Starting from 11th grade this year, I've been going to a dormitory yeshiva a few hours away from home and come back every off shabbos. Before that, I never been to Yeshiva, but since I was around 8 years old, I've always kept shabbos and kosher and learned halachah here and there. I've never really focused much on Gemara because my rebbe told me I had to focus on my middos and hashkafa. It's one of those yeshivas that are not schedule based, but each bochur decides what he needs to focus on with his rebbe. Now that I'm not in yeshiva, I've been learning gemara consistently for the past few days with my chavrusa and I'm already getting used to it. From those of you who have been in similar situations, how far would you say I will get in 2 months after learning for 45 minutes a day?

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    Hi, thanks for stopping by to ask. Unfortunately, this question is not really on-topic here, so it might be closed. The short answer is - keep it up, and do what you can. Focus on getting a feel for the flow of the gemara, and finding a "rhythm" in your learning which suits you. Don't worry about how much you cover at this point. – simyou Mar 30 '20 at 5:00
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    Everybody is different. It depends on your aptitude probably. – larry909 Mar 30 '20 at 12:48
  • Look at what I write on daf yomi in chat and see if you understand it. It will give you a good basis of how to learn rashi. @Nathan Shahkohi you dont tell us what you use. – interested Mar 30 '20 at 13:41
  • @simyou Not that it's off-topic, but that it's opinion based. As Moshe answers very nicely, everybody is different and no two people have the same learning experience. – DonielF Mar 31 '20 at 1:20
  • 10,000 hours....... – user6591 Mar 31 '20 at 19:12

I understand your question, but at the same time I need you to understand that it's basically impossible to know since I don't know you. Though, it's always a good idea to look at what Chazal (Sages) have to say about the matter...

  1. Make sure that your Chavrusah (Teacher I presume) is a pure fellow - Moed Katan 17a
  2. The use of Mnemonics is important, it always helps - Shabbos 104a
  3. Remember that memory is divinely controlled, so don't get to frustrated - Megillah 6b
  4. That once a mistake is learned, it is hard to un-learn it, so be careful - Pesachim 112a
  5. That consuming too much torah at a fast paste can cause difficulty in learning - Nedarim 37b
  6. Anger causes one to forget his learning, and to increase in stupidity - Nedarim 22b
  7. Being in Israel sharpens one's mind, so if you're there good for you! Temurah 29a
  8. Torah can only be retained by one who kills himself for it. Work hard play hard - Shabbos 83b
  9. Torah will not be found with a relaxed person: Eruvin 55a
  10. Torah is like a fig tree, which has fruit at various stages of ripening; the longer one works at it, the more one finds: Eruvin 54a-b
  11. Torah is like a nipple, producing for as long as one works at it - Eruvin 54b
  12. The Torah is not in the heavens or across the sea, but were it there, we would have to go get it - Eruvin 55a

There's so much more...

Just keep Shteiging and NEVER give up.


I have been learning Gemara since i was in first grade, But my rebbeim always say once you master translating 10 daf you can basically translate all of shas. It depends on how quick of a learner you are and how uch you complete in that allotted time. Some people take longer some people learn quicker, but 10 daf is the average.

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    There is more to learning than just translating @Mordechai Schmerler. – interested Mar 30 '20 at 18:43
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    I don't think this is true. 10 blatt, especially 10 blatt in the sections that are standardly studied by beginners, is nowhere near enough to be able to translate all of Shas. Sure, you'll get down standard terms like הכא במאי עסקינן, קמ"ל, חסורי מיחסרא, etc. but you won't have any idea what גילוי דעתא בגיטא, פסיק רישא דלא ניחא ליה, כל הראוי לבילה, etc. are. – Alex Mar 30 '20 at 22:35
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    What yeshiva did you go to that they learned gemara in first grade,unless you learned at home? – sam Mar 31 '20 at 1:12
  • No, I learned with my dad. I know how to learn. I first learned how to learn than I learned how to translate Gemara. – Mordechai Schmerler Mar 31 '20 at 20:26

My tradition from more than one Yeshivah that I attended taught me that when you know 30 daf (double sided pages) of Gemara in a row anywhere in the Talmud with Rashi and Tosfos, then you will never have difficulty learning the rest of Shas.

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    How would 30 blatt of berachos help for zevachim? – sam Mar 31 '20 at 14:58
  • by mastering the give and take and flow of the Gemara's speech and logic for 30 blatt with Rashi and Tosfos, one will be prepared for the flow of speech and logic anywhere in Shas. Actual subject matter and new words, would still need independent study and translation. – David Kenner Apr 1 '20 at 3:29
  • It's hard to say such a general rule,since some mashectos have different baalei tosfos and subject matter is an extremely important factor to mastering gemara ,since many subjects appear multiple times in shas. Since brachos is mainly aggadata the flow is very different than let's say zevachim which heavily a verse focused mashechta. Anyhow, did any rebbi advise which 30 blatt to do? – sam Apr 1 '20 at 3:42

My personal experience is that proficiency in learning Gemara comes in sudden leaps. You work on it and work on it, and you may not notice much improvement. Then, one day, something clicks. Your start to 'get it'.

Now, what 'it' is, depends on where you are holding in learning Gemara. 'It' may be understanding the back and forth of the Geamra, how to ask a better Kasha (question) or how to read a Tosfos.

The key, though, to having those leaps and bounds is to focus on what you need to improve right now. If you are having trouble with the basic meaning of the Gemara (i.e., peshat), then don't start working on Tosfos. If you aren't clear what a line of the Gemara means, don't press forward so that you can 'cover ground'.

Rather, make sure that you understand each line, what it means and how it fits into the bigger picture. If you do that (and don't fudge it), then you will improve. When you will see that improvement, though, is not clear. It may be in 2 months. It may be less, it may be more.

Obviously, the more quality time that you are able to dedicate to learning, the sooner you will see improvement. But the key is not so much 'when' as it is knowing that it will happen. You just have to put in the hours and let the process naturally work out.


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