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

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16
votes
6answers
895 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
811 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?
9
votes
1answer
273 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
252 views

Making a Siyum on major sections of learning but not a codified unit

If someone completes a major section of Talmud Torah that is not a formal unit (eg., Basar BeḤalav), may/should one make a Siyum?
11
votes
6answers
696 views

“Chabad” Gemara learning?

Is there a specifically "Chabad" way of learning Gemara? Is there a Chabad commentary on the Gemara?
3
votes
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)?
3
votes
2answers
165 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
2answers
353 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
744 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?
13
votes
8answers
1k 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.
14
votes
1answer
235 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
556 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
655 views

Am I liable to be stoned for my devotion to Hashem and the Jewish people?

I have spent over 2 years to this day praying for the Jewish people from the Koren Siddur and Machzorim. I have with my Rebbe's help tried to follow Jewish customs and laws, to my best ability. ...
7
votes
6answers
278 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
6
votes
4answers
658 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
10
votes
5answers
266 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 ...
51
votes
2answers
761 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

Talmud Study, Where to start

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basicall non-existant. I learnt how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - - ...
9
votes
7answers
372 views

Any primary sources that all Jewish males should l'chatchila stay in learning forever?

Does anyone know of any specific sources in Chazal or Rishonim (or even earlier achronim) that indicate that l'chatchila all Jewish males should learn full time forever? I know that this is the ...
10
votes
2answers
259 views

When I wake up before Alot Hshachar and won't go back to sleep, what can/can't I do?

If I wake up early in the morning, like any time from 2am to 6am, before Alot Hashachar, and I'm pretty sure I'll start my day and not go back to sleep, at least not before a possible afternoon nap, ...
10
votes
2answers
316 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, ...
4
votes
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
416 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
205 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.)
8
votes
2answers
374 views

Starting a Jewish Library

What Jewish Religious books should one consider when starting a Jewish Library in their home? A set of Shas (Talmud)and the Shulchan Orech (Code of Jewish Law) are the obvious ones, What else should ...
7
votes
2answers
88 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
197 views

Meforashim and Poskim on Mas. 'Avodah Zarah and forming a curriculum

A friend and I have decided to start learning Mas. 'Avodah Zarah. Our goal, however, is not to just pick a random Masechta of Gemara and learn it with the commentaries on the Daf. Our actual goal is ...
7
votes
3answers
135 views

Staying up all night on Shavu'ot

Every year, when I stay up learning Torah through the first night of Shavu'ot, I invariably fall asleep during the subsequent morning prayers. Last year, I tried something new: Learn all night, but ...
6
votes
2answers
192 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. ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
162 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
249 views

Is the way of the torah pleasant or painful?

In Avot (6:4) we read - כך היא דרכה של תורה, פת במלח תאכל ומים במשורה תשתה ועל הארץ תישן וחיי צער תחיה This is the way of torah... and a life of pain you shall live. contrast this with Mishlei ...
8
votes
2answers
281 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
393 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
223 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
224 views

Can one make a siyum mesechta if it was learned in English?

If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
5
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
89 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
votes
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
879 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
196 views

When is there Kaddish after a shiur?

When do you say Kaddish Derabanan after a shiur? What are the requirements for this Kaddish?
9
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
252 views

“Baruch shekivanti…”

There is a phrase of self-compliment people use when they find that they have independently arrived at the same conclusion as someone great. It begins with the words "ברוך שכיוונתי", translated ...
7
votes
1answer
76 views

Getting a late start on being Maavir Sedra for the year

I remember hearing when I was younger that ואלה שמות - is Roshei Teivos V'Chayav A'dam L'haavir H'sedra S'htayim M'ikra V'echod T'argum. If someone who has not been Maavir Sedra so far this year is ...
6
votes
2answers
64 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
250 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 ...