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

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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 ...
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3answers
288 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?
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2answers
332 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 ...
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3answers
225 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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153 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 ...
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3answers
108 views

Torah studies at Synagogue

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
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1answer
155 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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83 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?
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197 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 ...
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2answers
170 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 ...
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2answers
156 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 ...
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2answers
133 views

What was the attitude of Rabbonim regarding Purim Torah?

Purim Torah seems to be a two sided concept. On one hand, many people do it for many years (for example, Maseches Purim was published in 1871). On the other hand, it seems to be a Bizayon HaTorah ...
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1answer
150 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 ...
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446 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 ...
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5answers
522 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 ...
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10answers
316 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?
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8answers
244 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?
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4answers
590 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?
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6answers
326 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. ...
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5answers
219 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 ...
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3answers
163 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 ...
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225 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. ...
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143 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 ...
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2answers
208 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 ...
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169 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
173 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, ...
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2answers
119 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 ...
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174 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?
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103 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 ...
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1answer
219 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.
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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 ...
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2answers
122 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…. ...
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2answers
110 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 ...
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8answers
485 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 ...
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7answers
201 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 ...
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2answers
292 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?
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3answers
129 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?
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4answers
282 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 ...
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2answers
276 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 ...
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6answers
205 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 ...
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2answers
223 views

What is the Pilpul method of learning?

What is the Pilpul methodology? (Examples demonstrating application of this methodology would be appreciated.) Who utilizes this methodology? (Which yeshivot learn this way?) Where did this ...
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2answers
843 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 ...
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225 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?
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306 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?
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6answers
172 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
6
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1answer
140 views

Torah Learning Time Calculator

I am looking for something that will take the sefer I want to learn, and the amount of time/days I want to complete it in and tell me the average amount I need to learn a day. It doesn't have to be ...