Letters to the Editor: Steven Genack
Letters to the EditorOpinion

Letters to the Editor: Steven Genack

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Letter to the editor,

A Good Heart

The ba’alei ha-mussar note that in Pirkei Avot, the thirty-second out of the forty-eight steps to acquire Torah is “to love people.” This symbolizes the day before Lag BaOmer where the students of Rabbi Akivah died out because of lacking respect for one another. Indeed, loving others is the antidote to not respecting them.

Taking it further, the midrash notes that stinginess can also refer to a refusal to teach others Torah. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai whose yartzeit is on Lag BaOmer, was the tikkun to this because he re-disseminated the Torah of Rabbi Akivah.

The gematria of lev tov is forty-nine. This is in fact the key to surpass the forty-eight levels of what’s needed to acquire Torah. It’s the Sine qua non to have all blessings.

Rabbi Akiva famously said that the great rule of the Torah is to love your neighbor. We may say if you want the Torah like Rabbi Akiva had, work on achieving a lev tov.

Steven Genack, Clifton

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