The Meaning of Life
And yet there’s no such leeway given. Even today, with all of our
printed books and with all of our Torah lectures on the telephone,
when we have arei miklat again, this din of talmid shegala, maglin
rabo imo won’t change. Vachai means not only that he should have
food and clothing and medicine and seforim, but most of all he should
have his rebbe too. And the rebbe would have to come personally
because that's what the Torah means when it says vachai. To live
means you should live together with your rebbe.
Now we should try to understand why that is so. You know when
you learn mathematics so the one who is teaching you mathematics
is not giving you a part of his neshama. He's taking a dry formula that
he has somewhere in his pocket and he's handing it to you – it makes
no difference if he gives you the formula with a smile or with a sigh
or with any kind of pious thoughts. You understand what kind of
thoughts the teachers have in the schools usually, and so it's lucky
that the thoughts don't go in with the mathematics. Thankfully the
thoughts remain in his head and the disciples get only mathematics.
Torah Is Not Algebra
But that’s not the case here; Torah isn't lehavdil like mathematical
laws, like geometry propositions. It's a big error to think that Torah is
a set of abstractions. No, Torah is something different altogether –
it’s a way of life; its teachings are intended to become part of your
The problem is that people generally think in stereotypes; they
think that just like an algebra teacher teaches algebra, so a Torah
teacher teaches Torah. They’re the same thing – only one went to the
university and one went to the kollel. And because the rebbe has
certain information that you don’t, therefore you have to have to be
in contact with him in order to access that information.
The truth is that you can’t blame people too much for thinking
that way because today most of our Torah has been learned from
pages that have no character, no personality, no emotions. Even the
rebbes themselves are sometimes test-tube babies – they are the
result of laboratories. They are the result of printed pages and so
their ideas are all paper ideas – since the heter to write the Torah
down was given, this gem of having a rebbe has been neglected to a
certain extent. Because actually a rebbe gives so much more than
The Breath of Your Nostrils
And that’s because Torah means not the halacha alone; it means
much more. When the rebbe speaks, the talmid understands that he
is accepting from his rebbe a part of his soul. The Torah was given
over with expressions of countenance and with the participation of
emotions in such a manner that it couldn’t be lifeless. Ki heim chayeinu!
It was the lifeblood that passed from the rav to the talmid it became
part of his soul.
And that's what life is – that’s what a rebbe really is. It's not
merely a refinement. It's not a luxury. A rebbe is mamash the breath of
your nostrils. It’s your life in the world to come. That's what we're
learning here and that’s what the Torah meant when it said, vachai.
To live in this world means you should live together with your rebbe.
Rav Aviador Miller zz”l fue el faro de su generación y una luminaria que dejo su marca para la eternidad, fue un idealista, un revolucionario, que por medio de miles de sus clases grabadas, y de los libros que escribió, nos ayuda a ver con claridad como debemos comportarnos en la vida y como debemos trabajar para poder fijar nuestras verdaderas metas.