Thursday, November 1, 2012

The value of studying law


"Rabbi Avahu and Raabi Chiyya bar Abba traveled to a certain place. Upon their arrival, Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba taught a class in law, while Rabbi Avahu taught a class based on non-legal lessons (aggadata). The audience left Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba and went to Rabbi Avahu. Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba was upset.

"Rabbi Avahu said to Rabbi Chiyya bar Abba: Let me give you a parable, to which our situation may be compared. If two people come to town, one selling gems and the other selling cheap ornaments, to which merchant do people flock? Don't they flock to the one selling cheap ornaments?"

[The idea is that law is of great value, and should not be discounted. We enjoy story-based ethical teachings, but we should understand that the gems lie in the law.]

(Talmud, Sotah 40a)

Have a great day,

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