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July 23, 2014 | 25th Tamuz 5774

Jews who study Torah for its own sake (torah lishmah)

Gather the people--men, women, children, and the strangers in your communities--that they may hear and so learn to revere the Eternal, God, and to observe faithfully every word of this Teaching. (Deuteronomy 31:12)

Shammai said: make your study of Torah a regular practice. (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

Hillel said: Do not say, "I will study when I have leisure." Perhaps you will never have leisure. (Pirkei Avot 2:4)

These are the things whose fruits a person eats in this world while the capital remains for him in the world to come: honoring one's parents, the practice of loving-kindness, hospitality to strangers, and making peace between a person and his neighbor. And the study of Torah surpasses them all. (B Talmud, Kiddushin 39b)

Rabbi Alexandri said: He who studies Torah for its own sake makes peace in the household above and in the household below. Rav said: It is as though he built the Temple above and the Temple below. Rabbi Yohanan said: He shields the whole world, all of it, [from the consequences of sin]. Levi said: He also brings redemption nearer. (B Talmud, Sanhedrin 99b [Legends 414])

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