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August 5, 2013 / conservadox

Dvar Torah – Shofetim

“When he [an Israelite king]is seated on his royal throne, he shall have a copy of this Teaching written for him….” (Deut. 17:18).

Tigay writes that the literal meaning of this passage is that the king writes a copy himself from an original given to him by priests.  Why?  Because (citing the 1st-century Egyptian scholar Philo) “writing makes a more lasting impression than does merely reading.”

That’s certainly true in my own experience: in fact, I write this blog in fact so I can internalize what I read about the weekly Torah portion, and also to create a kind of idea bank so that I have my memories at my fingertips after I forget what I have written.

In a more secular context, writing out your knowledge is also helpful.  For example, when I studied for the bar exam, I not only read outlines of the subjects I was studying but also wrote mini-outlines describing those subjects in my own words.  (I passed both of the bar exams I have taken; on the other hand I can’t prove a causal relationship).

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