19 October 2023

Critical Words from Rav Shlomo Yehudah (Yanuka)

4 Marcheshvan 5784

The following is excerpted from the transcript of the video posted below.  HaRav Shlomo Yehudah (Yanuka)...

...In the Talmud Yerushalmi Chagiga, perek1, the seventh halacha, in the name of Rav Huna and Rav Yirmiyah, in the name of R' Yishmael bar Rav Yitzchak, there the Talmud says:

That Hakadosh Baruch Hu is full of mercy. He had compassion for the Jewish nation. For the idol worship, for spillage of blood, and for illicit relations He forgave the Jewish nation, but for having despised the Torah, for having left the holy Torah, for this He did not forgive.

It is written in the prophet Yirmiyahu 9:11-12, Hashem said: "For what reason did the land perish?" [Answer:] "Because of their forsaking My Torah." It does not say for idol worship. It does not say for illicit relations. It does not say for the spillage of blood. It says: "Because of their forsaking My Torah." That they forsook the Torah.

And R' Chiya bar Abba said to them, R' Chiya bar Abba says that all of this is because the illumination of the Torah … that if Hakadosh Baruch Hu says If only they would forsake Me and keep My Torah, that the illumination within it will return them to Me, -- this is what the Yerushalmi says -- that the illumination in the holy Torah will return them; that they will be close to Me.

The Talmud Yerushalmi teaches us that beyond the fact that a person learns Torah, beyond the fact that a person becomes sanctified or prays, there is great importance to making sure that the Torah will be part of a person's life -- day-to-day, not to be without it, ever. That it should be an inseparable part of a person's life each and every day. That he will not waste even a minute from learning Torah, because the importance of learning Torah is something that Hakadosh Baruch Hu does not forego. To the extent that He even says: they forsook Me but they kept My Torah. Keep My Torah. The importance of learning Torah is the most important thing.

Rabenu the Rambam in Hilchot Talmud Torah, in chapter 1, halacha 8, the Rambam rules that each person, whether wealthy [or] poor, whether he is suffering, whether he is of sound body, each and every person, whether old, whether suffering, every person is obligated to learn Torah and to involve himself in Torah. Each and every person must study the holy Torah and he has no right to negate his Torah study. A person does not have the possibility of forsaking it. We are obligated to study it.

The Beur Halacha writes in chapter 155 and so writes the Shulchan Aruch in chapter 155 regarding the virtue of and the involvement in Torah study that a person is obligated to study Torah each and every day. Every day to learn the holy Torah. The Beur Halacha writes that much to our chagrin, the world does not know and does not understand this pain. That they do not understand the importance of learning Torah every day, of being involved in Torah daily; that even when people in the world are busy and their time is occupied and they are preoccupied with earning a living, even if they will lose many good things, or much money, even so, the Shulchan Aruch rules that even if one stands to lose much money, he must sit and involve himself in Torah and to designate time for Torah.

Our Sages teach this in Massechet Shabbat 31. So have taught our Rabbanim the authors of Tosafot, בסנהדרין בדף ז' עמוד א' in Sanhedrin 7a, שתחילת דינו של אדם זה על דברי תורה That a persons' judgment begins with words of Torah. A person must accept himself the best thing he can accept upon himself, that is, to learn Torah every day. It does not matter what it is. There are many Torah discourses today, much dissemination of Torah. One must learn Torah every day, to connect to the Torah.


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