Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson

The Values of the Individual


Various Rabbis

29 IYAR 5769
Gemara :
Rav Mani said: Reading Kriat Shema at its proper time is greater than being occupied in Torah study.

Ein Ayah: The shleimut (completeness) of every individual is evaluated according to his standing and level. However, the main shleimut of Israel, which is one nation in the land, is obtained by gathering all the strengths, of the big and the small, to one central point. Only in this way is Hashem’s Name sanctified by the ingathering and the unity of the totality of Israel. The shleimut of the individual, when we evaluate it as it relates to the person himself, is not important at all when it is compared to its value when it is included in the general, national shleimut.
It is through the study of Torah that every individual acquires his shleimut according to his level. However, the general center of the Torah study of all Jews as a collective and the essence that unites them is the recitation of Kriat Shema and especially when it is done at its proper time. At that time, the entire nation focuses its spirit on the source of life, the One Blessed G-d. The fact that this is done at one time of day greatly strengthens the general connection between Jews, which then emerges from the essence of the involvement in Torah of the different individuals. This is because the understanding that emerges from and is pulled along by the knowledge of the unity and the acceptance of the yoke of Heaven can be broken up into individualized parts. This is what the Zohar means by: "each and every individual according to his measure." With the general understanding and the true acceptance, the different parts unite through the recitation of Kriat Shema at its proper time. That is why reading Kriat Shema at its proper time is greater than being occupied in Torah study. That is because the value of the complete person within the collective is inestimably greater than his value as an individual.
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