Friday, September 29, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 28 - To be as great as Moshe Rabbeinu

The Gemara states that Hillel had many great students, thirty of whom were worthy that the Divine Presence should rest on them like it did on Moshe our teacher. The Rashbam in Bava Basra 134a writes that the reason they did not have the Divine Presence rest on them was due to the sins of the generation. We find in a few instances in the Gemara that one Amora referred to another Amora by the name Moshe, which implies that that Amora was comparable to Moshe in his generation. The Rambam writes (Hilchos Teshuvah 5:2) that anyone amongst the Jewish People has the potential to be as righteous as Moshe Rabbeinu. This is a sobering thought. Even in our generation, which is considered by many to be the lowest generation ever, one can strive to be as great as Moshe Rabbeinu. The Aruch writes that the Gemara in Sanhedrin states that animals do not have the concept of marriage. Nonetheless, the Torah accorded the animals in the times of Noach who did not cohabitate with other species the status of being married. Rabbi Yaakov Galinsky Shlita said that this teaches us that someone in our generation who does not become influenced by the outside world could be as great as Rabbi Akiva Eiger in his generation. Let us take this lesson to heart during the High Holidays, as we each strive to become the best that we possibly can, and our efforts should lead us to inspire all those around us.