Let My People Know

"True study is its own reward"


The sages commented that several halakhot "never existed and never will" because of the numerous restrictions on practical implementation. 

"Why were they written? Study and you will be rewarded." 

This approach implies that even the Torah laws may be understood in such a way that the possibility of implementing them will be extremely remote. 

At the same time, there is no restriction on detailed examination of these laws and their implications not merely as an intellectual exercise but as true study, which is its own reward. 

For example, the Talmud contains an extremely complicated discussion of a mouse that brings bread crumbs into a house cleaned of hametz for Passover. 

The sages launch into an analysis of the mouse, the number of crumbs in the house before and after his entrance, the possibility that a rat might enter after the mouse, and other potential developments. 

This discourse on rodents takes up almost an entire page of the Talmud and is rich in interesting theories and basic evidence, all aimed at solving the problem of the crumbs deposited by the mouse. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From The Essential Talmud by Rabbi Adinm Steinsaltz