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What is the source for starting a new limmud (learning) immediately after finishing the previous one? For example After finishing one mesechta I have seen people immediately start the next one, even if it means only reading the first few words.

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see: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/26920/… –  Ariel Mar 11 '13 at 20:47
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2 Answers

Perhaps the practice parallels the practice in some communities of reading the beginning of Bereishit just after finishing the Torah on Simchat Torah. The Tur wites about this (OC 669):

ורגילין להתחיל מיד בראשית כדי שלא יהא פתחון פה לשטן לקטרג לומר כבר סיימו אותה ואינם רוצים לקרותה עוד
And we are accustomed to start immediately [reading the portion of] Bereishit so that the accusing angel cannot open his mouth to accuse and arraign saying: they have finished it and don't want to read it anymore.

By beginning to learn another book you symbolize that you have not finished in the absolute sense as there is always more to learn.

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+1. When I do this, that is the exact reason. –  Fred Mar 12 '13 at 0:03
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Maybe, but don't you think it would then be more appropriate after finishing a masechta to begin again with the beginning of the same masechta? When we do it on Simchas Torah, we're starting over again what we just finished. Same is the custom at the Siyum HaShas. But this question is about starting the following limmud immediately after finishing the previous one. –  jake Mar 12 '13 at 4:39
    
@jake a) that's just an example in the question b) i've seen many people davka start the same masechet again (though that may be because they have that book in front of them). a good point though. –  Double AA Mar 12 '13 at 4:43
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Psalm 84:7. "They go from strength to strength.."

Ok, I still think this verse is the real source so I am expanding the answer:

at the final page of meseches berachos the talmud says: Reb Chia the son of Ashi said in the name of Rav, Talmidei Chachomim don’t have tranquility in this world and not in the next world (they go from one yeshivah to the next) as it says; They will go from strength to strength, they will be seen by G-d in Tzion.

I think this gemora is the reason why we start another tractate. the fact that it is brought at the end of the first tractate seems to also support this.

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Why are you using the Christian verse-numbering scheme? –  Double AA Mar 11 '13 at 22:04
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Also can you explain how this answers the question? –  Double AA Mar 11 '13 at 22:12
    
Why should he not use the Christina numbering system? You have a better one?? :) Tehillim has the same numbers for both (rare, unique but true)!! –  user2508 Mar 12 '13 at 4:25
    
@Doubleaa if it answers the question who cares??? you are really expert on picking minor issues. this verse is also brought in the poskim for the reaosn why one should go to the beis midrash immediately after shacharis –  ray Mar 12 '13 at 15:00
    
My downvote wasn't because of the Christian scheme. That was just an FYI. It's because it is not at all clear unless you know the answer already how this answers the question. –  Double AA Mar 12 '13 at 16:26
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