Talmud Torah is greater than all the other mitzvahs combined (Nefesh hachaim etc. And many other sources that say this), But how far does it go? Is one word of learning greater than keeping a full day of Shabbos? Or resisting yetzer hara for arayos ? Or is it just greater than ‘most’ mitzvos but not literally ‘all’..

  • No. "... Al havoda, Al hatorah, v'al gimilea chasadim" all 3 are needed to serve Hashem
    – Dude
    Jun 24, 2018 at 22:39
  • Tzitzit is also valued as much as all the other Mitzvot
    – Double AA
    Jun 24, 2018 at 22:58
  • 4
    Even if Talmud Torah is literally k'neged kulam, the halacha still is that we are mevatel Torah to perform a mitzvah (generally speaking). So the word "trump" might not be the best word in this context.
    – Alex
    Jun 24, 2018 at 23:12
  • 1
    The way I see it: the various statements in Chazal, each deeming different things "which outweighs the rest of the Torah" is like saying "gas is the car's most important element", "the steering wheel is the most important", "the tires are the most important" etc. They're all integral parts which the car cannot operate without. So too these mamare Chazal are just to emphasize each one's importance. The Torah is the most important for the simple reason that without it one can't know God's will and live like a Jew.
    – Oliver
    Jun 25, 2018 at 0:45
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    Jun 25, 2018 at 2:45

1 Answer 1


The opinion of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik is quoted by R. David Holzer:

The Rav Thinking Aloud p. 70

[DH:] What do we mean by תלמוד תורה כנגד כולם?

It is not that this mitzvah is equal to all the mitzvos, but rather that it brings the person to do all the other mitzvos. The whole purpose of the limud is that it comes to asiah, and asiah is the ikkur.

  • The Rambam explains the Mishnah like this.
    – user9643
    Jun 25, 2018 at 0:00
  • Which volume of Thinking Aloud is this from?
    – DonielF
    Jun 25, 2018 at 3:22
  • @DonielF The first one (genral discussions, not on the parshah).
    – Alex
    Jun 25, 2018 at 4:08

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