> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Rabbi Avraham Twerski's Insights on the Torah

Never-Ending Torah

V'Zot HaBracha (Deuteronomy 33-34 )


And by all the strong hand and awesome power that Moses performed before the eyes of all Israel” (Deut. 34:12).
“In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

On Simchat Torah we conclude the cycle of the annual reading of the Torah and promptly read the first portion of Genesis, initiating the cycle for the coming year. There is no break in Torah. Torah is like a circle, without beginning and without end.

Torah is the wisdom of God. Rambam states that in contrast to man, whose wisdom is acquired, God's wisdom is one with God Himself (Hilchos Teshuvah 5:5). Just as God is infinite, with no beginning and no end, so is Torah without beginning or end.

The uninterrupted continuity of Torah also means that there can be no part of life that is separated from Torah. We observe Torah not only when we study Torah and perform mitzvot, but also when we eat, sleep, engage in commerce or in any other activity. Not only are there guidelines in Torah for every facet of human behavior, but everything we do should be directed toward the goal of observance of Torah.

Torah is the heart of a Jew and is the heart of Judaism. There is no Jewish life without Torah.

The last letter in the Torah is lamed. The first letter of the Torah is beit. The continuity of Torah juxtaposes these two letters, lamed and beit, to form the word lev (heart). The continuity of Torah teaches us that Torah is our heart, individually and collectively.

Not only is the heart indispensable to life, but the heart also distributes nourishment to the entire body. Torah provides the spiritual nourishment that enables us to be spiritual beings rather than simply homo sapiens, hominoids with some intellect. It is the Torah that gives us the distinction and the dignity of being human.

Inasmuch as the Torah is a reflection of God, when one absorbs Torah, one introjects, as it were, God. Moses, whose entire existence was Torah, earned the title “the man of God” (Deuteronomy 33:1). When Rambam says that “every person can be like Moses,” he means that every person can become Godly to the extent that one absorbs Torah.

In the blessing for the reading of the Torah, we say, “He implanted eternal life within us.” We have the capacity to be eternal with Torah.

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