The preferred format for Torah study, which is the paradigm for Tikkun, repair, is the חברותא (Chavruta), a study-partner. Based on and sharing the root letters with חבר (chaver), friend, it defines the ideal friendship within our tradition–a friendship based on the shared values of Torah.
To an outsider, a typical בית מדרש (Beit Midrash), study-hall, is the very picture of chaos. Grouped in pairs, the air is full of argument and disagreement. Opinions and interpretations are passionately attacked and defended. Miraculously, minds are frequently changed as we often see that our own ideas are weak and that our chavruta’s are much better. There is no shame in admitting defeat; to the contrary, we can only move forward when we realize we’ve been traveling down the wrong road and have changed our course.
One of my oldest friends commented on a recent article I wrote here, speaking about Miracles and Pesach. He said, “I do not think that we pray for miracles. Rather we pray to Hashem in the belief that he has a plan and ultimately whatever happens will be for the best. If in the course of that plan a “miracle” happens, we are grateful. Looking back, the fact my parents survived the Shoah was a miracle. I believe the Six Day War was a miracle. There are every day events that are miracles.For those I thank G-d and hope I am worthy of the kindness he has shown me. Have a kosher and joyful Pesach and a good Shabbos.”
It was my privilege to say to him, “I agree completely and I stand, with gratitude, admiration, humility and love, corrected.”
This is especially relevant to Pesach where one of the main themes, as we remove and burn chametz (leaven) from our homes and hearts. We try, as much as possible, to excise our puffed-up self-image and arrogance, the illusion that not only are we always right, but that we possess 100% of TRUTH.
The very nature of Chavruta teaches every one of us that none of us know it all or are always right. It’s my privilege today to thank God for this small miracle, allowing me to enter Pesach this time around with a humility I previously lacked. A true chaver, friend, helps us complete ourselves, provides the tikkunim, repairs our souls require.
Chag Sameach to all.