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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3answers
2k views

Wearing clothes backwards or inside out?

As a kid, I was told that if you wear clothing backwards or inside-out then you will forget your Torah learning. What is the source for that claim, and why is that specific outcome tied to that ...
9
votes
1answer
165 views

Is it halachically acceptable to discuss Torah concerning sexual conduct in a forum like Mi Yodeya?

The Mishna in Chagiga 2:1 rules: אין דורשין בעריות בשלשה One may not expound the laws of forbidden sexual relations before three people The Gemara in Shabbat 33a writes: א"ר חנן בר רבא ...
9
votes
3answers
122 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
123 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
5answers
586 views

How to prepare/give a good drasha

I'm always inspired how people are able to get up in front of a crowd (big or small) and deliver a drasha or dvar Torah that is really good. How does one go about preparing a drasha? What's a starting ...
8
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6answers
238 views

What do people mean when they say “Kaballah”?

I recently spoke to someone who said she was interested in learning Kabbala but could not find any classes. I mentioned to her she may want to try learning Tanya because there is a lot of Kabbala in ...
8
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5answers
512 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
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3answers
310 views

Making a Siyum on major sections of learning but not a codified unit

If someone completes a major section of Talmud Torah that is not a formal unit (eg., Basar BeḤalav), may/should one make a Siyum?
8
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2answers
355 views

Moreh Nevuchim: To learn or not to learn?

I have come across many people who believe that it is inappropriate to learn Moreh Nevuchim especially at a younger inexperienced age. However, it seems that many important issues are discussed in the ...
8
votes
3answers
276 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
8
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3answers
157 views

Staying up all night on Shavu'ot

Every year, when I stay up learning Torah through the first night of Shavu'ot, I invariably fall asleep during the subsequent morning prayers. Last year, I tried something new: Learn all night, but ...
8
votes
3answers
108 views

Torah studies at Synagogue

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
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
155 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
85 views

Why 30 days of preparation for a חג

Why exactly 30 days to review the laws of the upcoming holidays? Is there anything about the number 30 that makes it significant?
8
votes
2answers
360 views

Are Jews allowed to have hobbies?

According to the Shulchan Aruch (if I am not mistaken), every free hour that a man has should be spent in the study of the Torah. With that being the case, does that mean that anything "extra" such ...
8
votes
2answers
204 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
2answers
177 views

Obligation of community to support those who study Torah?

Is the community obligated to support financially those who study Torah all day long? Is one allowed to request such support from the community based on his choice to study full-day and not make a ...
8
votes
2answers
161 views

If two separate studies intersect, is it a good sign?

There is an expression that I have always heard, which is that when two separate Torah studies one is learning happen to reference each other, it is a good sign. A variant of this that I've heard is ...
8
votes
1answer
159 views

What are some good resources for finding the meaning of unfamiliar Hebrew and Aramaic words in Acharonim?

I have no trouble using Jastrow for Tanach and Shas but I find it difficult to apply to Acharonim. How might I use it more effectively? Are there peculiarities of grammar I'm missing? For a few ...
8
votes
0answers
94 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: ...
7
votes
4answers
459 views

Proper Way of Learning Jewish Mysticism

I have been very much interested in learning the core teachings of mysticism since I was a young boy. I didn't know that it was called Jewish mysticism but nonetheless I was attracted to its beliefs ...
7
votes
8answers
254 views

Beginner on Rav Soloveitchik

I am looking to delve into the teachings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993). Any recommendations on a good starting point?
7
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10answers
324 views

Best Site for Reading/Listening to Great Divrei Torah

What are some good sites for Divrei Torah, and what are the strengths of each?
7
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4answers
296 views

Are there unnecessary words in torah?

I've been taught, often enough that I thought it was universal, that there are no unnecessary words in torah (chumash) — every word is there to teach us something. I've seen plenty of discussions in ...
7
votes
4answers
623 views

The value of the daily study of Chitas (Chumash, Tehilim, Tanya)?

What's the value of learning "Chitas" compared to any other daily Torah study? Side question: If it's so important, why was it introduced only recently?
7
votes
6answers
340 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
7
votes
5answers
227 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
7
votes
3answers
165 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
246 views

Is Listening to a Torah Tape considered Talmud Torah?

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. ...
7
votes
2answers
144 views

Talking to objects and Avoda Zara

This question inspired by This question here at programmers.se There is a concept in some programing circles called "Rubber Ducking", where one expresses a problem to a rubber ducky and through that ...
7
votes
2answers
212 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
322 views

Practical guide to the Brisker method in English?

Is there a book that serves as a practical guide in English to applying the Brisker method of learning Gemara?
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Learning Torah from a confirmed sinner?

A learned friend of mine is of the opinion that it is forbidden to learn from a Rabbi (or anyone else) who is known to have sinned. He used the example of a particular Rabbi caught in a scandal so ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

“Boich sevarah”

There is a common Yiddish phrase used to describe an arbitrary reasoning that is not based on the sources: "Boich sevarah" -- literally, "stomach reasoning." What is the exact meaning of this phrase, ...
7
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
180 views

How was the Volozhin Yeshiva special?

The Volozhin Yeshiva is known as the "first yeshiva". What was the system of Torah learning in Europe before Volozhin and in what way did Volozhin change the system?
7
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Is There a Halachah that Forbids Eating While Learning?

Is there a Halachah that forbids eating while learning? One of my friends told me it was forbidden.
7
votes
1answer
125 views

Up part of the night on Shavuos

As described by Stephanie Hegarty for the BBC, Roger Ekirch, an historian, has evidence — and is convinced — that people used to have a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed ...
7
votes
2answers
124 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 ninth…. ...
7
votes
2answers
116 views

Is there a requirement to join a Minyan?

Is a person who is learning Torah in another room required to disrupt his learning in order to join a group of nine men so that they can pray in a Minyan? The person in question comes earlier in ...
6
votes
8answers
490 views

Sefarim to learn in Elul

Which sefarim are traditionally learned in Elul*, because they have a special significance to the mood and message of the month? *Or even without a tradition, which sefarim are good to learn during ...
6
votes
7answers
212 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
335 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?
6
votes
3answers
138 views

Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Is it appropriate to learn the laws of aveilut when both your parents are alive? Or is there a superstition that it could be dangerous to them?
6
votes
2answers
300 views

Preparing to learn daf yomi Yerushalmi

I am planning to start learning daf yomi Yerushalmi. I have never learned Yerushalmi before Are there websites the provide the text and audio explanation of the daf akin to those that exist for ...
6
votes
2answers
230 views

Are there recordings of Rav Elyashiv ztz'l learning with his unique melody?

Rav Elyashiv apparently utilized a distinctive melody when learning. Are there any extant recordings, either audio or video, of this melody?
6
votes
6answers
211 views

How to make Torah learning inspiring

How does one, as a teacher, make Torah learning inspiring for one's students? Advice on what material to teach is appreciated, but more importantly I want to know how to teach it in a way that ...