Searching and Finding
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 16, 2015, Israel

The words of my father are still with me. Certain phrases he liked to use, words of the rabbis that he liked to repeat in daily conversation. When the words of our ancestors become our own speech we are blessed and so are they. Imagine, something you said will be part of a conversation taking place between two men two thousand years after your demise, can you imagine that?

In the Babylonian Talmud we read of Rabbi Isaac, identified as "Rabbi Isaac the Smith" as that is what he did for a living. He was born in Israel in the second century but studied in the academies of Babylon, most likely he came into contact with my own ancestors who lived there as well.

He is quoted as saying, If a man tells you 'I have searched hard, I have made an effort and become weary, but I have not found - do not believe him; I have not searched hard but I have found - Do not believe him, I have searched hard and I have found - believe him'"

ואמר רבי יצחק: אם יאמר לך אדם "יגעתי ולא מצאתי" - אל תאמן; "לא יגעתי ומצאתי" - אל תאמן; "יגעתי ומצאתי" – תאמן;

My father would quote these words often, it was part of his regular pattern of speech. The idea being that nothing good comes without really searching for it. If someone tells you they came across an amazing discovery but did not toil for it, do not trust them. Good things come with hard work.

If you say I worked hard but did not achieve anything, do not trust these words.

If we were doing homework or reading something, and gave up saying, I do not get it, I did not find it. No, this is unacceptable, go back, look again, for one who says I have searched but have not found is not to be believed. You clearly did not search hard enough, you did not study long enough, you did not delve deep enough. Go back and study!

I have found in our Krav Maga training that many give up easily on a technique. They try it a few times, it did not make perfect sense to them, they were not able to perform it as well as the teacher, so lets' drop it, forget it.

They write to me, "This one does not work".

Really? How hard have you tried? How many times did you view the video?  (See below our Krav On Line Program), how much of an effort did you make? Did you just give it a little causal effort and give up? deciding that the instructor who taught this to you knows nothing? Perhaps you should try harder, dig deeper and try to understand the technique.

Of course, we always question and challenge, but in the correct spirit.

Let's go back to the Talmud. Questions and debates are the core of our study. Arguments can get loud and emotional, which is great. But first one has to know what he is talking about. First one must study long and hard, otherwise you just make a fool of yourself. Talmud is the study of law, before one debates in law, he must be well versed. It is the same with Krav Maga.

So, when someone tells me in a flippant way..This one does not work, I smile and laugh and think back to my dear father, I hear his words, the words of Rabbi Isaac from 1,800 years ago...If one tells you he has searched but not found - Do not believe him.

Now go and study.

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