Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Orthodoxy Test #10: Men's Torah Study

Men should learn Torah

a) all day, even if this requires a lot of sacrifice by their families
b) all day, if reasonably possible, but not if it requires great sacrifice by their families
c) for a few hours at a fixed time every day
d) when they feel like it
e) rarely - I can just ask my rabbi when I have a question
f) Leave this question out of my results

I left this question out of my results [(f)] because I think the answer varies so widely, depending on one's personality and personal circumstances. For some people, (a) is correct; for others, (b); for yet others, (c). I don't know if I'd endorse (d) for anybody, but there should be another option between (c) and (d) allowing for less that "a few hours" of study per day, while still involving a regular routine. What's the difference between (d) and (e)? Does (e) mean "at set times, even if I don't feel like it, but the set times are infrequent?" If so, I may agree with (e) for some people too, depending on how infrequent "infrequent" is. I dislike (d) because it seems to place a bit too much importance on whim and not enough on duty; my problems with (e) are more (1) the notion that the only reason to study Torah is to know halacha, and (2) that it's not necessary to actually study halacha because you can always just ask halachic questions when you need to know the law.

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