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On the Torah Trail

Rochel Gross

The mishnah in Pirkei Avos (6:6) tells us of 48 ways to acquire Torah. Together, we explore some of them.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

parrotThe following story was told by the Chofetz Chaim:

“There was an old man in my village who told us about an incident he clearly remembered, although it had taken place 70 years previously. When he’d been a little boy, the Russian czar drove through his village. The old man described the scene in great detail. ‘The carriage was drawn by two beautiful white horses. The coachman was dressed in a starched army uniform with an interesting square-shaped hat on his head. His cheeks were rosy red from the wind, and he sat upright with the reins clutched tightly in his hand.’ The man vividly portrayed every aspect of that visit.

“How could he remember all the little details after 70 years had elapsed?” asked the Chofetz Chaim. “Most people barely remember things that happened to them a month ago. I’ll tell you why. It was because, as a child, he had longed to see the czar. The czar’s visit to the town was a long-awaited event. The child was so excited to be part of this momentous occasion that every single detail was etched in his memory till the end of his life.

“If we learn Torah with a longing and excitement, and don’t just repeat what we learn by rote, but put our full attention into our studies, then we too will remember every detail of our learning,” concluded the Chofetz Chaim.



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