1,015. Honoring Torah Scholars

144:2 Leviticus 19:32 says, “You shall rise before the white head and honor the face of the elder.” “Elder” is understood to mean a Torah scholar as per Numbers 11:16, “Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel,” and there we see that they must certainly be wise men as the verse continues, “whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them.” It is therefore a positive mitzvah to stand up before a Torah scholar who is distinguished in his learning even if he is not advanced in years and not his rebbe. It is also a mitzvah to stand up before the elderly, i.e., someone who is seventy years old, even if he is ignorant so long as he is not evil. Even when it comes to a non-Jewish elder, one must speak politely to him and offer him a hand for support.

144:3 If three were walking together, the rebbe should walk in the middle and the other two should walk behind him, one on either side of him. The more important one should walk on the right and the less important one on the left.