The Mitzvah of Study

Torah study is regarded as the most important of all mitzvahs, because it opens the door for observance of the other mitzvahs. As the Talmud says: "The study of Torah is equal to the sum total of all other mitzvahs" (Shabbat 127a).

Rabbi Emanuel Feldman, in his book "On Judaism" (Shaar Press), beautifully explains the importance of Torah study: "Study of Torah is a specific mitzvah in Deuteronomy 6:7 (which we recite daily in the Shema): "You shall teach them diligently to your children" - which directs us to transmit Torah to the next generation... "and you shall speak of them (words of Torah) while you sit at home, while you walk on the way, when you go to bed and when you get up" - which directs us to study the Torah ourselves. This need to devote ourselves to knowing the Torah, to work at it, to strive to comprehend it, to give it first priority - is repeated over and over again throughout the Bible...

- From "Why Study Torah":