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There's a kid who started doing daf yomi and feels that through the daf he gains skills, confidence, knowledge, consistency and most of all a sense of accomplishment. His rabbi tells him one day he should stop doing the daf since he is in yeshiva and should focus all of his time on what the Yeshiva is learning (daf takes him 2 hours). As much has the kid respects his rabbi, he deeply feels that doing the daf is the right course of action for himself.

Although this seems like a specific case, it really can be applied to many different aspects of life. (Rabbi - Talmid, Parent - Child, ...etc)

There's a gemara that deals with a case of a patient and a doctor. The patient believes he/she needs medicine where the doctor does not. The gemara says that we listen to the patient because the patient knows in his heart a feeling that the doctor would never be able to understand. The Gemara says the opposite is true as well (doctor says he needs medicine , he must take medicine) but that is not a chiddush. The point being, although the rabbi in the first case thinks daf yomi is not right for the student, should the student listen or, because he feels that it's important, trust himself?

Secondly, are there other sources that deal with this concept (knowledgeable vs. less knowledgeable) with conflicting thoughts, whom do we listen to?

  • The question would be does the daf take away from his learning or is he doing it "on his own time". What would he be doing if he did not go to a daf yomi shiur? – sabbahillel Jun 9 '16 at 13:37
  • Please correct the words "Talmud" to "Talmid". Talmud can easily be confused with meaning "Gemarah", whereas "Talmid" means "student", which is what you mean, I believe. Offhand, I think he should obey his rebbe in this case. Pirkei Avot states "Aseh lecha rav", and Rabbeinu Yona among other commentaries implies that this is a teacher whom you follow as a mentor who knows what is best for you. @sabbahillel's comment is a factor, and there may be some rom for discussion and debate between student & rebbe. But, in most cases, the student should follow the rebbe w/o great debate. – DanF Jun 9 '16 at 15:11
  • @DanF You can feel free to edit the question if you think it's unclear – Daniel Jun 9 '16 at 15:16
  • Can you further explain the last sentence "knowledgable vs. less knowledgeable..."? Intuitively, one should go with the source having the most knowledge (assuming that both opinions are halachically correct.) What do you mean, here, by "knowledgable"? What type of knowledge? Based on what? – DanF Jun 9 '16 at 15:24
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    @DanF Granting your interpretation of "Asei l'cha rav" (though I didn't see that in R' Yonah), it also implies that the student should choose who his rebbi is (see also Ta'anis 24a, "רבי יוסי בר אבין הוה שכיח קמיה דר' יוסי דמן יוקרת שבקיה... אמר ליה גברא דעל בריה ועל ברתיה לא חס עלי דידי היכי חייס"). First, the student should choose the right rebbi for him, a suitable rebbi whom he knows he can trust implicitly (see Shabbos 127b, see also Rashi ad loc. s.v. "שאינו בדוק לרבי"). Once he has found a rebbi whose guidance he knows he can trust, he can proceed to trust the rebbi's guidance. – Fred Jul 12 '16 at 23:13
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Respectfully, how can a Rosh Yeshiva tell a talmid what to not learn?

If the talmid's learning is not disturbing other bochurim what right does the Rosh Yeshiva have to stop him learning be'makom shelibo chafetz?

Cookie cutter yeshivos do not turn out talmidei chachamim.

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    I didn't vote on this answer, partly because the question appears to be a request for personal practical advice, and it's hard to give a straightforward answer without all the details of the case (in this case, there are probably פנים לכאן ולכאן). However, the principle you cited does have a source: 'Avoda Zara 19a, "א"ר אין אדם לומד תורה אלא ממקום שלבו חפץ". The story there with Levi and Rebbi is especially relevant to your point, and it would bolster your answer. – Fred Jul 13 '16 at 3:02
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The student should focus on learning what the Yeshiva is learning. Visalmud Torah Keneged Kulam - And the study of Torah is equivalent to them all (Peah 1:1).

All of Torah study is equal. A person should only learn Torah because it is a Mitzvah, and he loves doing Mitzvos, because it shows how much he loves Hashem.

In Nefesh Shimshon, Attainment of Torah, Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus relates that he once meant a Kollel man who said that he couldn't stay with the same subject, and halfway through morning Seder, he would switch from Maseches Gittin to Maseches Brachos. Rabbi Pincus told him he'd be better off if he worked for the second half of morning Seder, that way he'd be exempt from Torah study and would make a Parnassah, but if he kept switching from topic to topic he wouldn't get anywhere. I highly recommend buying Rabbi Pincus's book here: http://www.feldheim.com/nefesh-shimshon-attainment-of-torah.html

It would seem strange to Daven Shemoneh Esrei, then the last paragraph of Shema, then a few lines of Ah'rei, then Aleinu, then Birchos HaShachar, wouldn't it? The same is with Torah study.

They say that during Davening, you're talking to Hashem, but during Torah study, Hashem is talking to you.

Could you imagine having a conversation where the other person just jumped from topic to topic at random? It would never work!

It's also safe to assume that the Rabbi who told the Bachur this knows what he's talking about, as he has many more years of life experience and Torah knowledge. The Bachur should try to trust that the Rabbi knows what he's talking about.

The Yeshiva Bachur should try to learn what the rest of the Yeshiva is learning. Although it might be hard, if he really puts his all into it, he will have b’syata d’shmaya, and the Torah will only become sweeter for him.

They say the Chazon Ish once spent 15 hours a day, every day, for 3 months, learning a single Mishnah. He worked as hard as he could do that he could squeeze every drop out of that Mishnah. This couldn't have been done if the Chazon Ish learned a little bit of the Mishnah, then went to Mishnah Yomi, then back to the Mishnah, then a little Daf Yomi, then back to the Mishnah, etc. It could only be done with clear, constant study on that one Mishnah.

  • The student should focus on learning what the Yeshiva is learning. Visalmud Torah Keneged Kulam - And the study of Torah is equivalent to them all (Peah 1:1). What has one got to do with the other? – mevaqesh Aug 12 '16 at 17:56
  • All of Torah study is equal. Source? – mevaqesh Aug 12 '16 at 17:57
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    A person should only learn Torah because it is a Mitzvah, and he loves doing Mitzvos, because it shows how much he loves Hashem. That is debatable. – mevaqesh Aug 12 '16 at 17:58
  • Rabbi Pincus told him he'd be better off if he worked for the second half of morning Seder, that way he'd be exempt from Torah study That is an interesting sort of view. It should be noted that the vast majority (all?) Rishonim hold that the daily recitation of the Sh'ma fulfills one's obligation to study Torah. – mevaqesh Aug 12 '16 at 18:00
  • It would seem strange to Daven Shemoneh Esrei, then the last paragraph of Shema, then a few lines of Ah'rei, then Aleinu, then Birchos HaShachar, wouldn't it? The same is with Torah study. Well the metaphor is only true if we agree to the conclusion. kind of circular. – mevaqesh Aug 12 '16 at 18:00
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I suppose that the Rabbi takes a such decision because of specific reasons. Perhaps the Talmid does not learn successfully the Yeshiva Programm. The Rabbi did not write an Halacha "Daf Hayomi is forbidden for Talmid Yeshiva!". Probably, this studentl does not understand the real motivations of his Rabbi.

The Gemara you mentions regards Yom Kippur, Chilul Shabbat and I can not quote it today. In some cases the conflict is between the ill man and the non-specialist doctor and in other cases with the specialist. One of the concepts is Lev yodea Marat Nafsho (one person can feel the severity of his situation).

The question seem's to say that this Rabbi does not understand the student. It is not impossible , may be that the student want or need to change Rabbi. But if the student is convinced that this rabbi is the right Rabbi, he may ask again and explain himself or ask for additional explanation. May be that for an other student, the Rabbi would agree to this that studying Daf Hayomi is a good idea for one period. The student is not married with the Yeshiva and can look for an other Yeshiva. But when he study in a Yeshiva he have a responsibility and can not feel free. The fact that he learns Daf Hayomi in the full light of the day, generates perhaps a damage for the Yeshiva. The Rosh Yeshiva is the boss of the yeshiva. He can decide that in this Yeshiva one cannot study daf hayomi or yerushalmi, he can promote an homogeneous learning for chizuk. Yeshiva is generally not a democratic institution.

Summary:

  1. The Rosh Yeshiva decides what the student need to learn, if the Rosh Yeshiva is right or not is an other question.
  2. The problem of a bachur who learns Daf Hayomi may be a problem for the bachur himself, because wasting time needed for Yeshiva program, or because this will lead other students to learn Daf Yomi and to leave the program.
  3. In Yeshivot they learn in way to develop the learning ability of the student and to learn Daf Hayomi is not the same kind of training. Perhaps is it not helpfull for the student.
  4. Each student must choose his Yeshiva and his Rav. Sometimes it is possible to change.

I remember a Gemara in perek Hashoel, which does not provide an answer but may enlightening the relationship between Rabbi and students regarding the choice of the masechet, Baba Metsia 97a:

אמרו ליה רבנן לרבא שאיל לן מר אקפיד אמר להו לאפקועי ממונאי קא בעיתו אדרבה אתון שאילתון לי דאילו אנא מצי אישתמוטי לכו ממסכתא למסכתא אתון לא מציתו לאישתמוטי ולא היא איהו שאיל להו ביומא דכלה אינהו שאילו ליה

The scholars said to Raba: 'You, Master, are loaned to us.' This enraged him: 'You wish to deprive me of my possessions!' he exclaimed.' On the contrary, you are loaned to me! For I can change you over from one tractate to another, whilst you cannot!' But neither was entirely correct. He was lent to them during the Kallah days, whilst they were loaned to him for the rest of the year.

Thus the right way is to follow the choices of the Rabbi for the choice of the masechet, excepted for the periods in which the rav needs to teach special halachot, before regalim (Rashi).

  • improved English – kouty Mar 11 '17 at 23:58

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