Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Post Tisha B'Av Post

It is amazing how deprivation makes the desire grow stronger. For 24 hours, the whole of Tisha B'Av, we are not allowed to learn Torah, because it makes us happy. For 24 hours I sit and stare at all the seforim on the shelf and wish I was allowed to learn them. They look so enticing and exciting - row upon row of Torah that I need to learn!
I even start fantasizing about what to learn first, and how long it will take and how happy I will be when I am learning it!

Then Tisha b'Av is over, and so are the fantasies. All of a sudden they are just shelves of books, and even though I want to learn them all, and even though I spend several hours a day working my way through them, it is not with the same desire.

How can I retain that strong desire to learn? How can I recapture that intense desire for Torah?

I find that I learn best (by far) when I have an obligation to a chevruta. Not only do I learn better by speaking things through with someone else (of course), but the fact that someone is depending on me, or waiting for me, forces me to get out of the house and learn (or stay in the house and bring the chevruta over). BUT - having an obligation to learn with a chevruta also means that I am learning because I have to, not because I want to or desire to.

OK, for some people it is now bein hazmanim. Even though I am still working, my kids are on holiday and I will try and take some time off to spend with them. And my afternoons are free at the moment because my kollel and teaching aren't operating for the next three weeks. So (bli neder) now is my chance to learn just for fun. Purely for the enjoyment of it.

I have so many things I want to learn. I'll just have to try and remember what I felt like yesterday, and how much I really want to learn it - even if it is the middle of the night and I am exhausted from having taken the kids out somewhere (or just chasing them around the house - good thing it isn't a very big house!)

On with the summer and free Torah!

Hope your fast was as meaningful as mine!

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