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

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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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150 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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124 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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116 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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134 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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353 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
96 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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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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193 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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115 views

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out?

What are some good resources for deciphering a Tosfos comment that I can't figure out? Here is what I am looking for in a resource: When Tosfos brings another gemoro this resource should provide ...
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63 views

Where is the first time that the splitting of the Red Sea is referred to as קריעת ים סוף?

The text of the Torah refers to the sea "splitting" (וַיִּבָּקְעוּ הַמָּיִם - Ex.14:21). Where is the first source where the Sages refer to this event as "tearing" (קריעה)?
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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 ...
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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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109 views

Did Melchizedek create a yeshiva?

Did Melchizedek have a yeshiva which he used to teach Torah to people, including Avraham?
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166 views

Derech Ha-Limud in Chumash

I for a long time have had the question what is the proper way to learn Chumash in order to get to a good understanding al pi pshat. Many times I hear people saying over vertlach on the Parsha and ...
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2answers
104 views

Daf Yomi Scheduling for Shabbos, Yom Tov, and Sundays

With the twelfth Siyum HaShas behind us, I was wondering what is the best way for a person to maintain their Daf Yomi schedule on Shabbos, Yom Tov, and Sundays. Is it best to learn at a different time ...
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1answer
90 views

Tsnius for Women : Talmud Torah for Men

I have heard the idea that the concept of tsnius, or modesty, for women is equivalent to the command of Torah study for men. Once, I overheard this in a conversation between two men, one of whom I ...
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2answers
115 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 ...
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189 views

Recommendation for Purim divrei Torah (not “Purim torah”)

I've been reading through the Malbim Esther and have found it fascinating reading, and I was wondering whether there are any other notable seforim with divrei Torah about Purim. I am going through the ...
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1answer
200 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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1answer
159 views

Learning near a dead body

May a person learn torah near a dead body? Does it matter if the corpse is Jewish or not? Please cite sources.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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63 views

Any sources that discuss חזרה (review) programs in detail?

What sources provide details of in what frequency one should review one's material? For me, two come to mind. The Gemara (where?) that a student would review all his learning every 30 days, which ...
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45 views

Getaways that are focused on learning

What available programs are there for someone looking to get away for a few days in an environment focused on learning? I know of many such programs targeted for Ba'alei Teshuva or potential Ba'alei ...
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1answer
66 views

Why aren't there nittle nachts for other holidays?

As I've heard it the reason for not learning Torah on nittle nacht it to avoid supporting the forces of evil which are more prevalent(?) at that time. I am wondering why those Jews don't avoid ...
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2answers
188 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 ...
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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 ...
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123 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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258 views

Minhag not to learn Torah on the night of Nitel (Who and where)

This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it. I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all ...
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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?
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103 views

How many approaches to Torah are there?

Our sages tell us that there are שבעים פנים לתורה (Bamidbar Rabbah). Does this mean that every word, or verse, or some unit, has 70 interpretations, and there are theoretically billions of ...
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47 views

“Instruction” Words

In many places in the TaNaKh, I see the distinctive use of similar words, like: תורה - "law" חקי - "statutes" מצות - "commandments" פקדי - "precepts" עדות - "testimonies" משפטים - "judgments" דבר - ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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55 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 ...
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179 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 ...
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1answer
112 views

Sharpening Shechita Knife on Chol HaMoaed

May one that is learning Hilchos Shechita sharpen the knife that he uses for shechitah on chol hamoed for the purpose of practicing how to sharpen it and make sure it's kosher for shechitah (and not ...
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2answers
184 views

Do you have to read the Targum of words that are repeated in the same sedrah?

According to the view (quoted here) that the reading of the Targum in shnaim mikro v’echod targum is to add layers of explanation to every word could one fulfil the mitzvo by reading the Targum ...
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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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88 views

Learning before Davvening

What is the halakhic validity of learning before davvening shachris? Is this assur? Eating before davvening shachris is of course a problem (my understanding is that it really becomes a problem once ...
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411 views

Did the Romans really argue that all they'd done was so Jews could study Torah?

Okay so I saw something really weird, apparently the Romans and the Persians said "and all of these we did only so that the Jewish People should be able to engage in Torah" in reference to all of the ...
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2answers
418 views

Upper limits of “kovea itim”

It is known from the gemara (Shabbos 31a and cited in maamar Toras HaBayis ch. 1, among other places) that when a person dies, he is asked if he had set times for learning. I know that these times can ...
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1answer
75 views

Source for Arizal sweating while learning nigleh?

I recall learning that the Arizal would sweat profusely when learning nigleh and that this was related to removing the klipot. I cannot recall the source for this; does anyone know?
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1answer
76 views

Pirkei Avos on Shabbos Tisha B'Av

When Tisha B'Av comes out on a Shabbos, do we say Pirkei Avos in the cycle on that Shabbos?
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83 views

Seforim of Ramchal

I have heard (and don't remember where) that the seforim of the Ramchal, Mesilas Yesharim, Derech Hashem, and Klash Pischei Chochma are meant to be as steps in a ladder (no pun intended) of learning. ...
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288 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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79 views

Source for starting one limmud after finishing another

What is the source for starting a new limmud (learning) immediately after finishing the previous one? For example After finishing one mesechta I have seen people immediately start the next one, even ...
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113 views

Birchas Hatorah and Sefardic women

In an earlier question I mentioned that women make Birchas Hatorah. Is the same true for Sefardic women and why?