Where the question is coming from:

An absolute essential requirement for any Tanna/Amora would be to have the whole of Tanach at their fingertips. Maybe not photographically memorized, but they should have seen it all, know it all well, and be able to cross reference it and know where every thing is. They had to know the wording of all the pasukim, the spellings and kri/k'tivs, the vowels, which letters are big/small etc etc. Many times they even seem to know exactly how many times a single word or idea appears in the whole of Tanach. They did this without chapter numbers or verse numbers. It boggles the mind.

Do we have any record of how they achieved this? Was there a method? Tanach is huge and to know it as well as that, a simple "just read it a few times" method probably wasn't enough...

  • [...] would learn from his master etc.... There are plenty of examples where this is stated in Gemara and Mishnah. Maybe each person would spend an x-ammount of time with his Rabbi, I think that is the most obvious.... what you think?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 18:33
  • How is this different from the requirements and processes involved in studying everything else?
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 18:44
  • 1
    B'H I just finished studying AZ 19a and I saw something that has to do with this. Rashi there (ילמד אדם) says that a person should first learn from his master, until he is fluent in the text and its meaning. So, it would seem that my first hypothesis was somewhat true.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 19:01
  • 3
    בֶּן חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים לַמִּקְרָא בֶּן עֶשֶׂר לַמִּשְׁנָה if all you do for five years is Mikra, you will probably know it pretty well.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 23:07
  • 1
    The Amoraim did not necessarily all know all of Tanach. See sefaria.org/…
    – N.T.
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 1:51


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