Archives for December 1, 2019

Rabbi Katz is Right

I listened to an interview last night with Rabbi David Katz and Michael Clark. One lives in Israel, the other in Georgia. Ah the wonders of the internet!

The one thing that I enjoyed hearing R. Katz say was that he was in favor of ‘slow learning’.

In our modern world, things around us are moving at the speed of light. Information swirls like mini tornados all around us. But study of Torah does not lend itself to the fast food approach. And the food analogy is a good one because if you have ever gotten involved in it, you realize pretty quickly that the sentences, the words, and the letters themselves are absolutely packed with layers and layers of meaning. You cannot consume too much at once. It is a dense food. In fact, there are entire volumes that are written on those layers that are encoded in the very first word of Genesis: “Breshit”.

In Hebrew it’s pronounced B’raysheet. It means: ‘in a beginning’. And right there we have a problem don’t we? What do you mean ‘a’ beginning? I thought there was only one beginning? Ah my friend, welcome to Torah! Nothing is just a ‘this’ or a ‘that’. And when you take hold of her, your journey of discovery begins. As it says in Proverbs 3:18 ” She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast.”

So even as you begin, you must pause at the first word. That is what I have come to love and appreciate about Torah. And if you are willing to learn slowly as Rabbi Katz says, you will be rewarded a hundred fold. Some days I can only read one or two pages of commentary because I get overwhelmed with the beauty of it. Perhaps in the unfolding pages here, we will explore some of those teachings. But for now…. this is ‘a’ beginning. 🙂