Thursday, May 4, 2017

כבוד לתלמידי חכמים

כּבוֹד לתּלמידי חכמים

Chazal make an interesting statement in Gemara Shabbos (112b): ‘If the earliest Sages were like Angels, then we are like men; if they were like men, then we are like donkeys

Asks HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zt”l:  Why is the Gemara saying ‘if’ they were like angels?  Is there any doubt that the earliest Sages were on an incredibly high level?!

However, he explains, it is only a matter of how we look at it:  If we look at the earliest Sages as Angels; if we realize that we cannot fathom their holiness -- then that shows that we are human beings.  

But, says Rav Elyashiv zt”l; if we (Chas V’Shalom) look at them as ordinary people, similar to our own level, then Chazal say something not very complimentary about us…… (From The Light of Torah; p. 5).

This Gemara applies in our times, as well.  Each generation has Sages who are above the level of ordinary human beings, and we must understand that we cannot fathom their wisdom and greatness. (Ibid.)

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