Sunday, October 21, 2012

Torah is not enough


"Rabbah bar Rav Huna said: Any person who has Torah but does not have awe of Heaven is like a storehouse manager who has been given keys to the inner doors but not to the outer doors; how will he get inside?"

(Talmud, Shabbat 31a-b)

Have a great day,


  1. I think your point is better made by the next statement, by R' Yannai.

    Rabba bar Rav Huna's metaphor makes Torah the ultimate goal but one can't get there without yir'as Shamayim. (As in R' Chaim Volozhiner in Nefesh haChaim sec. 4, where yir'as Shamayim is likened to the silo, and Torah the grain, or in other places where yir'ah is the preservative and Torah the grain.)

    R' Yannai likens Torah to a gate to the field of yir'as Shamayim. According to this, yir'ah is the ultimate goal, and Torah the means. (A little like Even Sheleimah 1:11, where the Gra says that middos are the plants, Torah the water that nourishes them.)

    R' Yannai's position is indicated by Berakhos 33b (and Megillah 25a, and Niddah 16b:

    Rabbi Hanina said: Everything is in the hands of Heaven except the fear of Heaven, as it is said: “And now, Israel, what does Hashem your G-d require of you but to have fear/awe?” [Deuteronomy 10:12].