Acquiring Torah 25: Humility to Remember
Rabbi Mattena expounded: What is the deeper meaning of the Scriptural text: “And from the wilderness to Mattanah?” If a man allows himself to be treated as a wilderness on which everybody treads, his study will be retained by him, otherwise it will not. (Eiruvin 54a)
Rabbi Mattena does not focus on humility as a tool to study Torah, but as a tool to retain what a person has learned. Arrogance interferes with our ability to retain Torah, because it focuses our attention on us, rather than the Torah. We are limited beings. We forget.
The humble person who studies Torah focusing on its wisdom and truth, without the distraction of his honor, will attach to his learning without physical limitation, and will retain his learning as an eternal gift, or Matanah.
Baruch Ata Hashem, Notain HaTorah: Who gives the Torah as a permanent gift to the one who is humble.