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It says in the Baal HaTanya's Hilchos Talmud Torah that one fulfills his obligation to learn Torah only if he says the words. Moreover, a Chavrusa fulfills his obligation only because Shomeya Keoneh.

Most Poskim do not consider a person listening to a tape as Shomeya Keoneh. So does one fulfill Mitzvas Talmud Torah by listening to a shiur on a tape?

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This question may also apply to listening to a shiur over the phone, like Dial-a-Daf. –  Shmuel Dec 18 '11 at 6:03
<rant> I'm sorry, but questions like these completely baffle me. It would appear that simple common sense should provide the obvious answer. By listening to this tape, are you engaging in the study of Torah, participating in the our grand and ancient tradition, and gaining Torah knowledge and growing spiritually? If yes, then it's Talmud Torah, because you are being לומד תורה. If not, because, lets say, you're not paying attention, or the tape is actually "Best of Queen," then it's not. Simple. Common. Sense. </rant> –  Shmuel Dec 18 '11 at 6:05
@ShmuelL not sure if you noticed, but he has a stated premise: "only if he says the words". Listen doesn't = says. –  yydl Dec 18 '11 at 6:21
@ShmuelL according to judaism.stackexchange.com/a/1976/732 you would be right according to the Gra (unfortunately he doesn't give the source for the Gra). However, (he mentions this also) that other opinions do not hold like that shita (and as an example, I linked to the Hilchos Talmud Torah of the Shulchan Aruch Harav) where he rules explicitly not like that Shitta. –  Shmuel Brin Dec 18 '11 at 6:34
@yydl Ah, true. But that raises the [mind-boggling] question of whether reading the gemara\chumash silently counts as Talmud Torah. (Mind-boggling because - see my rant above.) –  Shmuel Dec 18 '11 at 6:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I asked this question once when I wanted to learn a Masechta for the purpose of making a Siyum. I learned it on mp3 and made a Siyum with the approval of a prominent Rav who ran a Kiruv program for which I volunteered in DC.

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+1. Do you think you could share his name? –  msh210 Dec 16 '11 at 19:40
I actually need to edit this answer. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was just hit with a flashback of memory that inexplicably eluded me earlier. Sorry for any confusion. –  Seth J Dec 16 '11 at 19:58
It's been edited, in case anyone was wondering. –  Seth J Dec 18 '11 at 17:47
I asked this question to HaRav Shammai Gross Shlit"a (Bal Machaber ShuT Shevat HaKahasi) a very well known posek in Eretz Yisrael. He said that a siyum could be made on a mesecta learned by way of listening to a shiur (even recorded.) He said at the end of the day the person did learn the material required for the the siyum. When I posed the question I noted that the person did in fact "learn" and "understand" the mesecta well by way of the shiur. –  Yehoshua Dec 2 '12 at 21:26

Based on the Sefer HaBeracha WeHilchoteah (58:15) it counts as Miswat Talmud Torah.

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R Braun (from the Crown Heights Beis Din) says that one does not fulfill the obligation to learn torah by listening to tapes.

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