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

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156 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 ...
4
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1answer
372 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 ...
4
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2answers
290 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? ...
4
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2answers
73 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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1answer
86 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
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, ...
4
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1answer
41 views

The Vilna Gaon's definition of Torah lishmah

The Vilna Gaon in his perush on aggados Chazal (Brachos 57a D"h hameikiz dam) says that a person who learns Torah lishmah does not need to work on his middos and does not need Pirkei Avos. I would ...
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2answers
158 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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2answers
108 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
106 views

Daf Yomi and a half-Daf

What is typically done in the Daf Yomi Shi'ur when a Masechta ends with a half-Daf (ie., an 'Amud, or single-sided page, vs. a full Daf, which is the double-sided page that is studied daily)? Is ...
4
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1answer
59 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
43 views

Is there a the obligation to be MeChadesh Divrei Torah

The mitzvah of learning Torah is well known. But what about being MeChadash Chidushei Torah, innovating Torah thoughts? Does such an obligation exist? or is it enough that I learn what is written ...
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1answer
63 views

Why do we say the normal Mishnayos after Birkas HaTorah on Tisha BeAv?

After Birkas HaTorah in the morning, we say a Pasuk (VaYedaber ... YeVarechecha ... VaAni Avarachem), a Mishna (Eilu Dvarim SheEin LaHem Shiyur ... VeTalmud Torah) and some Gemara (Eilu Devarim ...
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1answer
127 views

Were ancient Rabbis night owls?

I constantly here of stories of rabbis, in the olden days, that woke up at midnight recited Tikkun Hatzot and studied Torah until sunrise. Was this the common practice of Jews of ancient times or was ...
4
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1answer
55 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 ...
4
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1answer
110 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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108 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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155 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
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0answers
86 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
175 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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147 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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126 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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145 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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4answers
193 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 ...
3
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2answers
107 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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3answers
135 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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5answers
251 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
210 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 ...
3
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2answers
184 views

Does listening to Torah content count as the mitzvah of Talmud Torah?

Do I get the miztvah of learning Torah, by listening to your answers of these peoples questions?
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3answers
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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101 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 ...
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2answers
121 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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1answer
112 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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1answer
114 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 ...
3
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5answers
175 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 ...
3
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2answers
108 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
40 views

Can a Ba'al Kri'ah review the parshiot that he must lain on Tish'a B'Av?

I understand that we are not supposed to learn Torah, in general from afternoon of Erev Tish'a B'av until after chatzot of Tish'a B'av except for designated areas such as Eicha, Iyov, etc. Does this ...
3
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2answers
163 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 ...
3
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3answers
190 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
137 views

How does the content of the JPS English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot differ from that of the Hebrew version?

Because I am not yet fluent in Hebrew I am excited to learn that JPS is publishing an English translation of Miqra'ot Gedolot. (So far they've done Sh'mot, Vayikra, and Bamidbar.) As noted in one of ...
3
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1answer
40 views

What's a musar vaad and why is it called that?

I'm familiar with the term "ועד" (vaad) as meaning something like "congress" or "council" or "board": a legislative or similar body like the Vaad Arba Aratzos, the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, or the ...
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1answer
264 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
171 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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1answer
56 views

From whence do we learn that the Torah does not mince words? [duplicate]

I have oft heard it stated that "the Torah does not mince words" (example 1, example 2, example 3). While it seems natural/logical that the Creator of the World would use words precisely, from whence ...
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3answers
124 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
96 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 ...
3
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1answer
109 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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2answers
116 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
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2answers
76 views

Can I take out a sefer and not learn from it?

There is an issue with taking out a sefer Torah and not learning/reading from it, as it is disrespectful to the sefer. Does such a concern exist by other sefarim? I ask because I know that for some ...
3
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1answer
64 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 ...