Yoseph Janowski
By the Grace of G-d

Torah gives life

“Choose life,” the Torah says.

“Life and death I have placed before you, blessing and curse. Choose life, so that you and your children will live. To love the Lord your G-d, to listen to what He says, and to cleave to Him. For He is your life, the length of your days, to dwell on the land that G-d promised to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.” (Deuteronomy 30; 19-20).

Torah is called “Torat chaim,” Torah of life.

What is life? Is it just what we see in this physical world? Or is there more than meets the eye?

A teacher in Communist Russia (many decades ago, when the Communists tried to uproot religion) held up a pencil. “Do you see the pencil?”

“Yes,” replied the children.

“Then there is a pencil. Do you see this book.”


“Then there is a book. Does anyone see G-d?”


“Then you must agree that there is no G-d.”

One spunky student raised her hand. “Does anyone see the teacher’s intelligence?”

Because there is more to life than what meets the eye.

What is Torah? G-d’s wisdom. When we study Torah, we unite our minds with His wisdom. And with G-d.

The Alter Rebbe, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, explains in Tanya chapter 47: “For He gave us His Torah, and enclothed therein His will and wisdom, which is united with His Essence in an utmost unity, so it’s as if He has given us Himself, so to speak.”

When we study Torah and fulfill G-d’s Mitzvot (commandments), we are choosing true life and all its blessings, as we unite with G-d Almighty, the Source of all life

The Alter Rebbe explains elsewhere in Tanya, that there is a twofold happiness happening here. Because in addition to the happiness one feels being close to G-d, there is the tremendous joy (we feel) that G-d is happy, when we study Torah and do Mitzvot and thus participate in making this world a dwelling place for G-d, where His G-dliness shines.

So that very soon, the entire world will recognize G-d’s Oneness with everything. And all nations will appreciate G-d’s chosen nation, chosen to reveal His presence, ushering in the complete Redemption with Moshiach, when the whole world will come to see the fulfillment of G-d’s blessing to Abraham (Genesis 12; 1-3): “Go from your land … to the land that I will show you, and I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great, and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse; and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”

Indeed we are now seeing this blessing materialize, as the world benefits from Jewish innovation, and as Israel teaches the world moral clarity, based on G-d’s wisdom in the Torah of life and blessing, so that very soon, “the world will be filled with knowing G-d, like the water which covers the sea.” (Isaiah 11; 9)

May it happen very soon.

About the Author
The author lives in Toronto, Canada. He has written for