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

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4
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
202 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 burned or buried?
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
165 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.
8
votes
2answers
132 views

What was the attitude of Rabbonim regarding Purim Torah?

Purim Torah seems to be a two sided concept. On one hand, many people do it for many years (for example, Maseches Purim was published in 1871). On the other hand, it seems to be a Bizayon HaTorah ...
1
vote
2answers
265 views

What scientific authenticity does the Dead Sea Scrolls provide to justify that Torah is a word of God? [closed]

The scrolls were discovered from the caves of Qumran in 1946-47. These scrolls have some variations as compared to the present Torah. FYI:The Dead Sea Scrolls
16
votes
1answer
253 views

Can you learn from seforim written by someone who believed in Shabbetai Tzvi?

During the times of false messiah Shabbetai Tzvi, and for several decades afterwards, many well established rabbanim [1] believed him to be Moshiach. Some even maintained this belief after his ...
9
votes
1answer
298 views

Sh'kalim, Kinim, Midos in daf yomi

Why are Sh'kalim (Y'rushalmi) and Kinim and Midos (mishnayos) learned as part of the standard daf yomi cycle for Talmud Bavli? And if the answer relies on some fact of publication, then (a) why ...
5
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Where can I find the booklet “Structure of Debate”?

I was in a different shul this past Shabbos when I saw a very interesting booklet of more than 200 pages called "Structure of Debate" by Jonathan Bailey. It's a primer to learning gemara. I tried ...
2
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
247 views

Saying Hashem's name when studying

I learned somewhere that when you are learning, if you are going to read an entire pasuk without interruption you can say Hashem's name, however if you are going to only say part of the pasuk (for ...
12
votes
1answer
155 views

By using judaism.stackexchange am I fulfilling the mitzvoh of learning Torah?

To what extent can using judaism.stackexchange in the following ways be considered fulfilling the mitzvoh of learning Torah? Reading posts Posing questions Researching answers Other
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
297 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
588 views

After chumashim with notes and Rashi, what's the next torah commentary I should acquire and study?

When I read the torah text (parsha or otherwise) I currently use a couple of chumashim with notes, and Rashi. I know some Hebrew but am not fluent. I'm ready to stretch beyond what I'm reading now ...
17
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
217 views

Is Listening to a Torah Tape considered Talmud Torah?

It says in the Baal HaTanya's Hilchos Talmud Torah that one fulfills his obligation to learn Torah only if he says the words. Moreover, a Chavrusa fulfills his obligation only because Shomeya Keoneh. ...
9
votes
2answers
106 views

Why doesn't saying the sh'ma satisfy torah-reading requirements?

According to this answer to a related question, the g'mara on Bava Kamma 82a requires reading torah at least every three days because we should never go longer than that without words of torah. But ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Did Melchizedek create a yeshiva?

Did Melchizedek have a yeshiva which he used to teach Torah to people, including Avraham?
6
votes
2answers
137 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"?
14
votes
2answers
188 views

What happened to the Yeshivas Shem v'Aiver?

What happened to the Yeshiva of Shem v'Aiver and all who learnt there?
14
votes
2answers
306 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
142 views

Talking to objects and Avoda Zara

This question inspired by This question here at programmers.se There is a concept in some programing circles called "Rubber Ducking", where one expresses a problem to a rubber ducky and through that ...
5
votes
1answer
466 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
101 views

The midos by which the Torah is expounded. Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili's are not in the siddur. Rabbi Yishmoel's are. Why?

Rashi on Braishis 2(8) refers to the 32 midos of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili by which the Torah is expounded. These are less familiar than the 13 of Rabbi Yishmoel that we say every ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
11
votes
5answers
310 views

Meaning of ודו"ק

It is fairly common to find the abbreviation ודו"ק at the end of a complex explanation of a Torah thought (Maharsha, for example, famously does this very often). Roughly, it means: "I didn't explain ...
4
votes
2answers
114 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
440 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 ...
58
votes
2answers
906 views

Does “reputation scoring” make “the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with”?

I apologise in advance if this is not the place to ask this question. Is "reputation scoring" against the spirit of Pirkei Ovos 4 (5) "Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not make the Torah a crown to ...
3
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
593 views

Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

“Boich sevarah”

There is a common Yiddish phrase used to describe an arbitrary reasoning that is not based on the sources: "Boich sevarah" -- literally, "stomach reasoning." What is the exact meaning of this phrase, ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Is there a short Daf Yomi shiur online in English?

There is a short, 10-minute daf yomi shiur in Hebrew here: http://www.sinai.org.il/ and I was wondering if there is anything comparable in English. I'm looking for a Daf Yomi shiur online that is ...
4
votes
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
votes
6answers
168 views

Beginning a comprehensive study of Moreh N'vuchim

A friend of mine would like to begin learning Moreh N'vuchim seriously and is unsure of exactly where/with what to start. What is the best version out there of the book itself? Are there any ...
7
votes
8answers
238 views

Beginner on Rav Soloveitchik

I am looking to delve into the teachings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993). Any recommendations on a good starting point?
7
votes
4answers
426 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Torah Learning Time Calculator

I am looking for something that will take the sefer I want to learn, and the amount of time/days I want to complete it in and tell me the average amount I need to learn a day. It doesn't have to be ...
13
votes
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
840 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
8
votes
2answers
80 views

Why 30 days of preparation for a חג

Why exactly 30 days to review the laws of the upcoming holidays? Is there anything about the number 30 that makes it significant?
5
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
301 views

Moreh Nevuchim: To learn or not to learn?

I have come across many people who believe that it is inappropriate to learn Moreh Nevuchim especially at a younger inexperienced age. However, it seems that many important issues are discussed in the ...
8
votes
6answers
224 views

What do people mean when they say “Kaballah”?

I recently spoke to someone who said she was interested in learning Kabbala but could not find any classes. I mentioned to her she may want to try learning Tanya because there is a lot of Kabbala in ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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?