your hearts desire

We've discussed the relative importance of Gemara to learning Hassidut and other kinds of learning. In fact, the Jewish Blogosphere is pretty thoroughly hashing out this issue.

I'd just like to bring the words of the Notzer Hesed, the Rebbe Yitzhak Isaac [Yehuda Yechiel Safrin] M'Komarna, who comments on Pirkei Avot 3:8 saying (I'm translating fairly closely to the original) A person learns Torah from a place that his heart desires. Still, he is required to learn all of the Oral Torah- Talmud, and poskim, but there are those who שתקפה עליו משנתו - that he greatly desires to learn a certain aspect of Torah, there are those who focus in pshat, (simplicity) those in remez, (hints) those in drash, (findings) those in sod, (secrets) those who desire greatly Gemara (Talmud), those who greatly desire learning the Zohar and Ma'aseh HaMerkava, because they need to rectify a certain aspect of learning in this gilgul. (incarnation)

He goes on to explain the mishna to say that he is not held accountable if all his energies are focused in this one particular aspect of study, and because of this, he doesn't remember his other learning. (I assume this refers to the Oral Torah he is required to learn.) [ כי תקפה עליו משנתו - He learns this out from the word משנתו - from his learning specifically, in other words from the learning which is personal to him.]

All I can add is לא בשמים היא...כי קרוב אליך הדבר, בפיך ובלבבך לעשתו (Devarim 30:14)


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