Midot Hayom: Day 27: Yesod in Netzach
Abba Shaul says: There are four types of Torah scholars: One who learns but does not teach others; one who teaches others but does not learn; one who learns and teaches others; and one who does not learn and does not teach others. An example of one who learns himself but does not teach others, is a person who learns one, two, or three chapters of the Mishna intently and does not forget them, but does not teach tem to others. An example of one who teaches others but does not learn, is a person who learns one, two, three chapters of the Mishna and teaches them to others, but does not engross himself in them, so he forgets them. An example of one who learns and teaches others, is a person who learns one, two, three, chapters of the Mishna and teaches them to others so they grasp the subject matter. Furthermore he engrosses himself in them not forgetting them. An example of one who does not learn nor teach others, is a person who learns one, two, three orders of the Mishna and does not teach them to others. Moreover, he does not engross himself in them, thus he forgets them. Avot of Rabbi Nathan 29:3
It is interesting to note that Abba Shaul mentions chapters in the first three categories and orders of Mishna in the final group. The “scholar” who learned three entire orders of Mishna, not just chapters is described as someone who does not learn. He has information but he does not engross himself in his knowledge and does not share it with others. His Torah is simply information. He has no appreciation of the eternality of what he learned. A person who understands the eternal truth of Torah will toil at his learning and will share it with others so that it will continue into the future. People are often too intimidated to share their wisdom, but Netzach – Eternality – also means victory; the desire to fight for that which is eternal.
Our work on this day of the Omer is too make sure that everything we have studied is eternal for us: We constantly review, delve deeper into everything we study, and have the courage to share our insights with others. We are not sharing ourselves. We are sharing Torah.