Thursday, November 16, 2006

Internalizing Torah Values

R. Mayer Twersky (link):

In addition to mastery and retention we have to internalize these teachings and beliefs; faith is incomplete if we only know the tenets of Judaism. Similarly, chessed, without being internalized can only be inadequately practiced; our personalities must be suffused with and defined by chessed.

The transition from knowledge to internalization demands constant review and incessant reinforcement. Reinforcement upon reinforcement. This process, in our overly intellectualized climate of learning, seems alien and is oft times neglected. We study to master something new, to expand our horizons. Per force we review so that our horizons should not become constricted due to forgetfulness. But, once these aims have been achieved, it seems unproductive to undertake further review. Why review again what one already knows and has retained when one could study something new?

Parshas Chayei Sarah provides the resounding answer. The Torah tells and retells the story of Eliezer and its lessons of chessed to teach us that we must learn and constantly reinforce in order to internalize such teachings.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More