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Blessings Book
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Hebrew for Christians
Blessing for Torah Study

La'asok be'divrei Torah -

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Customary Blessing before Torah Study

Oh how I love your Torah! It is my meditation all the day. - Psalm 119:97

IT IS CUSTOMARY to recite a blessing before engaging in Talmud Torah - the study of the Torah. In the following blessing, note that the word la'asok means to engage, or to immerse oneself (it comes from the Hebrew root which means "busy"). This blessing, then is about 'busying' ourselves with the study of Torah, taking heed of God's instruction for our lives:

Blessed art thou, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who
sanctifies us with Thy commandments and commanded us
to engross ourselves in the words of the Torah.

Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher
kiddeshanu be'mitzvotav, ve'tzivanu la'asok be'divrei Torah.

Hebrew Blessing Study Card:

Before Torah Study

The sages ask why the word la'asok (לַעֲסוֹק) is used rather than lomed (to learn, to study) in this blessing. Why not say, ... vetzitvanu lomed be'divrei Torah? They answer that while not everyone has the time or energy to study the Torah as implied by the word lomed (לוֹמֵד), everyone can attend to, be engaged in, be immersed with, and otherwise be busy in matters of practicing the Torah.... Hence, la'asok!

Note: Click here for the synagogue version of the blessing (Birkat HaTorah).

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