Saturday, June 1, 2013

48 Ways: #50 - Working to understand with precision


Pirkei Avot 6:5 teaches that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, which it lists for us. The fiftieth of the 48 is mechavein et sh'muato, working to understand, precisely, the lesson one hears.

Obviously, we need to invest effort in order to understand the lessons we are taught. However, I think there is more involved: The Talmud discusses the importance of repeating the ideas one is taught by his mentor (Succah 28a, Yoma 66b, Berachot 27b), and of even matching the language used by his mentor (Shabbat 15a). This, perhaps, is what it meant by understanding "precisely" the lesson one hears - to ensure accuracy in the transmission of Torah.

Have a great day,


  1. This is #47, not #50 (out of 48?).

    Fix it, and delete this comment.

  2. Not 47 by my count - see the comments on #49...