Monday, April 22, 2013

48 Ways: #18 - Minimizing pleasure


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The eighteenth of the 48 is miut taanug, reducing pleasure.

We are taught that we should take advantage of pleasurable opportunities and use them to thank G-d; as the Talmud Yerushalmi (Kiddushin 4:12) teaches, "Rabbi Chizkiyah said, citing Rabbi Kahan, citing Rav: A person will have to give a justification and accounting for everything his eye perceived and he did not consume. Rabbi Elazar was concerned about this, and so he would hoard his coins and use them to eat every type of food once each year." However, we must also recognize that the more time and energy one devotes to pursuing pleasure, the less time and energy one devotes to his studies.

For an ideal example of this, see the case of Rabbi Elazar ben Arach, and his fall from Chagigah 14b to Shabbat 147b.

Have a great day,


  1. where is the yerushalmi?

    1. Oops - skipped a word in the post, now included. You can find the source at the end of the perek there.