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17: Learning and Teaching Torah

By Rabbi Moshe Goldberger

Teach them [the words of Torah] to your children. (Devarim 6:7)

One is obligated to develop a clarity in Torah study. The Torah uses an unusual word, veshinantam, in the above verse, to teach us that one is obligated to repeat his learning so that it is clear and precise.

No matter whether one is poor or rich, young or old, ill or well, one is obligated to have a set time for learning, by day and by night (Rambam, Hilchos Talmud Torah 1:8). One is also obligated to teach his children and grandchildren Torah (ibid., 1–2).

Torah study exceeds all other mitzvos. We need to make Torah study the most important priority of our daily life. The Rambam (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:3) ex- plains that this is because learning leads to fulfillment. Thus, if one has a choice between doing a mitzvah or studying, he should not interrupt his Torah study if the mitzvah can be done by others.

Rabbeinu Yonah teaches that when one studies Torah, he should arouse himself to improve his ways and deeds (Shaarei Teshuvah 2:13).

Our primary purpose in life is to study and know Hashem’s Torah. There is no limit to how much time one should spend on his studies, since the gain is eternal (Chafetz Chaim, Likutei Halachos, Yoma 34b).

There are six final questions which a person will be asked upon leaving this world (Shabbos 31a). Three of them relate to Torah study:

• Did you have a set schedule for daily Torah study?

• Did you engage in Torah analysis?

• Did you deduce one lesson from another?

When we hear the Torah reading in shul,we should listen intently and realize that the words are Hashem’s words to us!


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger and Torah.org.


 


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