May one make a Siyum on Tanach simply by reading without understanding the meaning of what one is learning?

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    – MTL
    Apr 16, 2015 at 0:38
  • If I recall correctly there is no reward for reading Tora she be al pe without understanding. As opposed to Torah she beChtav where just pronouncing the words is enough.
    – helloworld
    Apr 16, 2015 at 0:43
  • 1
    @helloworld It may be 'enough' for some benefit but it's very far from ideal.
    – Double AA
    Apr 16, 2015 at 1:05
  • @DoubleAA Updated my answer to better fit what is being asked in the question.
    – helloworld
    Apr 16, 2015 at 4:58
  • @helloworld The question is about Torah Shebichtav anyway.
    – Daniel
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:27

2 Answers 2


In Guidelines by Rabbi Elozor Barclay and Rabbi Yitzchok Jaeger, both for the 3 Weeks and for Pesach, they say that to make a siyum that permits meat & wine in the first case or breaking the fast Erev Pesach, it must be on one of the following:

  1. A seder of Mishnayot (Zeraim, Moed, etc)
  2. A masechet of Gemara
  3. A sefer of Tanach learned b'iyun (which they do not define)
  4. A chelek of Shulchan Aruch

I don't think a sefer one learned without understanding it qualifies as "b'iyun". If one wants to celebrate one's learning, and it is not permitting meat & wine during the Nine Days or permitting eating on the Fast of the Firstborn, one can, as one can celebrate any learning.

  • +1 But one would really want a more authoritative source than a diyyuk from a popular digest.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 7, 2016 at 15:45

Kitzur Shuljan Aruch in Halachot Talmud Torah (27) halacha 5 states:

סעיף ה צריך ליזהר, בכל מה שהוא לומד, להוציאו בשפתיו ולהשמיע לאזניו, שנאמר לא ימוש ספר התורה הזה מפיך, והגית בו וגו', ומי שמוציא בשפתיו, אף על פי שאינו מבין, קיים מצות ולמדתם, ולכן כל עם הארץ מברך ברכת התורה בשחר לפני הפסוקים, וכן כשעולה לספר תורה. וכל העוסק בתורה, ואינו יכול להבין, מחמת קוצר דעתו, יזכה להבינה בעולם הבא. ‏

From the above we see that a person who gets called to the Torah recites a blessing even if he does not understand. Since whenever we finish one of the 5 books of the Chumash we make a syum, even though the possibility of reading without understanding exists, I would guess that it is possible to make a syum for Tanach even though it was not understood.

  • 2
    whenever we finish one of the 5 books of the Chumash we make a syum, - we do? Jan 11, 2016 at 14:00
  • Where does the the quote from kitzur come from סעיף ה. וכל העוסק בתורה, ואינו יכול להבין, מחמת קוצר דעתו, יזכה להבינה בעולם הבא. ‏ I saw it quoted as razash hilchos talmud torah - who is that?? Nov 7, 2016 at 14:13
  • @Draizy-Levi Pine see my edit kitsur 27, 5
    – kouty
    Nov 7, 2016 at 15:06
  • @kouty You are very welcome. בבקשה.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 7, 2016 at 15:38
  • @kouty - maybe i missed it - but the end of that kitzur is said to be "Razash Hilchos Talmud Torah - pls see the pic, who is the RAZASH? image Nov 7, 2016 at 17:23

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