Musings on Jewish Education and Jewish Living

#blogElul – 7 Be

The Baal Shem Tov once said to his followers:  “The object of the whole Torah is that a person should become a Torah!” 

How is that possible?  What is a “Torah person?”

 In the Talmud, we find a fascinating definition of a Torah-person.  We are told that he or she possesses 48 qualities, among them being: 

  • A listening ear
  • Studying aloud
  • Developing an ability to understand issues
  • Respect for one’s students
  • Reverence for God
  • Cheerfulness
  • Helping one’s students
  • Knowledgeable in Bible and Talmud
  • Patient
  • Sensitive
  • Faith in students
  • Care with words
  • Being beloved
  • Loving God
  • Loving one’s fellow human beings
  • Loving righteousness
  • Appreciating criticism
  • Knowing how to ask questions
  • Knowing how to answer questions
  • Knowing how to add to what he or she hears
  • Learning in order to teach
  • Adding to his or her teachers’ (and students’) knowledge
  • Knowing how to listen to the lessons of a teacher (or student)

How are YOU a Torah-person?

The Jewish month of Elul leading up to the High Holy Days provides an opportunity for spiritual preparation. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh – looking inward and reflecting on the past year.  The daily sounding of the shofar calls us to examine our words and our actions, and the words of Selichot (prayers of forgiveness) inspire us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.  We look ahead to the new year when we can begin anew, striving to be the best version of ourselves.  Each day, I plan to blog on a thought related to this period preparation for the Days of Awe, along with many others in the Jewish blogosphere.  For further inspiration, search #blogElul on Twitter or Facebook.

I invite you to add your own thoughts on the daily topic.  Feel free to add your comments below or write your own blog, following the daily topics indicated or any others that call out to you.

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