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INSIGHT: םב - Bam – How and What to Learn

The Oral-Law Chain of Tradition

The Oral-Law Chain of Tradition

Presenting… more words of wisdom from Bnei Yisrael’s ultimate teacher. Moshe continues, “Which other great nation is so close to HaShem, that you can call upon Him at all times? And which other great nation can claim the precious Torah as their own?”

“True. Every single word is true,” the people nodded in agreement. “But I wonder what Moshe is getting at?”

“Remembering the Matan Torah Experience is important. It’s crucial!” Moshe exclaimed. “But there is another ‘ingredient’ necessary to really understand Torah properly and perform the Mitzvos.”

“Another ingredient?! Hmmmm.”

“Moshe continued, “Yes. Without this ingredient, it just won’t work. Clearly, there is a lot more to the Torah than the written words of the Chumash. It’s the “Oral-Law” (Torah Shebal Peh) – those explanations of the “Written-Law” (Torah Shebiksav), given to me by none other than HaShem Himself.”

“Let me remember this… it’s the Oral Law – not to be written down.”

“Remember how I was up on the Mountain for 40 days and 40 nights? HaShem explained every part of the Torah to me. Without that explanation, there is no way anyone could understand it properly. I have spent these 40 years explaining the Torah, and now, it’s your job to pass it on to your children and grandchildren. Remember! It’s the Oral-Law – not to be written down,” Moshe instructed.

“Oh my! It’s sooooo much material! How in the world can we be expected to remember it all?”

“True. It is a lot of material to cover. But let me tell you about the simple, two-step plan.”

“Step #1: ViDibarta Bam – “And you shall speak in the words of Torah.” Study Torah and keep on reviewing it on a daily basis, both the Written-Law and the Oral-Law. Learn it so well, that when someone asks you a question, do not hesitate… answer them on the spot.”

“Sure sounds like a lot of reviewing!”

“Step #2: ViShinantom LiVanecha – Teach Torah to your children and grandchildren. And when I say children, I also mean students. The key to success in your studies is by having a lot of students! When you teach others, you yourself will learn.”

“What wise words from our wise teacher.”

Moshe concluded, “When you study, review, and teach, your children will do the same, and their children will do the same. This is how to successfully uphold our precious traditions and Mitzvos for generations to come. Remember! Keep the “Oral-Law Chain”. Never break the Chain! Do not forget!”

This chain is called the Mesorah. The word is usually translated as “Tradition,” and literally means “given over” – from parents to children. Indeed, the famous Pirkei Avos begins with this very same idea, “Moshe received the Torah from Sinai, and passed it on to Yehoshua; Yehoshua to the Elders and the Elders to the Prophets…”

Shazak insight

בם - Bam – How and What to Learn

Regarding Torah study, HaShem says ViDibarta BaM (“And you shall speak in them”). Study Torah and review it on a daily basis.

What exactly do we need to learn?

The answer is in the word – בם – “Bam.”

The Beis stands for Bereishis, the first word of the Written Law.

The Mem is for Me’eimasai, the first word of the Mishnah, the foundation of the Oral Law.

So it’s important to learn both the Written Law and the Oral Law.

Oh, one more thing. We want and need to learn Torah, but where to begin?

Look carefully at the word – בם – BaM, beginning with the letter ב. Start your studying from the beginning – from Bereishis, the Written Law.

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Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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