I, like many other Chabad Jews, study Torah daily. It’s a part of my routine; the normal start to my day. But it wasn’t until this morning that I stopped to think of the importance of this ritual, of its meaning, and the power it holds. It isn’t just a matter of reading. It isn’t even just studying. It’s my way of connecting to Hashem.
Mornings are busy; bustling, even. Someone always over sleeps, I can rarely find everything I need, and making different breakfasts for barely awake yet extremely fussy people often ends in frustration and despair. But amidst all this chaos, I take some time to myself and I study Torah. I read the Chumash and commentary, and try my hardest to understand it, to know it. Then I read the Hayom Yom and Tanya, and attempt to interpret the Chassidic wisdom found there. I’ve always found the Tanya slightly difficult to understand, but by spending time with it, and trying to research the concepts found there, I form a connection with the Chassidus. And finally, I say Tehillim. Many of these Psalms have special meanings and powers, and I keep those who are ill or in distress in my mind as I read them. It’s my way of imploring G-d for Divine intervention.
But what does all this mean? Why do I take the time to do this, when I’m already running late? Why can’t it wait until later?
A while ago, I saw an advert for a series of shiurim. It read, “Start Your Day The Torah Way!”. It showed images of a number of rabbonim, and invited potential listeners to explore a new way to start their day. Every time it’s a chaotic morning, and I’m struggling to find the time to read or concentrate, I think back to that advert, and its tag line. I’m starting the day as I wish to go on. Do I want a day of a Torah wisdom, of mitzvos, of frumkeit? If so, I have to make an effort to begin the day with those very things. By studying, saying Tehillim, and davening, I’m setting myself up for a day in which I can feel close to my Creator, and execute His will.