Learning, the Activity that Gives Purpose and Dignity to Everyday Life

I've just finished reading Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky, director of the
National Yiddish Book Center. The role of books and reading in the life of Jewish immigrants as described by Lansky is an inspiration to us all: "Sam and Leah shared a passionate commitment to culture and learning l'shma, for its own sake, for the simple joy and ennoblement of knowledge...they represented a tradition common among Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe:halb-inteligentn, homegrown intellectuals for whom learning was not the exclusive province of the academy but the fountainhead of the home, the activity that gave dignity and purpose to everyday life." (p. 1160).