Torah Learning for the Creative Individual

Outstanding people who are involved in Torah and who have a talent and inner predilection for ethical and poetic studies, for high thoughts and exalted wisdom, may not suppress or nullify that great desire.

They must broaden it and make it great. They must every day engage in Torah learning that is broad and that transmits knowledge, wisdom and ability.

Such people must dedicate most of their talent to such learning. They should not worry that this dedication may force them to curtail their practical Torah learning, leading them to satisfy themselves with learning that is easy, short and straight, allowing them to simply know the halachah and its reasoning clearly, and allowing them to simply clarify everything in its time with the calm learning of breadth of knowledge in (a) halachah, (b) the basic Talmud discussions and (c) the various approaches of the sages.

This will not keep them from being sharp. True Torah sharpness is naturally born of this learning [mentioned above] of itself, and appears when it is needed.

One does not need to work hard and spend a great deal of time on pilpul. As it is, most pilpul is intended for those [who, not being poetic,] turn to it to fulfill the thirst of their soul for the breadth of Torah and powerful intellectual freedom.

A little pilpul is always good, even for those who are mostly involved in very spiritual matters; but the basic concern of these sensitive souls must be “to open the eyes of the blind; to bring the prisoner out of the jail; to take the man sitting in darkness out of his cell” (Is. 42:7).

Eder Hay’kar, p. 140

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