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15

Sit with Jastrow's Aramaic dictionary and Frank's Practical Talmud Dictionary and look up every word and phrase until you start recognising you've looked this up before. This is the way I did it, but unlike every other person I know I enjoy finding words in the dictionary. If you have the opportunity then full-time learning in a Yeshivah would obviously be ...


13

http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=339


12

If you can't find a partner with which to study, or prefer to go it alone, I recommend the ArtScroll Talmud. Its translation and explanatory notes are excellent. In terms of which tractate to start with, traditionally, children are initiated into Talmud study with the 2nd chapter of Bava Metzia, which deals with the laws of returning lost objects. Starting ...


12

If you're just starting a Jewish library, and don't have a good idea already about what you need, then you probably weren't raised with enough Jewish background to fully sort out the list above. (And may not have such a good command of Hebrew.) In that case, a reasonable list would include (in approximate order): ArtScroll Chumash Siddur ArtScroll (Nusach ...


11

I'm sure I'll miss some important things, but here's a list of what I'd consider essential (or at least very useful). I'm going to write for the English speaker, since that's what I'm used to. I'm community-wikifying this answer, so anyone with 100 reputation points can edit it. I'm going to type this out without links at first and come back in and linkify ...


11

Rabbi Haim Vital in his introduction to Sefer Eitz Haim gives three pre-requisites to learn Kabbalah, 1) A person must be married 2) A person must have learned Gemarra for five years 3) A person must be 20 years of age. Rav Ovadyah Hedayya(He was the Chief Kabbalist of Israel, as well as the Av Beit Din of Jerusalem, and Rav Ovadyah Yosef's Rav) in his seer ...


11

I am hardly an expert, but was once in a situation similar to yours. I agree with the other respondents that finding someone knowledgeable to work with one-on-one, or in a small group, is ideal. Larger groups don't tend to work as well. No matter who you study with, though, it might be valuable to get your feet wet with Mishna first. Mishnayot are generally ...


11

A few ideas: Get into "round-table" discussions related to the Exodus somehow, in which everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions on the subject at hand. For example, citing the midrash about how the redemption was deserved by the Jews for not changing their "Jewish" attire and names can incite a socio-historical discussion about the role of ...


10

Here is an exhaustive (but not necessarily complete) list of earlier lexiconic sources for Talmud: Sefer HaAruch, Rabbeinu Nasan Ben Yehiel, Sefer HaTishbi from R' Eliyahu Bachur, or this link Sefas HaYam, or this link K'lalei HaTalmud of Rav Yosef Karo, K'lalei HaTalmud of Rav Betzalel Ashkenazi, In the back of any Vilna Edition of Maseches B'rachos, ...


9

As others have said, the Shach (the Sifsei Cohen), says that one must be 40 before they can learn kabbalah. Others disagree: Even though there is an opinion that one should not begin to study Kabbalah until the age of 40, the great masters of Kabbalah and Chassidut did not agree with this opinion. Some of the greatest teachers of Kabbalah--including the ...


9

Strangely enough, I have found that those who aren't interested will tend to go with the flow if you state from the outset that you're going to read through the Hagadah. It will be dry. It may be boring. But if they are mature enough (not particularly opposed to ritual, and your question implies that they are not), just give everyone a Hagadah and say you're ...


8

I echo Isaac's suggestions. The best way is to study with someone one-on-one if you can find someone to study with you. Beginners classes are also a good idea. Even still, I recommend suplementing studying in a class or partner, or an english transaltion with review time. The second time you see the same words it becomes easier and easier. I also recommend ...


8

Your best bet is to find a teacher who will learn with you one-on-one. That way, he/she will be able to gauge what you understand already and how your understanding grows. One way to find such a person would be to ask your Rabbi if he could learn with you or if he knows someone appropriate. Depending on where you live, there may also be local adult education ...


8

Even if it is true, it wouldn't be a concern on this site, because the [primary] purpose is for other Jews to see it. Even if we're answering to a non-Jewish user (which of course, is impossible to tell) there are still other Jews who will see it and benefit from it. To give it a real world analogy: Publishing a sefer would have the same problem. Any ...


8

"Yelchu Mchail el Choil" (Thilim 84:8) "They advance from strength to strength". ח יֵלְכוּ, מֵחַיִל אֶל-חָיִל; יֵרָאֶה אֶל-אֱלֹהִים בְּצִיּוֹן. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appeareth before God in Zion.


8

There is a basic way of analyzing the text that should get you "in" to some degree. Identify every statement in the shakle ve tarye according to one of these seven categories. Difficulty Resolution of difficulty. Disproof Proof Question Answer Statement. II. Understand how each move is achieving its goal. E.g. How did the proof achieve its goal. ...


8

It seems like you wanted some practical tips. I have run many successful sedarim with differently engaged Jews. There are a couple of things that I do to engage people who may not be initially interested in sharing their thoughts. Go around the table and have everyone finish a sentence "slavery is..." "freedom is..." Do some prep work and print out a ...


8

Yes, such classes exist, and are recommended for potential bridegrooms. Speak to the rabbi of any orthodox synagogue, and he should be able to direct you someone who can tutor you in this field. So, I suspect, can the head or mashgiach of any bes midrash. Covered topics are hilchos nida and v'sasos, k'vod ishto, and others, though the exact list varies from ...


7

See this excellent essay for more, especially with regards to posting free material online.


7

Zechariah 3 (7): כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, אִם-בִּדְרָכַי תֵּלֵךְ וְאִם אֶת-מִשְׁמַרְתִּי תִשְׁמֹר, וְגַם-אַתָּה תָּדִין אֶת-בֵּיתִי, וְגַם תִּשְׁמֹר אֶת-חֲצֵרָי--וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ מַהְלְכִים, בֵּין הָעֹמְדִים הָאֵלֶּה. 'Thus saith the LORD of hosts: If thou wilt walk in My ways, and if thou wilt keep My charge, and wilt also judge My house, and ...


7

I think if people go into it with the attitude that they're going to be bored and it's just a ritual, don't try shoving things down their throats. One gimmick might be to "beep" out anyone if they mention Moshe's name (the original haggada made a point of leaving it out; we've since thrown in a paragraph in which it pops up once). Another idea is to outline ...


7

There are a couple of things that I do to engage people who may not be initially interested in sharing their thoughts. Go around the table and have everyone finish a sentence "slavery is..." "freedom is..." Do some prep work and print out a different quote for each person at the table. It can be from literature, torah, art whatever. Last year I chose ...


7

Report This "answer" records what I did this year and how it worked out. I drew from several suggestions in other answers here. Some context: the two seders had different but overlapping groups of attendees. One has always been a "when do we eat?" seder; the other spends more time but replaces a lot of the traditional content with other readings and ...


7

The National Jewish Outreach Program offers free Hebrew classes in several cities designed to get people started. These are weekly classes for 5 or 6 weeks designed to teach you how to pronounce the words in front of you (so you can stop relying on transliteration) and some very basic vocabulary. I don't know where in Pennyslvania you live; they at least ...


6

Mossad HaRav Kook has Rambam's own Sefer HaMitzvot with his original Judeo-Arabic and the Hebrew translation, side-by-side ("mekor v'targum.") You could probably pick it up from those parallel texts.


6

Philosophically, the siyyum is a way to celebrate your accomplishment with your community. Especially since the siyyum requires (1) a minyan, so you can say the kaddish derabbanan, and (2) a celebratory meal, it's a way of sharing your personal study accomplishment. The hadran is one's declaration of intent to return to this subject matter again someday. ...


6

We say חזק חזק ונתחזק when we finish each Chumash. יהושע: כג. ו. וחזקתם מאד לשמר ולעשות את כל הכתוב בספר תורת משה לבלתי סור ממנו ימין ושמאול ישעיהו: מא. ו. איש את רעהו יעזרו ולאחיו יאמר חזק עזרא: י. ד. קום כי עליך הדבר ואנחנו עמך חזק ועשה דברי הימים א: יט. יג. חזק ונתחזקה בעד עמנו ובעד ערי אלהינו ויהוה הטוב בעיניו יעשה


6

JewFAQ does pretty much exactly what you're looking for, I think. They have nice writeups about all kinds of issues, from basic issues of belief to various areas of practice, categorized nicely and presented on different levels for people with different levels of experience. If the person is more comfortable reading Russian than English, he might do well ...


6

http://www.yutorah.org/ has halacha shiurim on a huge range of topics, both in depth and very practical. Just click on the "halacha" tab. Highly recommended. Also http://www.kolhaloshon.com/, from the more yeshivish side of things, with lots of shiurim from R' Osher Arieli and other Ram"im in the MIr Yeshiva.


5

I don't know the best way to learn how to blow shofar but I can tell you how I learned. Firstly, I was told that as a child that the main thing is to NOT BLOW into the shofar. That is, the shofar is not a baloon, and you do not want to blow into it directly. You want to shape your lips and allow the air to pass through them, but you do not want to blow ...



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