Questions about the mitzvah to study Torah, and the nature of Torah study This tag is not intended to be a general tag about Torah. Almost every question on the site is about Torah in some sense. If your question is about a passage in the Bible, try one of the book tags.

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16
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8answers
4k views

Is there a short Daf Yomi shiur online in English?

There is a short, 10-minute daf yomi shiur in Hebrew here: http://www.sinai.org.il/ and I was wondering if there is anything comparable in English. I'm looking for a Daf Yomi shiur online that is ...
15
votes
1answer
458 views

Where did the sing-song chant that Jews often use while contrasting points come from?

I am having a very hard time coming up with a good way to describe the phenomenon that I am thinking of, but many people will recognize it. I am talking about the kind of singing rhythm that people ...
13
votes
1answer
190 views

By using judaism.stackexchange am I fulfilling the mitzvoh of learning Torah?

To what extent can using judaism.stackexchange in the following ways be considered fulfilling the mitzvoh of learning Torah? Reading posts Posing questions Researching answers Other
12
votes
3answers
457 views

Satmar Derech Halimud

I was curious as to what the Derech Halimud (learning style) is for Satmar Chassidim. I understand that the general Chassidish Derech (Chassidic style) is one that moves at a quicker pace with not as ...
10
votes
2answers
161 views

Is it Halachically wrong to avoid the rabbi's sermon?

At some point in our history, the rabbi's Derashah, or sermon, went from being taboo to being so integral to the service that some Shuls have ushers to keep the doors closed at that time so that no ...
10
votes
3answers
305 views

“Baruch shekivanti…”

There is a phrase of self-compliment people use when they find that they have independently arrived at the same conclusion as someone great. It begins with the words "ברוך שכיוונתי", translated ...
7
votes
3answers
168 views

Yeshivat Sheim v'Eiver

Assuming that our patriarchs Abraham Isaac and Jacob spent time learning in the House of Study of Sheim v'Eiver, the descendents of Noach, what were they learning? The seven commandments of the ...
5
votes
4answers
158 views

English books for better understanding of Jewish thought?

I consider myself a "Christian" (as in a "follower of 'Christ'"), and I am interested in learning more about Judaism, so that I can better understand the Jewish roots of Christianity. I've gotten ...
4
votes
3answers
323 views

Where does the concept of bitul Torah come from?

It is a positive commandment to learn Torah. But the concept of bitul Torah seems to imply that it is also a negative commandment not to learn Torah. Where does this concept of bitul Torah come from? ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Did the Jews in the Midbar know the entire Torah?

The G'mara in Y'vamos (ד) and B'rachos (כא) records a dispute over whether laws can be deduced from the fact of two p'sukim appearing adjacent to one another in the Torah. The Mahara"tz Chayos ...
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Opinions on Bittul Torah

What are the halachik definitions of bittul torah? I.e. some say that studying secular sciences qualifies as bittul torah while others say that it doesn't. How are they defining the halachik ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

What is the importance of Chiddush?

I have long taken for granted that it is important to be m'chadesh chiddush (compose new and novel torah insights). However, I realize I have no source for that notion. Is there any source which ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

What can one learn on Tisha B'Av?

What are you allowed to learn on Tisha B'Av in general particularity which Gemara's?
2
votes
2answers
153 views

Why learn Gemara?

Why do we learn Gemara? We can't learn any Halacha from Gemara, as brought in Yalkut Yosef Halachot Talmud Torah. So why do we learn Gemara at all-it's more useful to learn Halacha!
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Learning before Davvening

What is the halakhic validity of learning before davvening shachris? Is this assur? Eating before davvening shachris is of course a problem (my understanding is that it really becomes a problem once ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Sharing Mi Yodeya questions on Facebook

Underneath questions on Stack Exchange sites there is a "share" link which allows one to share the question one is viewing on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Is it permitted to use this feature on Mi ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Ohr HaChaim on Redemption because of Torah

I've heard that the Ohr HaChaim quotes the Zohar Chadash that we will be redeemed because of the merit of Mosheh and learning Torah. Does such a comment exist in the Ohr HaChaim? If so, can someone ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Elohim plural singular [duplicate]

Reading many questions relating to mine and the comments that were given, made me wonder. When Elohim thought of creating the human being (Bereshit 1:26) He spoke (singular): “Let Us make… and after ...
0
votes
1answer
226 views

Elohim - Female Image of G-d

There is a group that teaches that analyzing the words in Genesis 1:26 : And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Which passages comprise the classic Tikkun Leil Shavuot?

As we count down to Shavuot, I find myself wondering: [First, some background for those who don't know what a Tikkun Leil Shavuot is] According to tradition, we overslept the morning of Matan Torah ...
12
votes
4answers
215 views

When is there Kaddish after a shiur?

When do you say Kaddish Derabanan after a shiur? What are the requirements for this Kaddish?
11
votes
1answer
193 views

How does Judaism regard homeschooling?

The title quite says it. I'm specifically more interested in unschooling.... It is said in Ktubot, 50:b, that: אמר רב יצחק באושא התקינו שיהא אדם מתגלגל עם בנו עד שתים עשרה שנה מכאן ואילך יורד ...
9
votes
3answers
124 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
9
votes
2answers
125 views

Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
8
votes
0answers
95 views

The Permissibility of Purim Torah [duplicate]

Saying Purim Torah, funny (or unfunny) puns based off a misreading of a verse, is an age old tradition in the spirit of Mishenichnas Adar Marbin Besimcha. However, the Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b states: ...
8
votes
5answers
518 views

Why study non-practical tractates of Talmud?

A quick background: I recently sat down with my step-father and brother and learned Masechet Makkot with them for a bit - this was their first time learning Talmud. Given that the masechet starts ...
8
votes
2answers
111 views

How could Rebbi Zeira forcibly forget his learning?

In Bava Metzia 85a it says that ר' זירא כי סליק לארעא דישראל יתיב מאה תעניתא דלשתכח גמרא בבלאה מיניה Rebbi Zeira, when he left to the land of Israel, fasted 100 times to cause himself to forget ...
8
votes
2answers
156 views

Daf yomi on Tisha b'Av

There is a strong tradition (maybe halakha?) to not engage in most learning on Tisha b'Av (with a few exceptions). Many of us learn daily and I understand that we generally suspend our learning for ...
8
votes
2answers
206 views

How does Hillel's answer summarize the whole Torah?

In Shabbos 31a, Hillel addresses a potential convert who asks him to summarize the whole Torah, and he says, "What is hateful to you, do not do to others." This is a nice d'var Torah, but it seems to ...
8
votes
1answer
131 views

The midos by which the Torah is expounded. Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili's are not in the siddur. Rabbi Yishmoel's are. Why?

Rashi on Braishis 2(8) refers to the 32 midos of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili by which the Torah is expounded. These are less familiar than the 13 of Rabbi Yishmoel that we say every ...
7
votes
2answers
213 views

What are you supposed to do on Tisha baAv?

On Tisha baAv you can't eat wash oneself anoint oneself marital relation wearing leather shoes sit on a chair Torah study greeting people with a blessing conducting business going on a ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

Medicinal etc. Sections of Talmud

Every now and then, then Gemara will go off on a tangent and discuss medical practices (such as towards the end of Gittin and scattered throughout maseches shabbos) or practical safety advice ...
6
votes
2answers
883 views

Angel in the womb for women?

The Talmud (Niddah 30b) teaches us that when a child is in the womb, an angel comes and teaches it the entire Torah, which he subsequently forgets. The simple reading of the Gemara gives no reason to ...
6
votes
2answers
330 views

Is it permitted to learn in kollel without earning a living?

Based on this post which states in part: Ramoh in Yoreh Deah, 246:21 “A person should hire himself out for alien work rather than requiring assistance from others”; “The man who is ...
6
votes
0answers
141 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
5
votes
0answers
114 views

How many approaches to Torah are there?

Our sages tell us that there are שבעים פנים לתורה (Bamidbar Rabbah). Does this mean that every word, or verse, or some unit, has 70 interpretations, and there are theoretically billions of ...
5
votes
3answers
119 views

Amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah

What's the source for amailut (trying hard/ toiling) to learn Torah? Is there any benefit to try learning Torah on your own without help, when you can learn Torah through asking others and looking ...
5
votes
1answer
341 views

Minhag not to learn Torah on the night of Nitel (Who and where)

This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it. I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Can Sforim be used as a shtender?

Is it ok to place the sefer that you're learning from slanted on top of another sefer/sforim - sort of like a shtender or is is this considered to be a zilzul (disrespectful) to the sforim?
5
votes
3answers
129 views

Does attending a regular shiur take precedence over leading the prayers on a Yahrzeit?

It is a widespread custom to lead the prayers (daven from the amud) on the anniversary of a parent’s death (yahrzeit). Suppose that if I do this for a service on the yahrzeit of a parent it will ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

Divrei torah written by a heretic

What is the status of divrei Torah written by someone who does not believe in the oral Torah? Does it retain any sanctity? Should it be burned or buried?
5
votes
2answers
353 views

Learning Kabbalah from other students of the Arizal?

It says in Sforim that one shouldn't learn Kabbalah from any of the students of the Arizal except for R' Chaim Vital (as they didn't understand the Arizal properly). I have never seen such a worry ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

Science of the Rishonim on “celestial spheres”

In the writings of the Rishonim, it is not uncommon to see explanations of pesukim or of aggadic concepts using the "celestial spheres" model of the universe. The Rambam in particular uses the idea ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

What Mikraos Gedolos has the most meforshim?

What sefer (prob Mikraos Gedolos) has the most meforshim in it?
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Shochtim who learned from translated materials

The Maharil in his Tshusvos Chadashos ("New Responsa," mentioned here), writes (Siman 93) that the custom is not to give kabblah to shochtim who learned the laws shechita in German (translated ...
4
votes
3answers
77 views

What are the most active and educational religious podcasts and blogs?

I’m looking for more Jewish blogs and podcasts to subscribe to, and not wishy washy “Jewish life” ones full of dubious recipes and pop culture tie-ins. I’m looking for intermediate-level, ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

What texts should be studied after services on erev Yom Kippur?

I understand that there is a tradition to do some learning following Shul on erev Yom Kippur. What texts are recommended for studying during this time?
4
votes
1answer
62 views

The Vilna Gaon's definition of Torah lishmah

The Vilna Gaon in his perush on aggados Chazal (Brachos 57a D"h hameikiz dam) says that a person who learns Torah lishmah does not need to work on his middos and does not need Pirkei Avos. I would ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Can learning non-torah subjects count as talmud torah?

If someone learns math in order to better understand a gemarah or studies self-help material as a form of mussar in order to be a better person do these types of learning qualify as talmud torah?
4
votes
5answers
266 views

If you can only choose one which way should you learn, bekiyus or beiyun?

If you can only choose one, which way should you learn, bekiyus (learning quickly on a more superficial level to cover ground) or beiyun (slower, more in depth study)? As a reminder, answers on ...