starting over, learning

This title is a multi-level pun which I will start to explain now.

The first part you might want to know is that it is a pun on the phrase תלמיד חכם, “wise student.” In Hebrew, unlike in English, the noun comes first, with the modifier following. But here the modifier is not an adjective, but another noun. So you can be a student of a wise person, or a student of wise people, or many students of wise people. You can see more here about the expectations and values assigned to a Talmid Chacham here, but here is just a bit.

The principles in accordance with which the talmid ḥakam must live are enumerated in the first chapter of Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa, opening with the following sentence: “The way of the wise is to be modest, humble, alert, and intelligent; to endure injustice; to make himself beloved of men; to be gracious in his intercourse even with subordinates; to avoid wrong-doing; to judge each man according to his deeds; to act according to the motto ‘I take no pleasure in the good things of this world, seeing that life here below is not my portion.’ Wrapped in his mantle, he sits at the feet of the wise; no one can detect anything unseemly in him; he puts pertinent questions, and gives suitable answers.”

It takes a lot to be a wise person known as a חכם. That is reserved for Sephardim, usually. And I am Ashkenazi pretty much through and through.

I am of the age when I recognize my limitations. This is in all areas. I would say that knowing your limits is a sign of knowledge. But it is also a sign of resignation. That, too, is a sign of knowledge.

When you are young, you cannot imagine doing things, and then you cannot imagine being held back. It becomes the dance of life. At a certain point, you also learn that others are engaged in the same battles, but how honest they are about their limitations says something.

What does it say? Jason Silva talks about the power of awe.

I can say that he is spreading the message beautifully that many know; how removing your ego from the picture allows the message to come across loud and clear.


2 thoughts on “starting over, learning

    1. This really is inspiring, especially your combination of wisdom in limitation, wisdom in pushing boundaries, wisdom without ego: learning and wisdom together. Beautiful.

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