Emor: How to Acquire Torah

My twelve year-old daughter told my wife that she did not want to eat eggs anymore.


A friend of hers told her how a bird came and laid two eggs on the window of their home.  One of those eggs brought forth a baby bird.  Given that, my daughter was quite disgusted to eat something that will eventually become a bird.


My wife explained that she has nothing to worry about, since, if there is no rooster, it’s impossible for the egg to become a chicken.


“So, the egg has an Abba?” she asked.  “Yes,” my wife replied.  After a few seconds of thought, she asked, clearly confused, “How do chickens get married?”


My wife began to look for the eject button, seeing exactly where the conversation was going.


The joys of raising religious children!


“And you shall count from the day after the day of rest from the day that you brought the waving omer, seven complete weeks they shall be” (Vayikra 23:15).


The Sefer HaChinuch writes that the essence of the Jewish people is the Torah, and for the Torah the entire world and Israel were created.  The Jews were redeemed from Egypt in order to accept the Torah at Sinai and to fulfill it.  The counting of the days from the Exodus from Egypt until the day of the accepting of the Torah is an expression of the importance of the Torah for the Jewish people.    Just as a person who is enslaved and knows that he will be liberated on a certain day will count each day until he finally gets his freedom, so too, we count the days until we receive the Torah.  Counting the days shows that our entire being has a strong desire to finally reach the end of the time we are counting.


The greater one’s appreciation of the Torah the more one finds time to study it.  Also true, is the more one enjoys his learning and feels that he is accomplishing, the more he will desire to learn it.


I saw that Rav Shimshon Pincus said that in order to “acquire” the Torah, one must “learn, learn, learn." The more he invests his time and thoughts into his learning, the more he will enjoy it. The more he enjoys it, the more he appreciates it.  The more he appreciates it, the more he wants to learn it.  Just like a groom circles his bride under the chuppah, as long as he doesn’t put the ring on her finger, he hasn’t done a thing.  He can circle as much as he likes, but he won’t make any "acquisition."  So, too, with learning, says Rav Pincus, a person can learn this gemara or that gemara and some chumash here and there, but it’s not the main part of his life; he’s simply circling around the Torah.  When a person actually focuses on what he’s learning and makes it an important piece of his day (and his life), THEN he will enjoy it, appreciate it, and acquire it.


With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!


Michael Winner