(During a Jewish leap-year: 13 Adar II - בִּשְׁנַת הָעִיבּוּר - י"ג אדר בּ)
In [this Chapter, we] shall Explain [Concerning] the Great Obligation [that one has] to Support those who Learn Torah, as well as [of] The Greatness of the Reward for [Supporting those who Study Torah]
Behold, based on all of that which we have written at length concerning the greatness of the attributes of The Torah, it being the essence of everything, we are consequently able to understand [concerning] the greatness of the obligation to support The Torah so that it should not decline.
It is not merely those people who are busied in the affairs of the world, who, definitely, in any case, are required to encourage themselves [to contribute] to this great matter [of involvement in Torah study], in order to rescue themselves from the great punishment of being idle from [involvement in] the study of Torah. [This follows] that which Rabbeinu Yonah said in “The Letter of Tishuvah” – “Iggeres HaTishuvah”, as follows: “One who wishes to be rescued from the bitter sin and this great punishment [of being idle from Torah study], will involve himself in [providing for] the needs of the students [who learn Torah] and [of] the rabbis… in order [so] that they will remain in his city, and that they will be involved in Torah [study] based on his [support. Concerning the above], our Rabbis of Blessed Memory have explained in “Sifrei”, [as follows]: “Concerning this [support of Torah study], the pasuk states, “It is a tree of life for those who strengthen it…” – “למחזיקים” (Mishlei: 3; 18) [The pasuk] does not state “to those who study it”, rather, [the pasuk states] “to those who strengthen”, for it is they who strengthen the hands of the [Torah] students and [of] the rabbis [to involve themselves in Torah study, who are referred to in the phrase quoted above from “Mishlei”]. However, even those people who study The Torah and fulfill the mitzvos among [The B’nei] Yisrael, similarly have a great obligation to support The Torah [and its study]. If they do not [support the study of Torah], they are included the category of [those who are] cursed, Heaven Forbid, as Rabbeinu Yonah wrote in “Sha’arei Tishuvah”, (Gate 3, letter 19), quoting the “Sifrei”, on the pasuk “Cursed is one who does not fulfill [the words of The Torah]…”, [as follows]: “A person who studied [Torah], reviewed [it], taught [it] to others, and fulfilled [the mitzvos included in] The Torah, and possesses the power to support those who involve themselves in [the study of The] Torah and in [the performance of the] mitzvos, and he [nevertheless] does not support [them], behold, he is [included] in the category [of] “Cursed is the one who does not fulfill [the words of The Torah to perform it]…” (Divarim: 27; 26)”
 Note from the Hebrew “Kol HaLashon” printing: This teaching is found in 12 on pg. 194 of the Eshkol printing of this work.
 The entire pasuk states, “It is a Tree of Life for those who grasp onto it, and those who support it are praiseworthy”. Based on the above teaching copied by the Chofetz Chaim from “Iggeres HaTishuvah”, we can see how the pasuk can be teaching The Torah is a Tree of Life for those who support its study.
However, according to many of the miforshim, The Torah is a Tree of Life for those who are involved in its study as well. RaSh”I and Mitzudas David explain that The Torah is a Tree of Life for those who grasp onto it.
Targum Yonasan ben Uziel explains the pasuk states, “It is The Tree of Life for those who strengthen themselves in it, and [for] those who involve themselves in it, [it is] their good.”
 Note from the “Kol HaLashon” Hebrew printing of sefer “Shmiras HaLashon”: In the “Sha’arei Tishuvah”, it does not [say that it is] quoting the “Sifrei”, rather, it is written “And our Sages of Blessed Memory have said”. This teaching is found in the Talmud Yirushalmi in maseches “Sotah”, chapter 7, Halacha 4. See also in “Vayikra Rabbah” (25; 1) on (Divarim: 27; 26).