Friday, August 14, 2020 -
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48 Ways to Acquire the Torah: Way #47

Pirkei Avot, “Ethics of the Fathers,” states in chapter 6:6: “The Torah is acquired in 48 ways.” This week: Way #47, “Being precise in one’s study.”

Rabbi Yechezkel Abramsky (1886-1976) once testified in a court case in England. The attorney for the other side opened:

“I understand that you are the greatest Talmud scholar in England.”

“Yes I am.”

The attorney was taken aback. He asked to this effect: “Is this the humility to be expected of a pious rabbi?”

Sir, I am under oath.”


Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein said in the name of Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik (1853-1918):

A conscientious surgeon will calculate the course of a surgery, then execute it with precision. At the very least, in the back of his mind he will fear the devastating consequences of failure. A Torah scholar must be governed by the same precision, and the same trepidation, when issuing a halachic ruling.

One involved in acquiring the Torah is working to understand the Divine purpose. The more precise the student, the closer he or she is to the realization of that critical goal.

The 47th way to acquire the Torah: Being Precise in One’s Study.

Hillel Goldberg

IJN Executive Editor |

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