"Moshiach is ready to come now-our part is to increase in acts of goodness and kindness" -The Rebbe

Friday, January 9, 2009

Indirect answers

On p. 17 of this Teshura (memento), the Rebbe responds to someone who asked why it is necessary to study the daily portion of Tanya. After responding to his question, the Rebbe concludes:
The main point is that a young man who studies in a Yeshivah should know that he ought to learn diligently, keep Mitzvos scrupulously, and not seek kashes [challenging questions]. Even if something is not yet so clear and precise for him, he should nevertheless do it, and with time, when he learns properly, he will come to understand that which is not understood.
Sometimes (but not always!) when we focus overly on kashes—i.e., not just questions seeking information, but challenging questions that contain a certain degree of doubt—the answers davka elude us. The reason for this is not that the answers do not exist, as the evil inclination would have us believe—they do. Rather, the very act of being preoccupied with the kashes derails the person from what should be his proper focus, and thus prevents him from truly finding the answer amidst the web of confusion.

Paradoxically, sometimes the way to go about finding the answer to such questions is by not allowing oneself to dwell upon them and let them weigh one down. Rather, one should make a mental note of the questions, and continue learning Torah and keeping Mitzvos, and with time and the help of
Hashem, the questions will be resolved.


  1. But certain kashes disturb your learning if not dealt with.

    If you don't answer the kashes, that doesn't mean they go away, or suddenly find answers. It means that you shove them under the carpet until they get so big that you have to go around the lump they made.

    So either answer them, or deal with the best and brightest looking for answers elsewhere.
    Lav davka off the derech. Just not Chabad, or not exclusively so.

  2. You misunderstood me; I was not suggesting that kashes ought NEVER be dealt with directly; I wrote specifically that "sometimes" the way to deal with kashes is by not focussing on them. But not necessarily.


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