Rabbi Levi Avtzon
The Torah that Moses commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob. (Deuteronomy 33:4)
תּוֹרָה צִוָּה לָנוּ מֹשֶׁה מוֹרָשָׁה קְהִלַּת יַעֲקֹב. (דברים לג:ד)
What does that word conjure in your mind when you hear it?
Wisdom. Law. Stories. Tradition. Rabbis.
Policy. Deep learning. Generations. Sacrifice.
And the list goes on...
Some of the above are more accurate than others. But they all have something in common:
They are not the literal translation of the word Torah.
What does the word Torah actually mean?
Let's think of words that sound similar.
"Morah" and "Moreh" - teacher.
"Hora'ah" - lesson.
"Hore" - parent / guide.
Torah is a teacher of lessons. It's a teacher for life. Gives a WHY, WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE to our lives and a purpose.
It's a guide of how to maximize our potential and our power as Jews and human beings.
It's the manual created by the Manufacturer (G-d) on how the human being can fulfill their ultimate potential in this world.
In simple English: Hashem created the world, the human being and the Torah; and they are all interdependent.
The world and the individual only actualize their potential when they are in sync.
Torah brings synchronization to our reality. It allows us and those around us to be our best selves. It's the road map for the world at its best.
Torah, when practiced according to its intention, (unfortunately, religion like any other human experience can be used for ulterior motives, and can be a tool for harm and hurt, but when practiced and studied with its own intention) illuminates human relationships, with oneself and with all those s/he comes into contact with.
Some people think that life comes without a manual. How false. Life has a manual created by the very Manufacturer of life itself.
Torah is life, a gift from the Creator. Open it - it's waiting for you and me.