Friday, November 17, 2006
Tonights chaburah in R’ Tzadok will focus bl”n on the difference between tefillah and Torah. R’ Tzadok notes that tefilah is associated with the word sicha, e.g. in this week’s parsha Chazal darshen "vaYeitzei Yitzchak lasuach basadeh" to mean Yitzchak davened mincha; Torah, however, is associated with dibbur, e.g. divrei Torah. This is not just a semantic point, but tells us about the relative value of each activity – sicha is used for lighter matters, e.g. sichas chulin shel talmidei chachamim, but dibbur indicates serious speech; tefillah is relatively less important that engaging in Talmud Torah (see Kedushas Shabbos for greater elaboration). However, it seems that this yesod is belied by a statement of Chazal from this week’s parsha – yafeh sichasan shel avdei avos yoseir m’torasan shel banim - the conversation of Eliezer is recorded in elaborate detail, demonstrating its superior value to the halachos of Torah which are not spelled out, but must be derived from minute details of sparsely worded text. How indeed can it be true that the value of Eliezer's common speech outweighs the value of Torah, even if it is torasan shel banim? If you’re curious and live in the 5T, chaburah tonight at 7:30 bl”n, 26 Columbia.