Friday, July 15, 2005

Am I Learning Torah Lishma?

There are countless teachings on the importance of learning Torah lishma (for its own sake). While I can say that the only purpose of my learning is to come closer to Hashem, can I really say this with utter certainty, or is this just my arrogance deceiving me?

Yesterday as I was learning Likutey Moharan on my commute home from work, I came across an enlightening footnote in lesson #12 where Rabbi Chaim Kramer wrote:

"Obviously, no one will readily admit that his Torah study is, by nature, not purely for its own sake. The only way to come to some clarity and remove the confusion is constantly praying to G-d for truth and guidance."

In our Torah study, as in our mitzvah observance, we must be constantly on guard that we are serving Hashem and not our own ego.


At July 15, 2005 at 2:32:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torah lishma is really not much different than any other area of avodas Hashem. The entire concept of living for a holy purpose is a monumental goal to archive - and this applies equally to eating, working, playing and Torah study.
G-d gave us the Torah for us humans to get beyond the perspectives of this world. This world is unique in that Holiness is concealed; we live in a world where the ego is the only "given" that we know. The Torah teaches us to get beyond that.. we are to overcome our desires for all things physical and shift our perspective to the spiritual.
Now, imagine how ridiculous it would be for someone to learn Torah and boost his ego thereby!
As they say, "It is like one who immerses in a mikva with a sheretz in his hand."


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