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Why should I study Torah?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


Library » Torah » G-d's Wisdom | Subscribe | What is RSS?


The primary reason for studying Torah is not because of the use we receive from the knowledge we are obtaining. Rather we study Torah because Torah is G-d's wisdom and when we study Torah we are uniting our minds and ourselves with G-d through His Torah. The unity with G-d which is achieved through Torah study is much greater than the unity which is attained through doing mitzvahs.

Is there anything greater than uniting with your Creator, who is constantly sustaining you, giving you life and everything else which you take for granted?
So what is greater: dabbling in all sorts of temporary physical pleasures which in the long run will offer you no satisfaction or benefit, or uniting with your Creator, who is constantly sustaining you, giving you life and everything else which you take for granted?


Please email me when new comments are posted (you must be  logged in).


Torah Study

Posted by: Jonathan Klein, Atlanta, GA on Jan 27, 2005

I understand that Torah study is one of the most important mitzvot, but N. Silberberg says that it is more important than doing the mitzvot that you study. Or did I misunderstand?

I thought that Torah study was to educate people so that they can DO the mitzvot, not just look at them. How can we shape the world, be involved in Tikkun Olam, if all we do is sit and learn? We are to be a light unto nations, not a light unto the Bais Midrash only.

Any response is welcome. You have a nice website. Keep up the good work.

Editor's Comment

It is true that, ultimately, our purpose in life is to do the Mitzvot, thus elevating the entire world. However, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi writes in the Tanya, that whereas both Torah study and Mitzvot create a unity between Man and His Creator, the unity achieved through Torah is much greater and deeper. [See Tanya chapters 5 and 23, available online at
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.