Can you please explain more about the importance of Torah in our lives?


As the Divine word to humankind, the Torah is important to our lives in the following three ways:

1) As an ‘instruction manual’ for how to relate to the world. Hashem tells us by means of the Torah of which deeds are good for us and for our world, and which deeds are not. Although we cannot always discern how the deeds we do have positive (or negative) effects, these effects are present on a spiritual level, and there are no deeds that we do which do not have a consequence. In tandem with being the instruction manual for the world, it is also the means by which we earn our ‘reward’ for the World to Come. The instruction of the Torah are tiimeless, and they are as pertinent to the modern world as they were to the ancient world. Being Divine, the instruction are perfectly matched to human nature, and bring much joy to those who follow them with faith.

2) The Mishnah teaches that the giving of the Torah was like a wedding between Israel and Hashem. Aside from its instruction, the Torah embodies the relationship between God and Israel, His cherished people. The Gemara teaches further that when God gave us the Torah, he gave us ‘himself.’ By clinging to the ways of the Torah, we cling to the ways of God, and we ‘consummate,’ as it were, our special relationship with Him.

3) One of the most common requests of the Shabbos and festival prayers is that God should ‘grant us our portion in the Torah.’ Each member of Israel has a portion of Torah, which defines his fundamental purpose in life. The way in which one person fulfills the Torah is not the same as the way another does so, and each person’s portion, be it in the way in which he fulfiills the Torah, the special circumstances of his life, or the particular mitzvos in which he finds strength and inspiration. Our portion in Torah is the purpose that we were created for, and the Mishnaic teaching whereby “all of Israel have a portion in the world to come” is directly related to the fact that each member of Israel has an individual portion of Torah. Of this we state (in the nighttime prayer) that the Torah is “our lives, and the length of our days.”

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