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01276--Write a note on the tension between Talmud Torah and g’milut chasadim.


The tension between Talmud Torah and g’milut chasadim can be seen in the following extracts:

  “Which is greater—study or deeds? Rabbi Tarfon answered, ‘Deeds!’ Rabbi Akiva answered, ‘Study!’ The sages responded, ‘Study is greater since studying leads to deeds’ (b. Kiddushin 40b).

 “These are things that a person enjoys the fruits of in this world while the principal remains for the world to come: honoring one’s mother and father, g’milut chasadim, and being a peace maker. But Talmud Torah is equal to them all” (m. Peah 1:1).

 “He who engages exclusively in Talmud Torah is as one who has no God” (b. Avodah Zarah 17b).

 Within the Rabbinic elite, there was frequent concern with the proper balance between study and participation in family and communal affairs.


[Courtesy : Professor Shai Cherry]

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