Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Gradations Of Kavod

לע"נ עליזה רחל בת ר' חיים צבי

Rav Hutner in a letter gives some mussar to a talmid. I don't kow the circumstances but I gather from the letter that the person had given more kavod to a tzadik who was a lesser talmid chochom than to someone who wasn't known as such a tzadik but was a greater talmid chochom. He reprimands him [as a sign of GRATITUDE for all of the toil this talmid expended on the Rebbi's behalf. Rebuke as gratitude. DON'T try this at home....:-)] that he was wrong and guilty of disgracing a talmid chochom. There is a greater obligation to honor a talmid chochom than a tzadik who is not outstanding in Torah. 

Here is the letter: 

חביבי יקירי 

שלום וברכה 

לאות תודה על טרחתך עבורנו לפני נסיעתך מכאן, הנני מוצא את עצמי מחוייב לעורר את תשומת לבך להלכה אחת. ראובן ושמעון הם שני תלמידי חכמים. ראובן גדול משמעון במדרגתו בתורה אלא שלעומת זאת ראובן הוא במדרגת הבינוני שבתניא ושמעון הוא במדרגת צדיק גמור שבתניא. הנה אם לוי מכבד את שמעון יותר מראובן הרי הוא בכלל מבזה תלמיד חכם. ודי למבין.

בברכה ובצפיה להרמת קרנם של עמלי תורה 

יצחק הוטנר

It made me think the following: In the Torah world there are two types of teachers. One type are creators, innovators, original thinkers etc. The second type are "ibber zuggers" - people who just repeat what they see in sefarim and hear from others. It is clear that the former must be accorded a much higher level of honor than the latter [although of course all Torah scholars must be accorded a great deal of honor]. 

The average person cannot necessarily distinguish between the two. But those who can distinguish and discern are pained when they see "ibber zuggers" being accorded the same or even much more honor than the original thinkers. 

The Zohar Hakadosh and many other sefarim kedoshim greatly extol the virutes of chiddushei Torah and the importance of constantly expanding, elucidating and illuminating the Torah. 

Let us always know how much honor every person deserves and let us strive to be in the category of those who reached the pinnacle of Torah study.