Vayikra. Do you have time to Think?
When you look at a book or any page of text, beyond, around and between the print, there are margins, spacing and paragraph breaks. Why are these important? This is known as the “white space” without which the eye finds it difficult to focus and to absorb the content of what has been written.
In the Torah too, the words are divided into paragraphs, with halakhically mandated margins, paragraphs, and breaks between sections. In his opening remarks to Parshat Vayikra, Rashi reflects upon the purpose of the subdivisions and paragraphing in the Torah, assuming that these divisions were part of the original transmission of Torah, as God taught Moses the Law. He writes:
“And what purpose did these subsections serve? To give Moses an interval for reflection between one division and another and between one subject and another — something which is all the more necessary for an ordinary man receiving instruction from an ordinary man.” (Rashi)
Moses needed the breathing space, these moments of reflection. And as Rashi suggests, if Moses needed this pause when he studied with God, we too need space and time to think, to process, to reflect after he we have studied something new. The “white space” gives room for thought, the opportunity to absorb and internalize the information.
We too need space and time to think, to process, to reflect after he we have studied something new.
This is not true only regarding the written medium. In a blog about oratory skills, the following advice is given:
“Using a pause or a strategic bit of sil