Why Torah Requires Toil

Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim

If you go in My laws, and observe My commandments and perform them (Lev. 26:3)

Rashi comments:

One might think “follow My laws” refers to the fulfillment of the commandments. But since Torah states next “observe My commandments and perform them,” it is obvious that these latter words refer to the fulfillment of the commands. How then must I explain “If you go in My laws”? It means that you should study the Torah laboriously. 

Rashi refers to toiling in Torah study. Why is this degree of energy and thought required? One reason is because the Author’s depth of thought requires it. Another reason references the Torah student’s dedication and thirst for wisdom, which is expressed in laborious study. Meaning, Torah is studied properly only when one is awed by God and His wisdom, and applies all his strength to uncover marvels. For he has learned from his experience that Torah contains marvels at every turn. One digging for gold is not passive, his value of his anticipated treasures leave him without rest, and compel his earnest hunt. It is as King Solomon said, “If you seek it like silver and chase it as buried treasures, then you will understand fear of God, and you will find God’s wisdom” (Proverbs 2:4,5). God’s wisdom is immense, and its nature is that it unfolds endlessly over time. The immensity and brilliance of Torah require toil, as does the nature of Torah study.