My dear talmidim,
At shul, in an introductory shiur to parshas Devarim, I asked what can/should a talmid “see”.
Chazal gives an advice for the talmid to gain real knowledge from his Rebbe.
The Gemara in Kereisos (daf 6a) says that talmidim should חזו לפומיה דרבכון
B’pshat, literally looking at the Rebbe’s mouth during the lesson helps keep the talmid’s focus.
However, it goes deeper than this. For the objective is to receive and absorb knowledge (דעת).
In fact, the essence of this is not even simple knowledge, but true “knowing” (דעת).
Knowing means the union of mental and emotional faculties necessary for acting on the matter.
One cannot act on anything successfully without “knowing” the issue.
Knowing/knowledge is a deep integration of all of our understanding of a reality.
The Rebbe brings this level of knowledge, a precious gift. Therefore, the talmid must pay attention.
When the talmidim achieve knowing/knowledge, the raise their level of consciousness.
This is true growth, and not mere studying an “interesting” subject.
Raising the level of consciousness directly means raising your level of kedusha.
Amazingly, the gematria of חזו לפומיה דרבכון is 474, which is the gematria of דעת.
Moreover, the gematria of the reshei tevot (חלד) is 42, an important number in Torah.
See, 42 is the gematria of a Shem Kodesh, the Shem Mem-Bet. (See Talmud, Kidushin 71a).
There is much that could be explained regarding this Shem–Kodesh, but it is a Shem of ascent.
B’ruchniyut, it is through this Shem that our prayers and thoughts are raised to Shamayim.
This is why after sections of tefillah, we say Ana B’Koach, which corresponds to the Shem Mem-Bet.
We say this prayer on the קריאת שמע על המטה to ensure our neshamos are raised at sleep.
As such, when the talmid pays attention to the Rebbe’s mouth, he gains knowledge and ascension.
Also know that the talmid receive a ruach from the Rebbe, which connects them together.
This is why the respect owed to the Torah teacher is even greater than to our own fathers.
(See Pirkei Avos 4:12; Shulchan Aruch YD 242:1, 16 etc.).