“ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה הזאת”
“And now, write for yourselves this song.”
It is with these words that Moshe Rabeinu introduces the last of the 613 Mitzvos. We are all commanded to write a Torah scroll for ourselves. For those that are not qualified themselves, they may engage the services of a Sofer, and thereby fulfill the Mitzvah.
The Talmud in Sanhedrin, while delineating a number of technical components of this law, tells us that the obligation to write a new scroll is incumbent even on an individual who may own a Torah that was left to him by his ancestors. The Talmud bases this law on the word “לכם” (for you), explaining that the obligation is for the individual to toil in this endeavor.
The Rabbi Benyamin Sofer, in his commentary K’sav Soferto this verse explains several messages implied by the Torah’s choice of words.
Firstly, the Torah is not a birthright reserved only for the descendants of a particular family. Rather it is available to all who strive to accomplish in Torah study.
Secondly, an individual may not rely on his ancestors’ accomplishments in the area of Torah study. Each one of us is required to pursue a life of growth and accomplishment in Torah and spirituality. As we begin a new year (and a new School Year), it is a time to renew our own commitment to the study and practice of the Torah and its ideals. May we all merit achieving this lofty goal.