When I was becoming frum, I learned about mitzvos. They were the big challenge: shabbos, niddah, kashrus. Now all I hear about it Limud Torah, as if it's the only mitzvah. I hear often, Limud Torah is the greatest mitzvah. What's the source for this I ask people. They say, "Talmud Torah c'neged culam." This doesn't seem a good source. Cneged doesn't mean greater. It doesn't even mean equal as "shekul" should be a better word for that. R' Joseph Soloveitchik said "Talmud Torah c'neged culam" doesn't mean Torah is greater than mitzvos but it teaches us about mitzvos, helping us to do them. (The Rav Thinking Aloud, p. 69) This explanation goes better with the word cneged. Additionally, there are other statements of chazal such as "tzit tzit are equal to all the other mitzvos" and "yishuv ha'aretz is equal to all the other mitzvos." I asked a Rav recently who told me the source is a posuk somewhere that says "the purpose of the world is Torah study." But the Vilna Gaon, even shelaimh, 1, says the purpose is to fix middos.
So is there a source for this idea that Torah study is the greatest mitzvah?
I find the whole concept of Torah study as everything a tremendous turnoff considering I have to spend 65 hours a week earning a living and I start wondering why I'm working so hard to keep mitzvos when they are not important.