Beit Midrash

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  • Ein Ayah
To dedicate this lesson
Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 9:6

Torah of this World Relevant in the Next


Various Rabbis

Adar II 7 5779
Gemara: One should not miss the beit midrash (study hall) and words of Torah even at the time of death, as it says: "This is the Torah: Should a person die in a tent" (Bamidbar 19:14). We see that even at the time of death, he should be involved in Torah.

Ein Ayah: The purpose of normal ethical teachings in the world, within which Torah excels in its power and sanctity, is to fix social life so that people will interact in a good way. Therefore, general teachings of morality are based on their impact on "temporary life." As long as a person is connected to life, these teachings have value.

In contrast, the teachings of Hashem are loftier than that. Even matters of Torah that are indeed connected to the improvement of society are founded in such a way that the spirit of the community and individual citizens will be prepared for the World to Come. Therefore the Torah is just as relevant for one who is about to die and join eternal life as it is for one who will be living in this world for the foreseeable future.

This relevance applies not just to the Torah itself, but also to those things that surround and supplement it – the "tent" in which it is studied, the learned study partner, and the intellectually elevating atmosphere of the study hall. While these appear to only be important for the value of friendship during one’s lifetime, they are actually significant deep in the "fabric" of eternity and sanctity that they elevate. That is why one can derive from the pasuk, "This is the Torah: Should a person die in a tent," that one should strive to be in the beit midrash, fully involved in Torah study right up to his death. The words of the Torah bring light and sanctity to the practical life at the "bottom of the land." Therefore, it is proper to be in the partnership with scholarly friends who love and desire His Torah with all their vitality, for in the light of the life of eternity they will go continually from strength to strength.
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