Is it better to learn one Mesechta and know it very well, or to learn many Mesechtos and know them superficially?

  • 2
    Define "well" and "superficially". Know one masechta with all of the commentaries possible or a few with just Rashi? Know one's shakla v'taria well or a few with only a section here and there? Know one's shakla v'taria well or a few with only the maskanos?
    – DonielF
    Jan 29, 2017 at 16:07
  • What kind of choice is this? Why not work to know all of them well?
    – Double AA
    Jan 29, 2017 at 16:42
  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/22945/…
    – rosends
    Jan 29, 2017 at 16:48
  • @Danno Is this not a dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22595/759
    – Double AA
    Jan 29, 2017 at 18:04
  • Could all three be merged?
    – rosends
    Jan 29, 2017 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein the Rosh Yeshiva of Knesset Yisrael of Slobadka held that its better to learn a small amount but with depth than learning even the whole shas superficially. One who finished Shas can still be called an Am Ha'aretz (ignoramus) if he doesn't understand the logic behind the sugyos. He writes this in his Levush Mordechai (Bava Kama in Hakdama):

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If you define well as knowing it Bal Pah, then we might connect your question to what's Mekibel from Tzadikim to have this one Mesechta that you know Bal Pah, known as the Oilem Habah Mesechta.

Once you have this one Mesechta, the rest will depend on what danno linked regarding learning B'iyan vs B'qius

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