The Gemara in Pesachim 72a says, "One, who reviews a subject 40 times, is guaranteed it will be rooted in his memory as if it were placed in his pocket."

However, the Mishnah Berurah 114:41 says, "Reviewing one’s studies 101 times ensures that they will not be forgotten."

Does reviewing one's studies 40 times or 101 times, insure that it stays in one's memory?

  • 1
    Presumably, the point of the gemara in Chagiga is that, even if someone has already reviewed his studies 100 times, he will still benefit substantially from further study.
    – Fred
    May 1 '15 at 23:12
  • hebrewbooks.org/…
    – Yishai
    May 3 '15 at 18:21
  • The Mishna B'rura is citing the Chasam Sofer (OC §20) in the context of how many times a person has to say the amida after we stop saying mashiv haru'ach before he can be assumed to be accustomed to the new formulation. The CS understands the gemara in Chagiga as you indicate, and comes up with a novel calculation whereby there are 101 t'filos over the 30 day period following the switch. Thereby, the CS synthesizes his understanding of the gemara in Chagiga with the Y'rushalmi in Ta'anis (2b, "א"ר יוחנן כל ל' יום חזקה מה שהוא למוד הזכיר").
    – Fred
    May 3 '15 at 22:42
  • 2
    Note, though, that although the CS follows this understanding of the gemara in Chagiga ("וכן הוא מפורסם ומקובל שהשונה מאה פעמים ואחד לא במהרה הוא שוכח"), other opinions follow the contrasting view mentioned in my original comment. For example, when R' Chaim Volozhin was 19, he told the GR"A, "I reviewed seder Mo'ed 19 times, and it's still not completely clear to me!" The GR"A replied, "You expect it to be clear after only 19 reviews?" R' Chaim asked, "How many, then? 101?" To which the GR"A answered: "There is no fixed quantity! Rather, one must spend his whole life reviewing."
    – Fred
    May 3 '15 at 23:02

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