Bamidbar 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Bamidbar 4 Sivan, 5761 May 26, 2001

Something Old:
To review last year’s Tora-Torah for Bamidbar, just click
Something New:

In the Shabbat Shalom Weekly out of Miami, Rabbi Packouz offered the following D’var Torah based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin.

The Torah states, “And the Almighty spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai.” Why does the Torah specify “the wilderness” of the Sinai desert?

The Midrash Bamidbar Rabbah comments on this verse, “Whoever does not make himself open and free like a wilderness will not be able to acquire wisdom and Torah.” This refers to having the trait of humility that allows a person to learn from everyone and to teach everyone.

An arrogant person will only be willing to learn from someone he feels is befitting his honor. A humble person is only concerned with gaining Torah knowledge and will be grateful to learn new ideas even from one who has less overall knowledge than him.

The Midrash teaches that the Torah was given on Mt. Sinai because Mt. Sinai was the lowest of all the mountains. This symbolizes that if a person wants to receive wisdom he must be humble. If he is full of himself there is little room for anything else.

This sounds a lot like the Zen story of the Master and the Ph.D. that I’ve told before. The Zen Master offered tea to the Doc who was prattling on about his credentials. When it spilled over the top of the cup, the Doc said, “Uh, Master, the cup is full!” “Yes,” replied the Master, “and a cup that is full has no room for anything new!”

Great wisdom comes from many sources. Enjoy the accomplishment of your belt and knowledge… but don’t let it go to your “kup“.

Have a beautiful Shabbat and meaningful Shavuot.

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.

"Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years.

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