Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Daf Yomi - Megillah 6 - FINDING TORAH

Rabbi Yitzchak said: If someone tells you, "I labored (studying Torah) but I did not succeed," don't believe him. If he tells you "I haven't labored, yet I did succeed," don't believe him. If, however, he tells you "I have labored and did succeed," you may believe him. The Gemora qualifies this teaching to be referring only to the study of Torah, but regarding business; his fortune depends on Hashem’s assistance. The Gemora qualifies further: If a person labors to understand Torah, he will succeed but regarding retaining that which he learned; that would require Hashem’s assistance.

Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer, in his introduction to Sefer Kinyan, cites a question from the Beis Halevi. He asks: Why does the Gemora use the word metziah (lost article) when it is discussing laboring and toiling? A person finds something when he is not searching for it (Sanhedrin 97a). He answers that this is the novelty in the studying of Torah. One can shvitz (sweat) over a difficult question and consider several different approaches to answer the question and ultimately, he must abandon all of them because there will be flaws in each answer. Unexpectedly, he will think of the correct answer, one, that had no connection to any of the thoughts that he was pondering. This is a true metziah (find).

The Chidushei HaRim adds that any understanding in Torah is a gift from Heaven. Torah measures longer than the land and broader than the sea. Hashem gives this gift of understanding only to someone who labors for it.

The Gaon in Mishlei says that one who toils in Torah will merit that he will remember the Torah that he learned with the angel inside his mother’s womb. This is the lost articles that a person is finding after he labors to understand Torah.

2 comments:

ben said...

The Sfas Emes quotes this answer regarding metziah. I don't really understand the question. There are many times when the word metziah is used as an expression, like ומוצא אני מר ממות. Is the usage here so out of the ordinary?

ben said...

I found the Gaon's answer here:

http://www.torah.org/learning/lifecycles/milah/shalomz.html

The Eitz Yosef quotes another commentator, the Alshich. In our prayers, we find the request "V'sein chelkeinu b'torasecha," "and give us our portion in your Torah." This request implies that we have a portion of the Torah that has been previously designated for us. The Alshich explains that this, in essence, is true. The souls of each and every person in the nation of Israel were present by the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Therefore, all of our souls actually received the Torah, and hence we all can lay claim to a part of the Torah. The Talmud in the tractate of Megillah states that if an individual tells you that he has toiled in the Torah and found it, he should be believed. The Talmud deliberately uses the term "found," as the study of Torah is like the search for a lost item. You had something, you lost it, and you endeavor to find it. Each of us was given the Torah and the knowledge contained within, and we strive to "find" it by learning the Torah. The fact that we know what we are looking for, because we once owned it, makes our efforts to retrieve the item that much easier than a quest for the unknown.