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Section: Daas Torah   Category: Rav Shimshon
Rav Shimshon Pincus: Defying All The Rules!

We always marvel at our great Torah giants and what they were able to accomplish intellectually. Rav Shimshon Pincus once said that it is not a Chiddush that the likes of the Rashba or Rebbi Akiva Eiger knew and where Michadesh the amounts of Torah that they did. It is far more amazing that we know the incredible amount of Torah that we do. Incredible amount? What is he talking about?

He explains that we all know that Torah is from Shamayim and existed before the physical world did. It is Hashem's personal toy and enjoyment "Torascha Sha'ashu'oi". It is pure Ruchniyos and by the laws of nature is impossible for a human being to grasp. When Moshe Rabbeinu was in Shamayim for 40 days living as a malach was unable to grasps the Torah for 39 days. Everything Hashem taught him he kept forgetting. Until on the 40th day Hashem gave it to him as a gift. Why? Because with all his kedusha and tahara he was still a person and could not hold on to it without divine intervention.

Hashem set up a roadmap to guide those who want to receive the gift of Torah. In general one must have sterling character traits, toil to no end with total dedication, and reject all worldly pleasures choosing only the pleasure of clinging to Hashem and his Torah. Only then can we acquire Torah says the Mishna in Pirkei Avos which list 48, yes count them 48, things that you need to acquire Torah.

The Bais Yosef and the Chassam Sofer worked on themselves and possessed these traits. We can't even list a half dozen of them. They sat and learned with intense concentration for hours on end. We sit down to learn for meager amounts of time and don't always last for more than a few minutes before our mind wanders to all four corners of the world or to the newspaper on the table near us or we simply doze off.

Should we wonder why we are not the Vilna Gaon? Of course not says Rav Shimshon. He earned his Torah the old fashioned way. We should thank our good fortune of being able to retain a single pasuk in Chumash because according to the laws of nature and the laws of Torah any knowledge we manage to retain defies all the rules of the game!

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