Why are people studying the laws of things that happened in remote times – and were rare even then – or things that the Talmud says never happened and never will happen?
We devote time to it because what we are doing is going after knowledge for itself, not as something that is to be used.
Not everyone has the same level of active curiosity, but study is encouraged and done as an obligation.
The number of classes and lectures available in an observant Jewish community cannot be compared to anything that happens in any other place.
Why does God want us to study?
Theologically, it is a way to commune with Him.
The ability to study for the sake of study is what I call one of the very true human traits in which we are, in a certain way, higher than angels.
The angels don't seem to have any curiosity; they know everything.
And animals learn only what they need to live.
So the only beings who are curious about anything are people.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay, "Curious Jews," by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz