Our sedra sees the biblical source for making a bracha on the Torah (32;3 - 'when I call out the name of HaShem ascribe greatness to our G-D') - gemarra brachos 21a. Therefore, it seems like making a bracha on the Torah is a mitzvh from the Torah. However, the RambaM does not include it in his sefer hamitzvos for biblical miztvos, and the RambaN asks why on earth the RambaM misses out this mitzvah? The Aruch HaShulchan answers that the Rambam does indeed hold that birkas hatorah is a torah mitzvah...

Just the reason he did not include it separately in the sefer hamitzvos is that the Rambam holds that it is part of the mitzvah of learning Torah. We see from here that part of Talmud Torah is making a bracha on the Torah - ie that part of learning torah is appreciating that the Torah comes from HaShem and is a spiritual document of Higher Knowledge. This is why, says the sefer hachinuch (430) we make a bracha on the torah before learning but birkas hamazon is after eating. Because food is physical and we can get full and thanks HaShem after eating, but Torah is spiritual and we can thank HaShem before learning it. That's why , the gemarra says (nedarim 81a) the reason we got kicked out of Eretz Yisrael at the churban habayis rishon is that we didn't make the bracha on the Torah first, ie we did not appreciate the Torah as from HaShem. The bottom line: Appreciate Torah!




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