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How do I become a sage?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein


Library » Torah » Mishnah and Talmud | Subscribe | What is RSS?


I will give you a list from Ethics of our Fathers:

“For one to acquire Torah, he must have the following forty-eight qualities: 

attentive listening,
verbal articulation,
perception of heart,
ministering to Sages,
close association with colleagues,
sharp discussion with students,
[knowledge of] scripture [and of] Mishnah,
a minimum of business activity,
a minimum of preoccupation with worldly matters,
a minimum of indulgence in [worldly] pleasure,
a minimum of sleep,
a minimum of conversation,
a minimum of laughter,
slow to anger,
a good heart,
faith in the Sages,
acceptance of suffering,
knowing his place,
being happy with his lot,
making a fence around his words,
claiming no credit for his achievements,
being loved,
loving G-d,
loving [His] created being,
loving the ways of righteousness,
loving justice,
loving reproof,
keeping far from honor,
not being arrogant with his learning,
not taking pleasure in handing down [Halachic] decisions,
bearing the burden with his fellow,
judging him favorably [and giving him the benefit of the doubt],
establishing him in [the path of] truth,
establishing him in [the way of] peace,
deliberating in his study,
asking and answering,
listening [learning] and adding [to this acquired knowledge],
learning in order to teach,
learning in order to practice,
increasing the wisdom of his teacher,
properly understanding the intent of what he learns,
and saying a thing in the name of its author.”

Bearing the burden with his fellow, judging him favorably [and giving him the benefit of the doubt], establishing him in [the path of] truth
Some of these qualities may not apply to you at the moment, and you might feel that others are currently beyond your reach. Don’t worry. It is a growing process. Begin with what is relevant and with what you can do. If you are consistent and determined, you will continue to grow until you achieve “sagehood.”


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Torah » G-d's Wisdom

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Pertaining to Jewish Law.
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.