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

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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 ...
3
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3answers
196 views

What are the main source texts for the chavruta and teacher-student models in Jewish learning?

I'm working on an outline for a short presentation on how new online tools, especially this site, interact with the traditional Jewish learning models of chavruta and teacher-student. What are the ...
5
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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 ...
6
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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 ...
4
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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, ...
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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. ...
3
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2answers
100 views

Making Nedarim (vows) and Shevuot (oaths) while teaching or learning

Sometimes I wonder if when people are learning or quoting things they say things in the name of people, would that count as them making a Neder? For example the teacher says "Yaakov said: I will give ...
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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 ...
2
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2answers
293 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, ...
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1answer
139 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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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 ...
3
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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 ...
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0answers
56 views

Making siyum on learning that “over laps”

A person started learning a mesecta. When he got through half the mesecta he continued learning however he also went back and started learning from the beginning again. He got to the end of the ...
14
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5answers
806 views

Minimum Age to Learn Kabbalah?

How old do you have to be to learn Kabbalah? (I think its 60 ) but it seems everyone learns it anyway (Maharal, Chassidus). Is there a defense or is it just done?
3
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1answer
84 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?
3
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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. ...
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4answers
439 views

Why are some words in Tanach read differently than they are written?

From here: The MT [Masoretic Text] includes the kere and ketiv system, in which marginal notes indicate that certain words are to be read differently than they are spelled in the text, or that ...
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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?
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4answers
1k views

Is it muttar to whistle?

Is it allowed for a Jew to whistle? If yes, is it even allowed on Shabbos? If no, why not? Has anyone ever heard that if one whistles at night, that it attracts sheidim and mazikin? And what are the ...
3
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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
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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
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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 ...
4
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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
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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
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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?
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3answers
187 views

Saying Rishonim or Achronim were “wrong”

People are very careful (and rightfully so) to say when they don't understand the words of the Achronim or Rishonim to not say they are/were "wrong". But rather to say "I don't understand what he ...
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3answers
392 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 ...
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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 ...
6
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2answers
135 views

Source for the concept of learning 1 hour on Shabbat is like 1000 during the week?

There is a Benayahu on Taanit 11a I think that may hint to this, but not clear enough. Is there an actual source for "1 hour learning on shabbat is like 1000 hours during the week"?
11
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3answers
224 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
3
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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 ...
2
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
14
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4answers
908 views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
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2answers
265 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
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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 ...
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6answers
1k views

First steps for someone considering conversion

I am 25 years old and I am truly interested in converting. I too also only believe in G-d. I live my life to certain rules that others I see aren't strong enough to live by. I want to know what I ...
3
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2answers
119 views

Difference between Yegiah and Hipus

The Gemara in Megila 6b says that if someone tells you that they understood a piece of Torah and they didn't work hard for it you shouldn't believe them. The Ramha"l says in the Hakdama to his magnum ...
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5answers
237 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 ...
2
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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 ...
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4answers
421 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 ...
11
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1answer
342 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

“Rabbi, teach me something new”

Throughout the Talmud* there are launch-pad stories of sages being asked by their students and even their peers to teach them something they've never been taught before or else something that was ...
4
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2answers
138 views

Exercises to prevent eyes tiring

It often happens to me that after learning the whole day and reading lots of text especially with small letters I feel my eyes very tired. Who knows good set of exercises that don't takes lot of time, ...
6
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3answers
195 views

Sources discussing paying for Torah education

I am looking for sources that discuss the idea of paying tuition money ("schar limud") towards obtaining a Torah education. Topics of interest include: The importance of paying tuition for Torah; ...
2
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1answer
131 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 ...
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0answers
46 views

Does a Rov have to answer a question?

In the past I asked what responsibility does a person have to look up and investigate an answer to a question that he wasn't able to answer. I'd now like to ask a similar question with a few points. ...
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1answer
142 views

Listening to Music during learning

Is there any "chisaran" (is there something "lacking") in one's fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah if they listen to soft, slow paced, instrumental music (no vocals or lyrics) while learning ...
3
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0answers
83 views

Answering someone's questions

It says in Kedushin Daf 30: תנו רבנן ושננתם שיהו דברי תורה מחודדים בפיך שאם ישאל לך אדם דבר אל תגמגם ותאמר לו אלא אמור לו מיד שנאמר אמור אמור לחכמה אחותי את וגו Chazal are telling us that one ...