“From the time when Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai died, the glory of wisdom ceased.”
– Talmud, Sotah 49a
“I do not know what ‘glory of wisdom’ means.” – Rashi
Why the need to tell us that he doesn’t know what it means? Why not just say nothing?
I am reminded of a story my father told me about his time in university. He recalled that sometimes it would happen that a student would ask a question that the professor, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, did not know the answer to. Rabbi Riskin would say, “I don‘t know,” and then would proceed to write the question down in a small notebook, often returning the following day with an answer.
Perhaps a message is that in order to achieve the glory of wisdom, I must first be able to admit that I don‘t know.