Pinchas 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Pinchas 23 Tamuz, 5761 July 14, 2001

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

R’ Shlomo Ressler writes Parshat Pinchas relates a story (271-12) about the daughters of Tzlafchad, descendants of Yosef (Joseph). These daughters loved the Land of Israel so much, that they wanted a piece of it. As Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, why do they have to have a claim in the land, just because they love it? Wouldn’t entering the land be fulfilling enough? Rav Moshe thus concludes that if a person truly loves something, they’d want it to be theirs, and no one else’s. This is why the daughters wanted to actually own a piece of the land, rather than simply living in it. This logic applies to [the mitzvah] that every Jew write their own Torah (or a portion of it). In our terms, it’s not enough to borrow and read Jewish books. We need to love the Torah we read SO much that we feel the need to own it! As this week’s Parsha urges, we should not only seek, read and enjoy words of Torah, but we should OWN those books, and live those words!

If you love something you want to own it… and live it! This D’var Torah got me thinking about what the expression to “own something” really means.

In the martial arts, if you love doing it (and why put up with the hard effort for years on end to master something you don’t love) then you should want to own it! What does it mean to own a Kata… or a technique… or your center… or a state of mind?

We all hear lessons from our teachers. We say

At Black belt you become self-correcting.

At Master you become self-teaching.

At Grand Master you become self.

The lessons are owned because they are yours, not simply something you quote from your teacher. While we credit the source (B’shem amro, in the name of the teacher we learned it from or who first said it), the lesson is now part of us. It is who we are. It is how we think, how we move, how we breathe, how we react to events in our lives.

Always remember what the great Taoist teacher, Chuang Tze said

“Fish traps exist to catch the fish.

When we have caught the fish, we no longer need the trap.

Words exist to get the meaning.

When we have gotten the meaning, we no longer need the words.

Where can I find a person who has forgotten all the words

… So I can have a word with him?

Now that is loving AND owning something at the highest level… in Torah AND Tora.

"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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