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Finding one’s voice (Daf Yomi Eruvin 53)

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“We are like a finger in a pit with regard to forgetfulness.”

Today’s Daf Yomi reminded me of how fortunate I am to have studied with teachers when I was young who were not always kind, but intellectually challenging. It was through their rigor of critical analysis that I was able to find my voice. There were times when I was a young graduate student that I would return home in tears after having a carefully crafted poem torn to shreds. But I learned to be tough, withstand criticism, and keep pushing harder not for the perfect word or sentence construction, but for the most honest expression of what I wanted to communicate.

Today’s reading is a celebration of scholarship, wisdom, and language. We are presented with the poetry of numbers: eighteen and twelve. We are told that Rabbi Yohanan spent eighteen days with Rabbi Oshaya who had twelve students. The experience must have been an enlightening one for Rabbi Yohanan who “learned the heart of each and every” student, including their “nature and character” and the wisdom that........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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