Feb 3, 2014

Taking Ideas to Heart

As a follow-up to the previous post, I heard the following in a shiur today.  We have much more knowledge than previous generations but lack the heart.

We take in a tremendous amount of information, but it doesn't obligate us; the knowledge is peripheral to us, not part of who we are. We run from idea to idea. In previous generations, people felt obligated by knowledge, they acquired what they learned.  Sara Schenirer comes to mind as an example.  She went to hear a speaker, Rabbi Flesch, who spoke about Yehudis of the Chanuka story and the power of Jewish women to continue her legacy.  She so took his message to heart that she changed the world with her Beis Yaakov movement.

Someone was giving an ongoing shiur on a certain midda and she asked a rav whether she should hone in on the midda again and again. The rav said we are living in a time that if you do that, with the intention of getting people to absorb it, the people won't come back because they'll say they heard it already.  They want variety. 

So we run from shiur to shiur and it's exciting, with new topics and each speaker with his or her style. Our challenge, said the person giving the lecture I heard today, is to take the “v'yodaata ha'yom” (and you shall know today) and make it “v'hasheivosa el levavecha” (and take it to heart), see how you can make the ideas part of your lives. We need to slow down and think about what we heard.  Even if we hear many ideas, we should take one idea and make it ours, make it practical and real to us.

Disclaimer: There are always those who take in ideas and change their lives as many baalei teshuva and converts can attest.

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