web analytics
September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Carriers Of The Talmudic Torch

Front-Page-083112

Earlier this month the London Games were all the rage. Tens of thousands descended upon Great Britain’s crown jewel to witness the Olympics and cheer for their respective countrymen.

Curious onlookers would have their questions answered about whether a Jamaican runner would set the fastest sprint time ever recorded, or if an accomplished American swimmer would take home more career gold medals that any other Olympian in the history of the games.

Of course, there was also much speculation as to whether the current version of the Dream Team could match the original and bring home this nation’s assumed birthright, a gold medal in men’s basketball.

Coverage of the games was incessant. Thousands of media members packed into The Big Smoke to catch all of the action and transmit it live to their respective viewers and listeners worldwide. And as the storylines became more compelling, the ratings increased, to the point where the daily medal count actually occupied more news time than the ongoing bickering and political jabbing between our much-maligned president and his affluent but not particularly transparent antagonist.

Concurrent with some of the athletic hoopla was another event that packed stadiums and theaters. That celebration, however, was not attended by roaring crowds wearing face paint and waving colorful flags.

Rather, those buildings – which included New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Tel Aviv, Binyanei Ha’Umah in Jerusalem, theaters in Chicago, Los Angeles, London and other large Jewish communities – as well as satellite hookups in shuls and social halls throughout the world drew individuals who had either completed an entire cycle of the Talmud or were demonstrating their support for those who had.

While the differences between those who filled the stands at the 30th Olympiad and the more than 150,000 individuals who attended a siyum haShas were plain to see and will be discussed at greater length below, there were some noteworthy parallels between the Olympic athletes and those who had spent the past seven and a half years completing their study of the Talmud.

Success on the Olympic level requires many things. One, naturally, is abundant talent and skill. Another is the fortune of having someone (parent, coach, etc.) to help the athlete achieve his or her dreams through advocacy, guidance and financial support.

But talent and advocacy alone are almost never sufficient to bring home the gold. For someone to reach and succeed on the world’s largest athletic stage, he or she must develop and maintain a comprehensive plan for success, committing to an ongoing regimen of hard work despite the many invariable challenges and setbacks.

These same qualities, l’havdil, are required for sustained success in the realm of limud haTorah. Rabbi Yissochor Frand spoke eloquently on this point at the MetLife siyum. He referenced the great late Mirrer rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt”l, who achieved international renown for his saintliness and continuous devotion to Torah study despite a lengthy bout with Parkinson’s disease.

The rosh yeshiva would challenge people, even those well into their retirement years, to develop rigorous personal plans for Torah study and achievement. Applying this idea to the siyum, Rav Frand noted that it was impossible for any participant to achieve this tremendous accomplishment without going into the process with a clear plan about how to achieve his goal. He also needed to secure the support and advocacy of the siyum’s unsung heroes, his wife and children, for this to happen. And now that he had finally accomplished his goal, it was time to establish a new, improved plan, one that would raise the bar even higher, through a greater level of study and review.

But of course the differences between the Olympics and the siyum far outweighed the similarities in a classic “we run and they run” dichotomy. In the latter instance, the audience was not a band of raucous bystanders whose sole role was to offer moral support for their favorite team and take in the action. Here, the audience and the “performers” were one and the same, assembling to celebrate their collective achievement, receive inspiration from some of the Torah world’s most accomplished scholars, and strengthen each other in the quest for more spiritual gold in the years ahead.

About the Author: Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting (ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at 212-470-6139 or at president@impactfulcoaching.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Carriers Of The Talmudic Torch”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama in the fog.
US Says It Doesn’t Even Know How Many Americans Live in West Bank
Latest Indepth Stories
The Palestinians have desecrated Joseph's Tomb on more than one occasion.

The purpose of an attack on Joseph’s Tomb is to murder Jews at prayer and destroy a Jewish holy site

Broken Telephone

A nuclear Khomenist Tehran will be a threat to Western democracies and to Jerusalem in particular

Major Monster, "Shirley Temper" looking at the cameraman.

The MONSTERS of Nebi Saleh know well the damning, visceral impact of powerful, deceitful imagery.

Proud Members of Jewish Voice for Peace

Jewish Voice for Peace openly supports BDS movement against ALL of Israel & ending the Jewish State.

In recent years, there has been a big push to grow and develop American Football here in Israel.

Unlike Judaism & Christianity which honors “truth,” Islam pursues “Taqiyya,” strategic lying

Yashar Lachayal’s mission is to learn what IDF soldiers’ need and get it to them when they need it.

Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”

The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths

JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted

The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result

The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.

What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?

Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

The Second Commonwealth ended due to causeless hatred, sinas chinam, the ultimate lack of respect in one another.

Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

Like the Avos, we are invested with the mission to inspire humanity to become nobler and greater

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

We must create an atmosphere of complete intolerance for such conduct, while reminding our children that we can take pride in our unique and distinctive purpose without knocking others.

In which specific respects are we to attempt to “relive” yetzias Mitzrayim?

Until recent times, every powerful nation that has ever ruled the world has been fundamentally anti-Semitic.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/carriers-of-the-talmudic-torch/2012/08/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: