The Jewish Eye
The Vilna Gaon: Are You a “Lamdan”?
When we were in Yeshiva one of our Rebbe'im would joke that there are two kinds of bochurim in the Shiur. There is the “Rosh Yeshiva” and the "Rosh Yeshiva Type”. The Rosh Yeshiva was the bochur who would sit and learn all day, ask questions, and was the best boy in the Shiur. The Rosh Yeshiva “type” would spend all his time giving drashos about the Chashivus of learning and the Chavivus HaTorah, etc. but he was so busy “darshening” that you never actually saw him sitting in front of a Gemara learning.
It is said in the name of the Vilna Gaon that a Lamdan is not someone who is smart and “knows” how to learn, a Lamdan is someone who actually does learn. Just like the word means; Lomed, to learn. He proves this from the word “Gazlan”. No one is called a Gazlan because he is smart and knows how to steal. You are only a Gazlan if you actually steal.
No matter what you do, where you come from, or who you are, you can open up your gemara and earn yourself the coveted title “Lamdan”!
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