arena

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+ 327 It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 119 One big problem and a great paradox in the arena of life is the problem of where or how a person is now and what, who and where he wants to be or have tomorrow. Had it not be this problem, we would have been relaxing all day long. Ernest Agyemang Yeboah


+ 145 The Plain of Halachah and Aggadah

When we begin to take steps upon the plain of halachah and aggadah, a multitude beyond number of unions and harmonies beyond number is drawn out. The universes of heaven and earth, humanity of the flesh and humanity of ideas, with all the wealth hidden in each of them, are then unified. They bring each other to the wished?for action that leads toward complete growth and perfection.

This connection is nothing less than the revelation of the unity that had been hidden within them from the very beginning.

Whoever has not tasted the flavor of halachah has not tasted the flavor of Torah. And whoever has not tasted the flavor of aggadah has not tasted the flavor of­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ fear of sin.

Torah and fear of sin must always accompany one another. The service of Torah learning must be methodically revealed, in an active form, upon this unifying basis—one whose results are very great.

In truth, aggadah always contains a halachic essence. Similarly, halachah contains an inner agaddic content. In the main, the content of aggadah is found in the qualitative form of halachah. And the content of halachah is found in the quantitative form of aggadah. Even without any particular search or awareness, when we learn halachah, we are touched by its hidden content of aggadah; and, when we learn aggadah, we are touched by the pulse of halachah that is folded into the content of the aggadah.

However, not everyone has a properly keen awareness of these two streams—each of which is constantly filled with the content of the other. An alienation between these worlds, which are in essence so joined and twinned together, leads to an unhealthy separation in the nature of deep study and its broadening. It constricts these two areas—halachic and the aggadic—to a narrow arena.

We must clearly bring forth the meeting of these two forces in a rectified form, when each will make the other_s content exceedingly fragrant. Each will profoundly aid the other to bring forth its details and to shine a more brilliant light upon its own general appearance and upon the depth of its own internal logic and what that embraces. The scent of aggadah must make halachah fragrant, in a measure that is well?reasoned and fitting. And aggadah must be given its worth within a framework, with set laws and a clear, defined logic—like the form of a strengthened halachah. With this, the power and freshness of both will be multiplied.

The need that brought the masters of pilpul in previous generations to at times attempt to integrate aggadah and halachah welled forth from this demand for a unification of these forces, which so much act in unison.

We are already called upon to gather together talents and knowledge in order to clarify our learning and all the paths of our lives. In particular, the essence of halachic learning must be broad, composed of the various approaches of the early and later authorities who have grown to be so many over the generations—we very much need that depth and breadth. And we must approach with complete breadth the unity of the contents of halachah and aggadah—which includes the categories of logic and history, ethics and faith, feeling and civility.

And resting upon all of them is a pure phenomenon, one soaked with the dew of the life of the totality of the light of Torah, ready to rest like a beautiful ornament upon all those who learn Torah for its own sake, giving them a special sensitivity and satisfaction of the heart?inspiring joy of Torah.

Orot Hakodesh I, pp. 26?27