Section: Stories   Category: Mashal
Like A Little Kid Splashing In A Puddle

"Ein Mayim Elah Torah" (Bava Kama 17a).  Water is compared to Torah because water gives life and Torah gives life.  However water does not necessarily translate into life.  It depends what you do with it and it depends where you pour it.

If you pour water on the cement sidewalk all you will have is a puddle that makes people wet.  Similarly if you learn Torah to accumulate knowledge without opening your heart, you will not become a better person.  It will just sit on the surface and have no positive effect.

However if you pour it on soft earth that is sowed with seeds, and continue to pour on a regular basis for many years, you can grow a large tree that will provide beautiful fruit and shade for all to enjoy.  Similarly someone who learns Torah to better himself and learns Torah Lishma, will become totally transformed by the Torah and will become what Chazal call an Ilana Ravriva, a big tree.  He will not be a giant watering hole but rather far greater than that he will create beautiful fruit that one could not even imagine when pouring the water.

Why would someone pour his Torah on hard cement and have his efforts go to waste instead of putting it to good use and make something of himself?  Simple.  When you learn Torah Lishma, while your Torah has dramatic results, the water disappears quickly and has its effect underground.  Thats not fun if you want everyone to see how much Torah you learned.  In fact they will never see your learning, because the water that goes in is not the end product.  The end product is the person you become.  

Those looking for a quick boost and some attention from other will hold their Torah up and proudly display it for all to see.  But at the end of the day all they've done is create a puddle that does little good for them.  Moreover the more they jump and splash around in it, the less favor they will find in the eyes of all the passersby.