Yeshiva University

Shabbat 3: Timely Questions

I had the privilege of learning in Rav Herschel Schachter’s shiur at Yeshiva University for four years, in the days before he was universally recognized as one of the outstanding Torah sages. His impact on my learning is immeasurable. One of the most striking things I learned in his shiur is how to say, “I don’t know”. We learned that there is no embarrassment in not knowing – even for great scholars. This humility is a most important, yet often lacking, trait in many a Torah (or any other) scholar.

A Tribute to a Mentor

Regardless of their personal piety (or lack thereof), Jewish law affirms that an almost superhuman level of respect be shown to our parents. What is less well known is that, in theory at least, one must display even greater honor to our teachers, “for our parents bring us into this world, and our teachers bring us into the World to Come”.  Jewish law even records a practice that requires students to observe many of the practices of shiva upon the death of their (primary) teacher.

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