Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson

Bringing Benefit to a Talmid Chacham


Various Rabbis

Gemara :
"He passes by us regularly (tamid)" (Melachim II, 4:9). Rabbi Yossi, the son of Rabbi Chanina, said in the name of Rabbi Elazar, the son of Yaakov: Whoever hosts a talmid chacham (Torah scholar) in his home and brings him benefit from his property is considered by the Torah as one who sacrificed a korban tamid (a daily offering).

Ein Ayah: There are several types of comparisons between daily offerings and supporting Torah scholars. The daily offerings were the mainstay of the public service of Hashem by the Nation of Israel and, as such, came from the terumat halishka (literally, the taking up from "the office," where public donations were kept). In a similar vein, one who supports a talmid chacham causes that the Jewish nation has light through the light of the Torah, and the salvation of the collective comes when the nation has members who are learned in the ways of Hashem. In that way, then, one who supports is like one who would bring daily offerings of his own (although this is not possible, since they must be public) and bring merit to the nation in the realm of service of Hashem.
Also, there is a type of service of Hashem that comes from time to time. However, the higher attribute in such service is that of consistency, serving Him every single day. That is what was special about the korban tamid, which was an ongoing service for the nation as a whole. This alerted them to the concept that one should always try to strive for the shleimut (completeness) of constant service of Hashem. There is a strong element of constant service when one supports a Torah scholar from his property. In the process, it turns out that when he is involved and toiling in his business activities, his work is still related to his service of Hashem. This is because a percentage of that which he earns goes to strengthen the hands of those who toil in Torah, who light up the world in the light of Hashem. In this way, the supporter fills his day with constant service of Hashem.
There is another point of comparison between daily offerings and bringing benefit to Torah scholars. The Rabbis have said (Ta’anit 26a) about the korban tamid: "How can one’s korban be offered without its owner being present?" To deal with that issue, a system of ma’amadot (whereby non-functionary representatives of the nation were present in Jerusalem) was developed so that, in effect, the nation, who "owned" the communal sacrifices, was present. Their proximity to the service and the involvement in activities of completeness had a major impact in elevating the spirit to a higher level and in allowing it to grasp pleasant things and all good attributes. The same is true of one who provides benefit to a talmid chacham from the former’s property. Not only does he help financially, but by being close to the Torah scholar by hosting him in his house (as the Shunamit and her husband did for Elisha), he is like one who sacrifices the korban tamid. Whenever one provides benefit for the Torah scholar, there is value to him, even if the two are at a great distance from each other. However, there is an added positive impact for those who are close at the time, helping the spirit on an ongoing basis by seeing the important sight of the shleimut of the lofty person, who is the chosen of Hashem.
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