Questions about the mitzvah to study Torah, and the nature of Torah study This tag is not intended to be a general tag about Torah. Almost every question on the site is about Torah in some sense. If your question is about a passage in the Bible, try one of the book tags.

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3
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0answers
64 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 - ...
10
votes
3answers
285 views

what are the “Mishnah” and “Gemara” referenced in Pirkei Avot 5?

At the end of Pirkei Avot 5, we have a statement (of either Ben Hei Hei or R. Yehuda ben Tema --- I have two siddurim with slightly different texts): He used to say: at five years of age, the ...
3
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
4
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7answers
4k 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)?
8
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2answers
115 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
156 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 ...
15
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2answers
360 views

Why are these tractates, “Yeshivish Mesechtos”?

There is a cycle of tractates in the Talmud that are learned in Yeshiva each year. This is an exclusive list, where only a small number of volumes are covered in the curriculum. There must be some ...
4
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0answers
95 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
2
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3answers
123 views

Brisker Shiurim Online

I am looking for advanced Shiurim online which teach Gemara in the Brisker fashion, does anyone know if any (preferably free) classes are available online?
4
votes
3answers
174 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
172 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?

Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

Learning Kabbalah from other students of the Arizal?

It says in Sforim that one shouldn't learn Kabbalah from any of the students of the Arizal except for R' Chaim Vital (as they didn't understand the Arizal properly). I have never seen such a worry ...
3
votes
3answers
233 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
votes
3answers
123 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
215 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 ...
5
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3answers
72 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, ...
-1
votes
1answer
127 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
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
3
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0answers
111 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
470 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
163 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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votes
3answers
238 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
votes
2answers
145 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
108 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
votes
1answer
302 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
179 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?
3
votes
2answers
199 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
159 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
votes
2answers
281 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
1
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0answers
42 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
267 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
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
87 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
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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?
6
votes
2answers
334 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
votes
2answers
206 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
268 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
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
471 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
464 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
162 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
votes
2answers
139 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, ...