The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, fervently encouraged all Jewish children to study and commit to memory twelve verses culled from every area of Torah wisdom and literature. Each passage – Infinite wisdom condensed – was thoughtfully selected with children in mind, and presents a fundamental lesson for a Jew’s daily service of G-d in a clear and concise way, that can be contemplated and discussed anywhere. The Lubavitcher Rebbe was one Jewish leader who had full confidence in the power of youth to make incredible positive impact, and to inspire and teach their friends, too! Hashem believes in YOU to be an ambassador of light, and invites you to become a soldier in His army, with a mission to increase goodness and holiness wherever you go… and reciting the Twelve Torah Pessukim is a fantastic place to start! Come on a journey with me, as I too learn these timeless citations alongside their inner meaning, then how we can apply and take them to heart!
Note from the author: When it comes to making a general statement about people, although I often tend to make pronoun-references in the masculine form (e.g. him, his, he, etc.), please bear in mind the concepts discussed are equally relevant to girls and women.
“TORAH TZIVA LANU MOSHE MORASHA KEHILLAS YAAKOV – THE TORAH THAT MOSES COMMANDED US IS THE HERITAGE OF THE CONGREGATION OF JACOB.” (Deutoronomy/Devarim 33:4)
It is halachically incumbent upon a parent to teach his child Torah from the moment he can speak, commencing with “Torah tziva lanu Moshe morasha Kehillas Yaakov – The Torah that Moses commanded us is the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.” In the manner of yerusha (inheritance), the heir technically acquires the inheritance from the moment of his birth, and based alone on the fact that he is the rightful heir. Likewise, solely because “Banim atem l’Hashem Elokeichem – Your are children to the Lord your G-d,” and all equally descendants of Israel (i.e. Yaakov), every single Jew from the moment they enter this world, varying intellect or other external factors notwithstanding, become rightful owners of the Torah; it’s our treasure and guide to life, providing relevant lessons at every age and stage. Our Yetzer Hara (negative inclination) likes to scoff at us: “You are merely a child! What kind of connection do you imagine you have to Torah? Why is it so important for you to live according to it?” The child counters it clearly, for he recognizes his deep connection to the Torah right upon his birth; it’s the inheritance of Kehillas Yaakov – every Jew – and he learns it with the greatest enthusiasm and focus, and influences his friends to learn joyously as well! “Torah Tziva Lanu, etc.” empowers us to recognize one needn’t be a certain age or a specific master of anything to acquire Torah, and to use your G-d-given voice to express it; Torah is ours to live and learn, to teach and inspire others – so don’t allow your Yetzer to discourage you otherwise!
—Have a wonderful week!
Tzipporah @ the JGU Leadership Institute, and Teens Talk Torah Online
P.S. Did you enjoy this article? Looking forward to keeping you posted with more to come; but hey, you too can write for JGU (we love meeting and publishing for our girls, newbie and seasoned creators alike), or dabble in these awesome topics! Do you have some vacant time on your hands during the week? If so, come join us online to learn authentically and gain vital Torah-study skills, LIVE at our classes for high school girls; click here for more info, or email JewishGirlsUnite@gmail.com anytime.