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The Elements of Jewish Living

Oh, How I Love Your Torah

By Rabbi Sender Haber

“Oh, how I love Your Torah. I speak of it all day”.

“Mah Ahavti Sorasecha. Kol Hayom Hi Sichasi”. (Psalms 119)

When King David said those words, he wasn’t referring to a class that he had taught, a psalm he had written, or a ruling that he had given. King David was referring to all of his conversations and thoughts during every hour of every day.

King David’s life revolved around Torah. If the Torah liked it – King David liked it; if the Torah did not like it – King David stayed away.

In King David’s life there was nothing more important or more beloved than Torah.

King David’s love of Torah has echoed throughout our existence. The Talmud in Menachos (18a) tells us that the holy tanna Rav Elazar shed tears when he saw the love that his student, Rav Yosef Habavli, had for Torah. “Torah scholars are fortunate”, he exclaimed, “Simply because the words of Torah are so dear to them”.

Rav Elazar understood the value of incorporating a love of Torah into every decision that we make. He saw in his student the epitome of the words of King David. He loved the Torah and everything in his life revolved around it.

Last week, I attended a wedding with my five year old son. As the band sang the words of Rav Elazar, I broke away from the circle and grabbed the right hand of one of the greatest Torah scholars alive today. He was too old to dance, but too engrossed in the happiness to walk away.  My son took the man’s left hand and slowly we formed our own little circle. We sang the words of King David and Rav Elazar to honor the greatness of Torah and the life of a man whose greatest joy is the study of Torah.

“Oh, how I love your Torah”, we sang, “I speak about it all day”.

As we held on tight to ‘our own’ Talmid Chacham, our voices and tears blended with those of tens of dedicated Torah scholars in the main circle. I closed my eyes and prayed that this moment would have its effect on me. I begged Hashem to give me the strength to live a life whose every decision is based on His desire. I prayed for a life with no distractions, no detours, and no misplaced priorities. I prayed that my son would learn to love the Torah as much as King David did. And I prayed that he would grow up with the knowledge that he had danced for and held the hand of a man who loved the Torah because his very life revolved around it.

The Talmud (Taanis 31) tells us that in the future G-d will surround Himself with Torah scholars. They will form a circle and dance exuberantly in the knowledge that they chose well. They will glow with the contentment of men who have lived a life that revolved around the Torah.

“Ashreichem talmidei chachamim, shedivrei torah chavivim aleichem b’yoser”

“Torah scholars are fortunate, simply because the words of Torah are so very dear to them”.

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