Monday, May 13, 2013

48 Ways: #35 - Love Rebuke


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The thirty-fifth of the 48 is oheiv et hatochachot, to love rebuke.

As we suggested for the previous two "ways", we may understand this as a statement that a refined personality is needed for success in Torah study. Therefore, one who embraces instruction will be better prepared for achievement.

Alternatively, we may suggest that one who is open to rebuke will also be open to having his mind changed about a particular approach to a text or an idea. Those whose minds are dominated by their first impressions are at a distinct disadvantage in the realm of serious scholarship.

Have a great day,


  1. Or perhaps one needs a love of justice to counterbalance a love of one's own clever "chiddush". So that one doesn't fall into the trap of embracing a wrong idea out of pride of "parenthood" for coming up with it.

  2. I want to make sure you realize that my string of "or perhaps"s wasn't intended to one-up or correct your understanding. Just suggesting alternatives that aren't mutually exclusive that the train of thought your post caused me to board dropped me off at. I should have been clearer, and didn't notice it until I reread my comment here. My apologies.

    Obviously I thought I was commenting on the prior day's post "#34, Love Justice". Although I think loving rebuke is about another aspect of intellectual honesty, so it works here too. One is about a love of one's pet theory getting in the way of actually finding the Torah's Justice. The other is about an inability to recognize my own flaws leading to self-justification and distortion of the Torah's position on what I'm doing wrong.

  3. R' Micha-
    Of course! No need for any apology.