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Who has the greater merit from leaning?


I heard that an ignorant person who had no opportunity to learn or observe, has greater merit in starting to learn than the scholar who continues to learn although the scholar is at a higher level. The reason supposedly is that the ignorant person has a greater burden than the scholar.


The mishna tells that the rule with merit in heaven is “lifum tzara agra”- the reward goes according to the difficulty that one undergoes, in order to do that particular mitzva. A person that is ignorant has a very hard time starting because everything is foreign to him, therefore the reward for it is tremendous. On the other hand everyone has their difficulties that they have to overcome, and at the end of the day no one can really know who is undergoing more difficulty. We just have to try our best and we are assured that there is a great reward waiting for us.

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