Limud HaTorah, and this is probably at the very root of the deep disagreement between both sides.To begin, let us understand the difference between general 'studies' and 'the Study' of Torah.

Studies And Study

It is understood that secular studies are undertaken for a specific purpose. A person who attends the faculty of medicine is destined to practice his science, and one who studies law intends to enter the legal field. All in all, one who undertakes to study aims for a diploma, a comfortable income, and an honorable profession. Very few are studying for the sole purpose of acquiring wisdom and human knowledge, because if so, that would be a good reward in itself.

The purpose of Torah study is completely different. It is a mistake to believe that the purpose of learning in Yeshiva is to obtain a rabbinical title. The curriculum in Talmudic institutions does not prepare students for this kind of "diploma". A rabbinical title can only be obtained after having followed a specific program of learning Shulchan Aruch (which deals with practical laws). A student can, under these conditions, learn for tens of years without obtaining any title!

A Jew studies Torah to get closer to his Creator

It is true that through studying Torah, a Jew acquires knowledge and wisdom, but the essential thing is that he performs a fundamental mitzvah: that of "connecting" his mind to the divine, to the infinite wisdom of the Creator, he forges it according to a transcendent model.

The extreme importance of Torah Study may be seen from the Halacha (practical Jewish law) which states the one who devotes himself diligently to Torah Study (to the point of never interrupting) is even exempt from PRAYER. Torah study possesses such spiritual power that it places it above all other Mitzvot.

A Prerequisite For an Authentic Dialogue

One whose worldview is materialistic and who has not been forged by these values, finds it difficult to grasp the very essence of Limud HaTorah. In the same way, it is difficult to understand the importance of putting on Tefillin daily or keeping Shabbos.

But this approach, however, is vital for a genuine dialogue, that will generate the appropriate solutions. In order to understand why brilliant men decide to dedicate their lives to Limud HaTorah, it is imperative to be convinced that this Study will bring Bracha (blessing) not only to them but to all the Klal (Jewish people altogether).

The festival of Shavuot is obviously not limited to cheesecake and other dairy delicacies but is above all "the time of the gift of our Torah". This is the great, founding day of our identity. The command "you will study it day and night" is indefectibly associated with Shavuot and it is because of the merit of Torah that our people have resisted assimilation for more than 3000 years. That is something, no?

The Torah-Box Team - © Torah-Box

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