Below are a few questions that were submitted to me via email, that did not arrive through the posts. I am going to answer a few of them here for the benefit of all participants.
Q#1: Why did your original two posts not include any scripture or torah teachings? I think you only quoted scripture once.
The first two posts referred to are: The Journey Back to a Torah Mindset Begins… April 11, 2019, and How to Reset Your Torah Mindset to Acquire Torah Concepts… April 13, 2019.
Good question. “Because I am a teacher at heart.” There are several reasons I can offer to explain why I handled the introduction in this way. The fact is, both articles were loaded with torah principles, insights and teachings. I purposefully did not identify them in the articles, for the specific benefit of allowing everyone to hear the information and gain some insight into our foundational objectives. Teachers never start teaching, until everyone in the class knows specifically, what we are there to accomplish. Students hail from vastly divergent backgrounds, knowledge in and experience with scripture. It is imperative that we are given the same road map for our journey.
That being said, The Journey Back… began with a rabbinic quote. Did you recognise the quote, or have you heard it before? Chances are if you have had no prior experience with torah, you did not. That’s OK. How did you answer the question when you read it?
Were you so curious about the right answer, that you googled the question to see if you could find it and discover the meaning?
In your opinion, What is the good path to which a human being should cling? You have been out among the world. What have you discerned? What is the proper path?
If you still remember the question in your heart and are still pondering your response, you are a Christian torah scholar in the making. If not, you may have some struggles with the upcoming material. Regardless, dependant upon how much effort you are willing to place in your study, you will be an excellent student in your own right! How much are you willing to put into it? Do you have a thirst and a hunger to understand scripture at a higher level? Are you willing to be taught? Are you teachable? What are the characteristics of a teachable spirit? Even the questions are torah centric questions. Together we shall explore the answers, as long as you feel that this blog is right for you!
As we continue on this journey together, we will identify every torah principle that was addressed in the body of these two articles mentioned above. We will proceed line by line, precept by precept.
—Torah Lesson Number 1: The Five Students of Torah
How did the five students of the Rabbi answer the above question? “Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai said to them [the five disciples]: Go out and discern which is the proper path to which man should cling. Rabbi Eliezer says: A good eye. Rabbi Yehoshua says: A good friend. Rabbi Yose says: A good neighbor. Rabbi Shimon says: One who considers the outcome [of a deed]. Rabbi Elazar says: A good heart. He said to them: I prefer the words of Elazar ben Arach to your words, for your words are included in his words.” Pirkei Avos 2:13 (i.e., Sayings of the Fathers 2:13)
Do you agree with Rabban Zakkai? Did you have a completely different answer than the five students? Explain.
Q#2: It seems like you rarely ever capitalise the word, torah, even when you should. Why is that?
That’s deliberate. In Hebrew, there is no capitalisation of letters. Capitalisation is a western concept in our writing system. Not so, in Hebrew. Even though English is my first language, I work very hard at not capitalising Hebrew words. It’s adorable when I think about it. Every letter is conceptually written in lower case… this is an aspect of humility embedded into the presentation of the Hebrew Language itself.
The torah was given in humility, given with love. The torah was received with humility, and received in reverence (awe). Reverence, is how we say, “I Love You” back to God. This is the disciples short hand for, “I will do and I will hear” (Ex. 24:7). torah should be written with a lower case t, to remind us of the necessity to handle the word of God with humility and love.
Case in point, my computer is operating on the world system, with a western mindset. I have to be mindful to do the opposite of what it is programmed to do. The computer is on autopilot. I, on the other hand, am forcing myself to be mindful of a new thing, another way, a more excellent way. I am retraining my mind to think a new way. Little things like this, I find helpful. I place this simple requirement on myself. My students are not required to do them. Contrary to some beliefs, the study of torah is not about being legalistic, or ritualistic. It’s more about building a fence around the torah. (A concept that we will delve into at much length, later in this journey!)
Torah is about the little things, considerate things, that we can do to let God know that we are continually walking consciously, aware of His Presence. I am daily training my own spirit, in the art and science of graduate level humility. Every little bit helps!
Quick Links to Previous Post: The Journey Back to A Torah Mindset, Part 1
Quick Links to Next Post: The Journey Back to A Torah Mindset, Part 1.2
[When I find typo’s that I did not see before I published and/or I re-read and know that I could have stated something better for clarity, I will make corrections and place brackets around the changes, like so. I want your final product to be as pristine as possible. Also, you have noticed that I do not include the scripture reference when I am quoting or paraphrasing something from the New Testament. I do that intentionally. We know this material and I believe it is already a part of our regular dialogue. We may have the impulse to look them up and that’s good. I want to provoke us to do that. It’s good for the soul 🙂 Your a good student! God Bless You].
Copyright 2019, Rev. S. Madison, torahisteaching.blog