discussing personal events because I feel that the focus should really be on the bigger picture.
ME: I understand. The reason I like to ask about Rebbi’s background is because our readers would benefit from con- text when we discuss the next point, which is the universal rule that greatness in Torah requires effort, no matter whom you are or where you come from.
R.A.W. Right that is always true [smiles very deeply]. Chaz- al tell us that if a family produces three consecutive genera- tions of Torah scholars, then the Torah is guaranteed to ‘re- turns to its roost’ and the fourth generation will most likely produce Torah scholars as well. I have three generations, in- cluding my father who is a Gadol baTorah, Hagaon Rav Moshe Walkin. However, no one can come along and claim a monopoly on Torah. Torah needs to be acquired with mesirut nefesh and a lot of work and sacrifice. And this ef- fort is measured for each person, individually. For some people, the sacrifice can be as simple as coming to Yeshiva to learn.
In this community particularly, I feel that the effort expend- ed is the decision to just come to Yeshiva and learn. There are so many distractions and competing mindsets that it’s truly impressive that people in the Bukharian community take out time to learn Torah in Yeshiva. Parenthetically, people ‘born into the system’ may have to struggle with oth- er kinds of impediments. Torah takes a lot of will power, it’s never easy. The Medrash Tanchuma states that one who learns Torah clearly loves Hashem, because otherwise he