“Whoever learns Torah for the pure sake of Torah study merits many things.Not only this, but he is considered as if all of the entire universe was worth creating and sustaining for him alone.” — Rabbi Meir (Avot 6:1)
The “many things” mentioned here are not the spiritual rewards that are detailed in the long list presented by Rabbi Meir in the continuation of his statement. The reference here is to all of the material blessings such as children, health and economic security.Since these blessings are merely instruments for achieving the goal of spiritual perfection Rabbi Meir refers to them in general terms and is specific only about the goal.
Not only is the entire world he lives in worthwhile because of the existence of this Torah scholar but also “all of the entire world” — the universe from the beginning of time — was created and sustained only for his sake.
- Midrash Shmuel