This Week's Thought From The Koby Mandell Foundation
- Seth Mandell
The Air of Israel Makes You Wise
When Rabbi Yeremiyah was a student in the Talmudic academies of Babylonia his teachers thought he was a dolt. "He doesn't even understand what the Rabbis are talking about" said one sage. In fact he was thrown out of the academy for asking stupid questions. ( Rashi, Baba Batra 23: b)
When he made "aliya" however he became so successful in his studies that he alone among his colleagues in Israel was allowed to call the sages of Babylonia "simpletons." ( Ketubot 75: a)
What happened? The commentators explain that the combination of the higher level of studies he imbibed in Babylon and the inspiration he found living in the Land of Israel made Rabbi Yeremiyah greater intellectually than his colleagues in either Israel or Babylonia.
Apparently the organic Jewish society in Israel allowed his creative and intellectual potential to flower in ways more powerful than ever before.
Today those raised and educated in the Western world who then make aliya bring with them unique abilities, talents and perspectives. Sometimes, like Rabbi Yeremiyah, they find their potential magnified and amplified so they contribute to Israeli society and the Jewish people in ways they never thought possible.