רַבִּי אַבָּהוּ אָמַר זֶה שִׁפּוּטָהּ שֶׁל תּוֹרָה, שֶׁאָדָם לָמֵד תּוֹרָה וְשׁוֹכְחָהּ. רַבָּנָן דְּתַמָּן בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי יִצְחָק דְּהָכָא וְרַבִּי טוֹבִיָּה בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי יִצְחָק, לְטוֹבָתוֹ אָדָם לָמֵד תּוֹרָה וְשׁוֹכֵחַ, שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה אָדָם לָמֵד תּוֹרָה וְלֹא שׁוֹכְחָה, הָיָה מִתְעַסֵּק בַּתּוֹרָה שְׁתַּיִם שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים וְחוֹזֵר וּמִתְעַסֵּק בִּמְלַאכְתּוֹ, וְלֹא הָיָה מַשְׁגִּיחַ בָּהּ לְעוֹלָם כָּל יָמָיו, אֶלָּא מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁאָדָם לָמֵד תּוֹרָה וְשׁוֹכְחָה, אֵינוֹ מֵזִיז וְאֵינוֹ מֵזִיעַ אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי תוֹרָה.
Rabbi Abbahu said: The verse..."It is difficult work that God has given to people to be involved in" (Ecclesiastes 1:13) refers to the way Torah-study works -- people study it and they forget it.
The Rabbis said in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak, and Rabbi Tuvia said in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak: It is beneficial for them to study and then forget for if they studied and did not forget, they would spend only two or three years involved in Torah-study, and then go back to their jobs. Then they would never again pay attention to Torah. But since people study Torah and forget it, they never lose contact with words of Torah.
Reish Lakish died; R. Yochanan missed him sorely. Rabanan sent R. Elazar to replace him, for he was very sharp. Whatever R. Yochanan said, he found a support for it. R. Yochanan said: You are no replacement! Reish Lakish would ask 24 questions against whatever I said. I would give 24 answers, and learning increased; You only support me. I already know that I teach according to the Halacha!
וְאוֹמֵר (שמות לב) וְהַלֻּחֹת מַעֲשֵׂה אֱלֹהִים הֵמָּה וְהַמִּכְתָּב מִכְתַּב אֱלֹהִים הוּא חָרוּת עַל הַלֻּחֹת, אַל תִּקְרָא חָרוּת אֶלָּא חֵרוּת, שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בֶן חוֹרִין אֶלָּא מִי שֶׁעוֹסֵק בְּתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה.
Furthermore, it says (Exodus 32:16): "And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tablets," do not read "graven" (harut) but rather "freedom" (herut), for there is no free man except one that involves himself in Torah learning
Just as the Community of Israel develops its special qualities to their full extent only in the land of Israel, so does each Jew only develop his special spiritual qualities by means of the Torah. The Torah is the spiritual holy land, corresponding to the unique nature of the Jewish soul. All other areas of knowledge are like other lands, and relate as such to the soulful greatness of the nation of Israel.
Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk
If you truly wish your children to study Torah, study it yourself in their presence. They will follow your example. Otherwise, they will not themselves study Torah, but will simply instruct their children to do so.
One time, R. Tarfon, R. Akiva, and R. Yose the Galilean were reclining to dine at Beit Aris, near Lod. A question was raised before them: Which is greater -- study (of Torah) or deeds (of Torah)? Said R. Tarfon: Deeds are greater. R. Akiva said: Study is great. Everyone else [at the table] replied saying: Study is greater, since study leads to deeds. R. Yose the Galilean said: Study is great, for the obligation of Torah-study preceded [the actual observance of] the Dough-offering by forty years, [the observance of] the Tithes by fifty four years, [the observance of] the Sabbatical cycles by sisty one years, and [the observance of] the Jubilees by a hundred and three years. And just as He punished neglect of study more than neglect of deeds, so, too, He gave a reward for study greater than that given for deeds. And He says: "And He gave them populous lands, and the labor of nations they inherited, by virtue of presrving His laws" )Ps. 105:44-45) -- the reward for deeds is the worldly, while that for study is eternal life.