ויאמרו כל אשר דבר ה’ נעשה ונשמע וגו’ … כד-ז
Two of the most significant words in Jewish history are surely: “נעשה ונשמע” – the words spoken by all Jews on Har Sinai, so many years ago. And yet, these two words hold the key to a true acceptance of the Torah, for each and every one of us.
“נעשה” – “We will do,” refers to fulfillment of the mitzvos in the Torah – putting the Torah into practice. “נשמע” – “We will hear,” is the study of Torah for its own sake. And if one should think that this type of learning is any less important than the type that leads to action, he must realize that there are certain mitzvos in the Torah that will never actually be performed – for example a “בן סורר ומורה” – a rebellious son (סנהדרין עא.) – and yet we study these laws like we would any other mitzvah!
It is because Torah study is not simply a means to an end – it is our ultimate goal! Secular studies is made for the sole purpose of becoming “something” in life – a doctor, a lawyer, etc. However, Torah is nothing less than the goal itself! The Zohar identifies the Torah with Hashem Himself, and every letter of Torah, every second of Torah study – a Jew incorporates Hakadosh Boruch Hu into himself! He becomes ONE with Hashem!
Some parents would rather provide their children with a secure financial future, and be less concerned with the level of their children’s Torah education, because they don’t feel like they see “tangible” results. However, exhorts Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski Shlit’a, what these parents must also realize is that they have a responsibility to provide their children with a “goal” in life, just as much as they provide them a “means” for life! And Torah is a Jew – every Jew’s – ultimate goal.