Spiritual Tools-Torah & Action
The 20th of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Ovadyah (ben Shalom) Hodaya, Rosh Yeshiva of Beis El (1890-1969). Born in Aleppo, Syria, his family moved to Yerushalayim. He served as one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Porat Yosef when it first opened in 1923. In 1939, he was appointed Chief Sephardic Rabbi, and he later sat on the Yerushalayim Beit Din Hagadol. He authored the 8-volume Sheilos U’teshuvos Yaskil Avdi, Sheilos U’teshuvos De’ah Ve’haskel, responsa on kabbalah, Vayikach Ovadyahu (drashos), Eved Hamelech (on the Rambam), and Avda D’Rabbanan (chidushim on Shas).
Why do we thank God for so much Torah and for so many commandments, is it not true that when a person attempts to grab it too much that he ends up with nothing?
The idea is to stress constancy and consistency. When we constantly learn Torah and learn that practically every situation in life presents us with an opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah, we developed a sense of consistency that will protect us throughout every moment of our lives.
This must be a person’s intention each time he sits down to study Torah: he must intend that his Torah train him to be constantly aware of the opportunities of life and the need to pay attention to the constant dangers to his soul. (VaYikach Ovadiahu)