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

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165 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 ...
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2answers
141 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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3answers
96 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 ...
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1answer
62 views

Birkot HaTorah and Typing

Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:3) as well as Yalkut Yosef (47:14) write that before one writes down words of Torah, he must recite Birkot HaTorah (because people that write sometimes voice their ...
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1answer
145 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 ...
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1answer
103 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 so integral to the service that some Shuls have ushers to keep the doors closed at that time, so that no one may ...
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0answers
56 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...
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1answer
425 views

Does anyone know any information about Mifal Hashas?

Does anyone here have any information about Mifal Hashas or Dirshu? What is the learning material? When and where are tests? How much do they give? What kinds of tests are they (multiple choice, ...
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5answers
276 views

Why is learning Torah today harder than 1000 years ago?

Why did Hashem make it harder for this generation to learn Torah, rather than making it equal for every generation? We have all these distractions like tv or games.
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4answers
344 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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3answers
171 views

good learning site [closed]

what is a good source for learning?
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3answers
149 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 ...
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3answers
176 views

How to do Shnayim Mikra when the Aramaic Targum has multiple alternate wordings?

What should one do when saying שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום if one comes upon a verse where the Targum (Aramaic translation) has two alternative wordings? I would just say the verse in Targum twice (or four ...
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2answers
138 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?
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5answers
231 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 ...
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4answers
332 views

Why isn't Tanach regularly studied in many Yeshivot?

There is a Tosafot in Sanhedrin 24a that says that by learning Gemara one does not fulfill what the Gemara (Kidushin 30a, Avoda Zara 19a) says: one should split his learning into three --- Tanach, ...
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2answers
109 views

When and why does the Gemoro say “vehilchoso”?

Sometimes, after the Talmud records a disagreement, it concludes by saying that the Halacha is like one side of the debate (“vehilchoso”). See e.g. ...
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3answers
271 views

Jewish Khan Academy

Does anyone know if there is something similar to the khan academy for limudei kodesh? I'm looking for something like this just with the whiteboard aspect that khan academy uses.
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4answers
114 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 ...
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2answers
280 views

Chovos Halevavos vs. Mesilas Yesharim

The three basic texts that R' Yisroel Salanter wanted people to learn were Chovos HaLevavos, Mesilas Yesharim and Cheshbon HaNefesh. (source: here) what is the difference between Chovos Halevavos and ...
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3answers
132 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 ...
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2answers
233 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? ...
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2answers
68 views

'amel' vs. 'osek'

We speak of being עָמֵל בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., Rashi to B'chukosay 26:3 and :14) and also of being עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., birchos haTora in the morning). What is each (especially as contrasted with the ...
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3answers
68 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
105 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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2answers
161 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 burt or buried?
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1answer
162 views

Does one do aliya-ending notes when reading Torah in private?

When reading the Torah with cantillation in private, such as when doing "Shnayim Mikra Ve-echad Targum," when one gets to the end of an aliya (formal division of a parasha), does one end with the tune ...
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1answer
85 views

Source for mid winter vacation

I have heard that there is a Sefer published 300-400 years ago which indicates that the (Melamdim) Torah teachers would be off on Chamisha Asar B'Shevat in order to rejuvenate. Anyone know where this ...
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2answers
135 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, ...
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2answers
198 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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1answer
55 views

Tutorials for learning more about Jewish practice

I wish to learn more about the steps for "Hazara betshova" (Getting stronger) preferably in Hebrew. I have no knowledge of the Jewish practice at all so a place which assumes no past knowledge will be ...
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1answer
84 views

Hebrew of the Mishneh Torah

In what type of Hebrew did Rambam write the Mishneh Torah? I just started to learn Biblical Hebrew and when I have learned basics I will start to read Pentateuch in Hebrew with some help The next ...
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2answers
131 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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1answer
92 views

Where Does the Talmud Teach Not to Learn Halacha From Observation of Teachers?

Back when I was learning Daf Yomi, I ran into an interesting lesson I'm finding difficult to find again. It was a teaching that one should learn halacha from your rebbe's teachings and not through ...
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74 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
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0answers
99 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 ...
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65 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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37 views

Proof from Mishneh that Hilchos Chol HaMoed is M'd'rabbanan

If one looks into the Tur and Beis Yosef at the beginning of Hilchos Chol HaMoed in Simana 630 you will find a big maklokes rishonim if malacha on Chol HaMoed is an issur d'oraisa, d'rabbanan, or ...
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134 views

Learning b'iyun vs. b'qius

When I was in yeshiva, I heard a story that I wouldn't mind having verified. Apparantly, two individuals once argued over whether b'iyun (בעיון; "in-depth", commentary-focused) learning or b'qius ...
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0answers
123 views

using this website on tisha b'av?

It is known that one's not allowed to learn on tisha b'av; what is the halachic status of using this site on tisha b'av?
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106 views

Kevias Ittim Vs. the General Mitzva of Talmud Torah

The basic mitzva of learning Torah can be fulfilled minimally with Kerias Shema. This comes from a Gemara in Menachos (99b) which goes through several conflicting interpretations of the verse in ...
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1answer
127 views

source for obligation to recite the shema

The talmud in berachos 2a asserts that the verse ודברת בם בשבתך בביתך ובלכתך בדרך ובשכבך ובקומך is the source for the mitzva of reciting shema twice daily. Yet later on in daf 13, the talmud says ...
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7answers
2k views

List of Number of Mishnayos by chapter / masechta

I'm looking for a list that enumerates the number of Mishnayos in each perek, as well as totals by masechta. Does anyone here know of such a list (or have the ability to quickly produce one)?
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5answers
314 views

The Layman's Masechta (Mishnayoth) for a Siyum

What is a good Masechta of Mishnayoth for someone to learn if they just want to get a basic understanding and complete a Masechta in a relatively short time? Examples where this would be practical ...
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2answers
90 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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2answers
158 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 ...
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3answers
131 views

birchas hatorah if one isn't going to learn

Does one have a chiyuv to say birchas hatorah if he isn't going to learn anyway that day?
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1answer
97 views

6 chapters of Avos in 7 weeks

Some study pirke Avos weekly through the summer, from Pesach to Rosh Hashana. Others do so only for the six Shabasos between Pesach and Shavuos, one chapter a week. I've heard the latter custom ...
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3answers
185 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 ...
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1answer
95 views

Who says the Tefillah of ר' נחוניה בן הקנה?

The Mishnah at the top of Ber. 28b says that ר' נחוניה בן הקנה used to say a short prayer before learning that he not cause harm in his learning, and afterwards to give thanks for the opportunity to ...