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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 12:11

The Award for Originality

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Gemara: The rabbis said to Reish Lakish: Youngsters came in now to the study hall and said things the likes of which were not even said in the times of Yehoshua bin Nun.

Ein Ayah: Displays of spirituality can come in different measures, both big and small. However, they can all be divided into the categories of original ideas and things that developed from a previous matter. It is possible that something that developed will have greater value than something that is original, but even in that case, the fact that it is original gives it a special importance.

Moshe’s face was like the face of the sun, from which light emanates, and Yehoshua’s face was like the face of the moon, which reflects the sun’s light (Bava Batra 75a). Therefore, all the great elements of sanctity at the time of Yehoshua were developments from a previous source. But the youths in the study hall, although they did not receive a full measure of wisdom from their teachers, had talent in originality. They were thereby able to arrive at ideas, which while not of great importance (word "games") compared to that which Yehoshua taught, exceeded things in Yehoshua’s time in regard to originality.
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