Thursday, April 25, 2013

48 Ways: #21 - Minimizing frivolity


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The twenty-first of the 48 is miut s'chok, reducing frivolity - the pursuit of fun without inherent value.

The Talmud tends to characterize s'chok as frivolity, as opposed to simchah, which is a state of happiness; see Shabbat 30b about G-d being manifest upon a person who is engaged in joy of a mitzvah, but not in s'chok, and Rabbi Akiva's criticism of s'chok v'kalut rosh, frivolity and light-headedness, in Pirkei Avot 3:13.

There is much more to say on Judaism and fun, but we are taught here that one who spends his time on frivolity will not succeed in Torah scholarship.

Have a great day,

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