Responsibilities of the Torah Scholar

The Talmud in Yoma continues to explain the responsibility involved with becoming a תלמיד חכם, Torah scholar. First, he must be certain not to be a hypocrite. He must not be אחד בפה ואחד בלב, one thing in his heart, and the other in his mouth. He cannot be fake.

The תלמיד חכם must have strong יראת שמים, fear of Heaven. He should be able to inspire people with his unshakable faith. He must set an example as to how to deal with adversity. He accepts with love, whatever Hashem sends his way.

When we lift the Torah, we say, וזאת התורה אשר שם משה, "This is the Torah that Moshe placed before the Jewish people." The emphasis is on the word, שם which could also be spelled סם, which could mean a drug or poison. If one succeeds in his Torah study it is a סם החיים, an elixir of life. If not, it could become a סם המות, a drug of death.

Because of the power of Torah, one must use his scholarship in the best way possible.