Questions about the mitzvah to study Torah, and the nature of Torah study

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8
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2answers
104 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
3answers
178 views

What is learning torah lishma?

In pirkei avot chapter 6 Rebbi Meir lists various benefits that will happen to one who learns "torah lishma" such as "it is revealed to him the secrets of the Torah. He becomes like an increasingly ...
2
votes
0answers
155 views

Resource for learning Nach Yomi

I would like to start learning Nach yomi (one or two perakim a day) but I don't just want to read the Hebrew/English since I will not end up with a proper understanding as to what is actually taking ...
9
votes
3answers
227 views

what are the “Mishnah” and “Gemara” referenced in Pirkei Avot 5?

At the end of Pirkei Avot 5, we have a statement (of either Ben Hei Hei or R. Yehuda ben Tema --- I have two siddurim with slightly different texts): He used to say: at five years of age, the ...
6
votes
0answers
89 views

Who said many agados were to wake students?

Someone told me this morning that he had, years before, seen a commentary published in the back of a volume of g'mara, likely Maharsha or Maharam, say that many of the agados throughout shas were said ...
4
votes
0answers
82 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
2
votes
3answers
86 views

Brisker Shiurim Online

I am looking for advanced Shiurim online which teach Gemara in the Brisker fashion, does anyone know if any (preferably free) classes are available online?
4
votes
3answers
155 views

what is the first thing to teach total beginners

Looking to teach a total beginner (i.e. someone not yet interested in following any halachas) college student for kiruv purposes. What is the best part of torah to teach first? Is it better (for ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Can women participate in learning for a group siyum?

When somebody is organizing learning for a coordinated siyum (e.g. for a yahrzeit), I'm never sure whether as a woman I can sign up to help (assuming I can meet the expected level of learning). Are ...
7
votes
2answers
112 views

What level of understanding is required in “learning” for purposes of making a siyum?

When learning as part of a coordinated group siyum, what level of understanding of the material is expected/required? How do you know if you've done enough to fulfill the mitzvah? Is it about effort ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?

Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Exact text from Rav Eliyahu Lopian's “Lev Eliyahu” citing a maase from the Chofetz Chaim

I read some time ago in Rav Eliyahu Lopian's "Lev Eliyahu" an amazing idea. However, I don't have the book and I'm looking for it online but cannot find it. He brought a story on the Chofetz Chaim ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

Specific things to do when a Gadol passes away

Are there are any Segulot, Tefilot, Limudim brought down in the Sefarim for the passing of the Sadik HaDor?
5
votes
3answers
105 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

How does one calculate how much time to devote to torah learning and how much time for livelihood?

In Judaism, the study of torah is considered above all else. However, there is also a need to be able to provide for one's family. How does one calculate the amount of time one should devote to torah ...
4
votes
3answers
69 views

How can one find a Gemarah Havruta in NYC?

For someone that has some basic gemarah skills with experience in learning the gemarah together with Rashi and Tosefot, what's a good resource for finding a daily havruta to study with in Brooklyn, ...
-2
votes
1answer
100 views

Do we have old ancient torah manuscript?

http://abcnews.go.com/International/worlds-oldest-complete-torah-scroll-found-italian-professor/story?id=19280022 It is said that this so called oldest complete torah scroll is only 800 years old. ...
7
votes
5answers
160 views

Are there sources that any minute not learned Torah is a sin?

I was recently referred to the Even HaEzel on the Rambam in the 3rd chapter of Hilchos Melachim. Reb Isser Zalman Meltzer (the author) writes there that there is no sin of Bittul Torah for a regular ...
5
votes
0answers
109 views

Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?

There is a famous dictum: 'lo ba'shomayim he', meaning that after the torah was given at Sinai its rules, mandates and precepts are determined by man and not dictated by heaven. An example is when ...
2
votes
0answers
93 views

Can a Nazir drink wine if it is part of a holiday observance?

One who takes a Nazarite vow cannot drink wine (or partake of product that uses grapes). I understand that this is to help the Nazir remain focused on God instead of being overcome by other forces ...
13
votes
6answers
254 views

Hashem studies Torah?

The Gemara in Avodah Zarah 3b lays out the 12-hour schedule of Hashem's day. I realize that any kind of description of Hashem in human terms is allegorical as Hashem is not a human bounded by time and ...
-3
votes
3answers
183 views

If staring at women is such a big aveira how come rabbis are permitted to give shiurim to women?

There are many great rabbis that I know who also give classes to women. Every where else I see that guarding your eyes is of crucial importance, but how are rabbis who look directly at women for long ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

Yalkut Yosef or Mishneh Torah for a Sephardic Jew?

My Hebrew is rusty and my knowledge of all the halachot is equally rusty. I want to take on a new project to complete either one of those compilations. For someone coming from a Sephardic heritage, ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Are there Torah Moocs (Massive Online Open Courses)?

In the past couple years MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) have become more and more popular and well known. ...
4
votes
2answers
141 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?
3
votes
2answers
125 views

Good resource for in-depth study of Haftorah?

Is there a good source for in-depth study of the weekly haftorah? I'm thinking of things like historical references, explanations of prophecies, etc. Online or print would work. Something that will ...
4
votes
4answers
121 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

What's the most efficient method for learning biblical Hebrew?

I have gone through some basic schooling at a modern yeshiva. For 10 years I haven't touched a Chumash, but would like to get back into it. I have started reading the Artscroll Chumash--reading the ...
7
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Why are Torah study and trips, specifically, banned on the 8th of Av?

The Rama, Orach Chayim 553, says: The practice is that we do not study [Torah] the day before the ninth of Av from midday on, except such matters as are permitted [study material] on the ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Listening to a woman giving shiur

Can a man listen to a woman give a shiur (Torah class)? Does it matter if it's not in a class format — like, let's say it's on a CD?
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
4
votes
0answers
77 views

Do Sephardim have their own style of learning that differs from the styles of other sects of Judaism?

For Litvish it's depth, predominantly in the Talmud. For Chasidim it's breadth of the Talmud and other sources. Do sephardim have their own unique style of Torah study?
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Is it always a good idea to say an extra Shema' if you missed one?

According to Double AA's answer on a related question, "it can't hurt" to say an extra Shema' later if you missed the Zeman (set time) for it. While it may be true to a certain extent that saying ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Why were there no Jewish philosophy tracts until the Rasag?

Jews had their first bump into philosophy when Alexander the Great conquered Israel (in the early Tanaic period). Since then, we lived under the Greeks and Romans for a few hundred years. Both of ...
3
votes
0answers
41 views

What lesson do we learn from Abraham paying money for the Cave of Machpelah?

In Genesis, we see that Abraham makes Ephron accept money for the Cave of Machpelah in order to bury Sarah. He is offered the cave for free, but insists on paying the full price. This sort of story ...
11
votes
3answers
393 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

learning non-jewish topics as a creative process

Is 'learning' non-Jewish topics a prohibited creative process on Shabbat? If so, on what grounds is learning Tanakh exempted? I read that the study non-Jewish subjects is banned or frowned upon, and I ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Does torah study refine one's character?

I have met some torah scholars who appear to be learning quite a bit, yet their character traits appear to be in the lacking. Is torah study supposed to refine one's character? If so, how can we ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Why is semicha specifically to ordain a Rabbi to give psak?

Was the original process of semicha merely intended to provide reliable decisors of halacha only? Nowadays can a Rav get semicha in Tanach or Talmud (for example)? Since, perhaps, these days the ...
3
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
267 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
184 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Why does 'sharpening' depend on effort, and memorization on divine assistance?

The Bavli, M'gila 6 amud 2: ואמר ר׳ יצחק אם יאמר לך אדם יגעתי ולא מצאתי אל תאמן לא יגעתי ומצאתי אל תאמן יגעתי ומצאתי תאמן הני מילי בדברי תורה אבל במשא ומתן סייעתא הוא מן שמיא ולדברי תורה לא אמרן ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Why don't merchants have torah, according to R. Yochanan?

The g'mara on Eiruvin 55a, expounding "it is not in heaven...nor across the sea" (D'varim 30:12-13), says (Soncinco translation): Raba expounded, It is not in heaven, it is not to be found with ...
6
votes
7answers
184 views

References for learning Aggada

I often run into aggadic passages in the Talmud, and would like to get a list of references beyond the standard 4 (Ein Yaakov, Maharsha, Benayahu/Ben Yehoyada and the Chiddushei Aggados of the ...
12
votes
3answers
309 views

Non-Ashkenazic Talmud-learning tune

I am very familiar with a particular Ashkenazi yeshivish tune for Talmud learning. This is well-described in the linked question as: [T]he kind of singing rhythm that people use when contrasting ...
11
votes
1answer
345 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
209 views

What is the reason that you are not allowed to learn Torah shebictav at night?

I saw in some books (Rav Belsky, Arizal) that you are not allowed to learn torah Shebictav (Tanach) at night without commentaries. Why is that?
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Learning Torah without understanding

The Magen Avraham in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 50 Sif-Katan 2 writes that learning (Torah) is only called "learning" if one understands what they learn (see there for the context in which he ...