“One should always study that which one’s heart desires” (Avodah Zarah 19a).
The Sages taught an important axiom regarding Torah study: “One should always study that which one’s heart desires” (Avodah Zarah 19a). The rabbis recognized that our inner inclination will lead us to the proper path. If we are drawn to a particular area of Torah, this is a sign that the state of our soul currently requires spiritual sustenance from this aspect of Torah.
This principle is also valid when seeking the correct balance between Torah and prayer. The intellect is not fully capable of judging how much we should nourish ourselves from the wellsprings of Torah wisdom, and how much we need to add the ’spices’ of emotion and feeling. Here, too, our inner inclination will guide us appropriately.
When we are drawn to Torah study, then this is “the time for Torah” - the staple for spiritual advance for the individual and society as a whole. But if we feel from within a hunger for the holy experience of authentic prayer, a yearning to pour out our soul before God, then this is a sign that our soul currently requires this form of spiritual service.
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Adapted from Ein Eyah vol. III, p. 3; Olat Re’iyah vol. I, preface p. 20)
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