Myself, I was taught when you lack the requisite money, don’t even peek at the items for sale. As the Chazon Ish says in a letter, loans taken for personal consumption are physically and religiously destructive.
But this lesson doesn’t only apply to economics. Some people rely heavily on “Shalmei Nedarim” when studying Nedarim because “What other commentaries are there?!” It’s like an orphan who won’t go into business for himself because he can’t handle the facts of life.
There are barely any commentaries to elucidate the basic text of the Yerushalmi, so otherwise-intelligent Jews pretend the columns snaking around the page are anywhere near equivalent to Bavli commentaries. There is no Shach on Even Ha’ezer, so Beis Shmuel is studied just as closely. The same goes for Ayeles Hashachar on Zevachim, since there are too few commentaries on Zevachim (unless you like studying Ayeles Hashachar elsewhere, too), and so on.
Whatever happened to patience, hard-headedness, and good judgment? Not everything with Rashi script needs Genizah. Not everything which looks like Rashi is Rashi. Not everyone alive during the time period of the Rishonim was a “Rishon”, either.
And pardon the rudeness, but as they sing in Israel: וגם לתייש יש זקן. You would think that’s obvious, but common sense is not very common, because of some strain of Emunas Chachamim. The psychological strain of not living with Chazal doesn’t encourage people to grow but makes them fantasize about their rabbi being one of Chazal. (They won’t admit this, but this belief is demonstrated by their actions.)
You blindly rely on “Gedolim”? Good for you, and so do I; but don’t you have to find them first? As the Ba’al Koreh tries to tell you once a year — while you’re smacking your lips on Rabbi Meshulam Brandwein’s wonderful Gana Depilpelei — even if Moshe Rabbenu did pass away, that’s still no excuse for worshipping the Golden Calf.
But, But… (Vayikra Rabba 11:8):
נמשלו ישראל לעוף מה העוף הזה אינו פורח בלא כנפים כך ישראל אין יכולים לעשות דבר חוץ מזקניהם
Right, so since it can’t handle the lack of real Semichas Chachamim the “wingless bird” should just jump off the roof? (And yet we can survive without the Beis Hamikdash just fine.)
Incidentally, sucking your thumb really does relieve hunger, psychologically…
Good to know.
If serving Hashem was a serious business, this wouldn’t happen. In the workplace, when a vital tool is missing, you get to sit around for a while. Is Torah study less serious than cleaning or web design or trading stocks? You lack written or oral guides to some text? Learn harder or learn Beki’us!
You prefer Torah examples? OK. Missing a hand? Exempt from Tefillin. A goy fully missing the Gid doesn’t require Hatafas Dam Bris for Geirus. Ill and fasting? A sinner. (Unless you’re a Brisker, in which case, never mind…)
The root problem is Judaism is just a plaything, so we feel: Why should anyone miss out because of Onnes or She’as Hadechak or more than Chomesh or Piku’ach Nefesh or… Instead of seeking God’s truth Lishmah, with enjoyment a helpful side-effect, they seek a religious high directly.
As the Chazon Ish says in Emunah Ubitachon 1:8 (and this deserves a separate discussion):
ואמנם בהיות האדם אוהב לחדש ולהרצות לפני קהל, נצברו הרבה שקרים בספרי התולדות, כי בן אדם אינו שונא את הכזב בטבעו, ורבים האוהבים אותו ומשתעשעים בו שעשועי ידידות, ועל החכם להבר בספורי הסופרים לקבל את האמת ולזרות את הכזבים, וכאן יש כר נרחב אל הדמיון…
Except for Breslov, genuine Chassidim (in the modern sense) prefer an “Avodas Avodah” over the details in the Shulchan Aruch for this same spurious spirituous spiritual Ta’avah of Deveikus. So what if the hour or location render the prayer invalid?!
… שיכור אל יתפלל ואם התפלל תפלתו תועבה…
As the preachers say correctly, it’s not Avodas Hashem but “Avodas Atzmo”. As we explained elsewhere, this is the idea behind Avoda Zara, as well. Yeshayahu Leibowitz would also use the “Frum is a Galach” expression (mentioned in the above link). And as for…
You know this post became a shpiel, right…?
I’ll stop then.
Too late! Everyone left.