Wednesday, 2 December 2015

1) Torah Cannot Create Good Character Traits:

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot teaches: “Delve into it (the Torah), delve into it, for you will not find anything better (midah tovah) than it.[1]

This famous teaching is generally understood as encouraging the student to dedicate him or herself to in-depth Torah study as everything can be found within Torah.
In Kotzk they understood this Mishna very differently:
“A person can delve deeply and turn to every page of the Torah and yet nevertheless will not automatically acquire a single good character trait from it.”[2]
All the Torah study in the world will not make you a better person.

It’s only the person him or herself that can acquire good character traits for themselves.

[1] “Pirkei Avot ch. 5
[2] Kochav HaShachar p. 119 par.5

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