Friday, Jan 14, 2022

Megillah 32: With Joy and Vitality

On this daf, we find that the verse “I have given them bad laws…” refers to one who reads Torah or learns Mishnayos without a melody. Abaye objects to this explanation, since maybe people can’t sing while learning.

Rav Tzadok Hakohein of Lublin offers a deeper dimension to this exchange: “Torah imparts vitality when it is learned with joy and a glad heart. Since the natural extension of such feelings is to sing, the Gemara considered that perhaps failing to sing shows that one is not learning properly. Abaye objects to this, since sometimes one feels a great gladness but cannot express it. Learning Torah connects us to Hashem. We ask Hashem in Birchos HaTorah to make the Torah pleasurable, since this is how one should feel when learning Hashem’s holy Torah. As long as we remember the Nosein HaTorah, that the Torah is how we connect to Him, we will feel a deep joy in words of Torah. Although sometimes this joy cannot be revealed, that makes it no less real.

“Many have a hard time feeling the joy of Torah during the week. Shabbos is especially a time when we can experience the deep joy of connection we forged in our Torah and avodah throughout the week. The same is true regarding the purity through deep connection to Hashem available during the six (or eight during a leap year) weeks from Shemos known as Shovavim. One can do special avodos during the week, but the main way to attain this purity is our connection to Hashem on the Shabbosos of these weeks” (Kedushas Shabbos).

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