The Torah and Family Connection (Pirkei Avos, 5:25)

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Yehudah ben Tema used to say: “A five- year- old begins Scripture; a ten-year-old begins Mishneh; a thirteen-year-old becomes obliged to keep the Mitzvoth; a fifteen-year-old begins the study of Talmud.”‘
 
The phrase “a fifteen-year-old to the study of Talmud” alludes to our Patriarchs – Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov. Avraham was alive during the first fifteen years of his grandson, Yaacov’s life. During this period, when the three generations co-existed, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov studied Torah together for fifteen hours a day. Accordingly, the number fifteen is a blessing regarding Torah study. Therefore, fifteen is an auspicious age for Torah study, i.e., “a fifteen-year-old begins the study of Talmud.”  
 
In addition, the Festival of  Passover, which corresponds to Abraham, and the Festival of Sukkos, which corresponds to Yaacov, both take place on the fifteenth of the month. The numerical commonality, i.e., the fifteen of the month, of  Passover and Sukkos signifies that the merit our Patriarchs was the genesis of the Exodus from Egypt.  Specifically, the holiness of the fifteen years of Torah study for fifteen hours per day of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov awakened the miraculous redemption.
 
The fifteen joyous years that Avraham saw his grandson; and the merit of Torah that he learned together with his son and grandson, created a strong spiritual foundation for mankind. In fact, during this fifteen year period of “the Torah of the Patriarchs” the entire world was filled with happiness.
 
May we merit studying Torah with our children, grandchildren, and many generations of our descendents. In turn, may the holiness of our combined study awaken the redemption for the entire Community of  Israel (based on the commentary of the Chidah to Pirkei Avos).

Today: Share this lesson with a family member or friend… and bring light to the world.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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