43

I do not think it is a problem for a few reasons. Kin'as sofrim tarbeh chochmah (jealousy among scholars will increase wisdom - Baba Basra 21a). A certain extent of competition in Torah is a good thing. Having people compete for even something as minor as points helps increase Torah and wisdom. There is an issue of a person becoming haughty or seeking honor ...


35

The way I see reputation points on stack exchange is that they are useful for the people asking questions, not for the person getting the points. That is, when someone comes to the site and asks a question, seeing the points next to a person's name gives that name 'recognition status'. If there is a debate between two people, one has 1 point, and the other ...


23

Let's put together a list here. The books of Lamentations (original Hebrew / JPS English translation) and Job (original Hebrew / JPS English translation): Jeremiah: all sections critical of the Jews' behavior or about the destruction. This is most of the book. Starting from chapter 1, one can continue until chapter 29, skipping the few verses of ...


21

I started preparing for conversion in 1999 during my undergraduate years, and finalized it in 2001. The hardest thing for me was to get an understanding of the legitimacy of different threads in Orthodoxy. I had a hard time accepting that Modern Orthodoxy could be legitimate, but eventually embraced what you might call right-wing MO. Finding a rabbi you ...


20

The Igros Moshe YD 3:86 says that the Chachamim commanded that women should not be taught Mishna since it is oral Torah and it is like teaching them tiflos(promiscuity) and it should be avoided. However, they can be taught Pirkei Avos since it has Mussar (instruction) and has hanhagos tovas (good deeds). In The Sefer VaYoel Moshe(Satmer Rebbe) Maimer ...


20

A Google spreadsheet with all that information (and more!) is available here. A screenshot of the more relevant part is clipped below:


19

Sit with Jastrow's Aramaic dictionary and Frank's Practical Talmud Dictionary and look up every word and phrase until you start recognising you've looked this up before. This is the way I did it, but unlike every other person I know I enjoy finding words in the dictionary. If you have the opportunity then full-time learning in a Yeshivah would obviously be ...


19

Rabbi Chaim Clorfene writes in his popular (and heavily annotated) book, The Path of the Righteous Gentile (p. 42), that B'nei Noach should learn parts of the Torah relevant to their service of God, as well as to the Torah's view on God. He adds that this can be broadly applied, as many areas of Torah "can bring one to greater knowledge concerning the ...


18

It doesn't seem that anyone attempted to address this in a comprehensive manner, so I will try. There might be slight overlap with some of the other answers here, and with my answer to this question. If you don't want to read through many paragraphs of sources, skip to the summary all the way at the bottom. It all starts with the Mishnah in Sotah 3:4 which ...


18

@H'Gabriel provided a lot of good resources. In this answer I'll try to address the conversion issue specifically. The conversion process is involved and long. You will go through the following steps, possibly more than once: Investigation and exploration: beginning to figure out what is attracting you, what alternatives there are (e.g. does being a ...


18

Rabbi Eli Mansour said after Rashi to learn Ramban.


17

With regard to Sh'kalim, I believe the answer does indeed rely on publication practices. The practice of printing (and therefore studying) Sh'kalim with the rest of Talmud Bavli Seder Moed can be traced as far back as the times of the Geonim. [The idea is that Sh'kalim is short and therefore relatively inexpensive to print with the rest of Seder Moed to ...


17

Shulchan Aruch HaRav writes (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:8): אסור לתלמיד חכם לעמוד במקום הטינופת לפי שאי אפשר לו בלא הרהורי תורה ומכל מקום מותר לו ליכנס לבית הכסא או למרחץ אף מתוך פלפול והלכה שאינה פסוקה ואין חוששין שיהרהר שם בה כמו שחוששין לכך בתפלה וגם אם יבא לו הרהור בעל כרחו שלא ברצונו אנוס הוא ואפילו אם מדבר בה לאונסו מפני רוב רגילותו לדבר בה כמעשה דרבי ...


17

Welcome and congratulations on your search and efforts! Beyond the suggestions above (first and foremost to approach the rabbi in a local synagogue or Chabad house), there are a number of websites which I have used at different points in time with a focus on beginners. They might be helpful to access Jewish content and start learning regularly. Aish Ohr ...


16

According to the Hida (Shu"t Tov Ayin #4) we may not force women to learn Torah (as we do Yeshiva students-see Sefer HaHinuch Behar 343). He says women may learn on their own, but adds we can teach her (not against her will).


16

The proper way to study Kabbalah is with prior knowledge of Tanach, Talmud, Yad HaChazaka, and Shulchan Aruch (not including the introduction books to Kabbalah- some of the Ben Ish Hai's books, some of the Ramak, a lot of Rav Ashlag, and Rav Frisch). Without a massive knowledge of the aforementioned, Kabbalah won't do you any good, quite the contrary it can ...


16

Your question, as I understand it, boils down to: (a) how do I sort out the conflicting sources on what I'm allowed to study so I don't cross a boundary? and (b) how do I comply with community norms? These are challenges faced by outsiders to any community, and ours doesn't make it easy. One esteemed source will say "the halacha is X" and another will say ...


15

One of my rabbeim, who was a student of R' Elya Svei explained this to me as follows: The yeshiva curriculum includes masechtos from nashim and nezikin, such as Yevamos, Kesuvos, Gittin, Kiddushin, Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, Bava Basra etc. for two main reasons: There are classic commentaries on Talmud Bavli, and these masechtos include more of the ...


15

Technically, yes. Everything you describe is an aspect of learning Torah. Even just reciting the Shema or a few psukim or one liners from Tanach or Talmud (both agadata and halacha) count for fulfilling the Mitzvah. However, just as we don't use the phrases said after the birchat Ha'Torah in the morning to absolve us from studying the rest of the day, so ...


15

פירוש רש"י: פת במלח תאכל - לא על העשיר הוא אומר שיעמוד בחיי צער כדי ללמוד תורה, אלא ה"ק אפילו אין לאדם אלא פת במלח וכו' ואין לו כר וכסת לישן, אלא על הארץ, אל ימנע מלעסוק בה, דסופו ללמוד אותה מעושר׃ Rashi's commentary (Rough translation): This is not speaking of the wealthy person who will suffer in order to learn Torah. Rather, what it means is ...


15

Is the custom practiced today? The רמ"א יו"ד סי' קע"ט סעיף ב [as understood by the פתחי תשובה יו"ד רמ"ה ס"ק ה] writes that our minhag is to start a new מסכת even on Rosh Chodesh. Also, what does he mean by "Taanis 32," since the gemara in Taanis only has 31 daf? The correct version would be "ל (עמוד) ב". It seems to be a printing error. On Tannis 30b ...


15

Pi can be derived from the Torah by rolling up a Torah scroll and measuring the end's diameter and circumference. The ratio between them will be pi.


14

Teach the difference from the very beginning. Even if they don't really understand the difference between saying that a story is written in the Torah, or is from a Midrash/Gemara/Rashi but doesn't appear in the Torah, you wont damage them by inserting a little comment right before/after a story giving its source. Kids are smart - they will hear what you ...


14

Mishne Berurah (238, Shaar HaTziyun 1) writes that the Midrash (Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer 46 and Tanchumah Parsha Ki Sisa 36) writes that Moshe Rabenu was taught the Written Torah during the day and the Oral Torah at night. From this Midrash the Ba'er Hetev (2) (and Arizal [ed]) concludes that one should not learn the written Torah at night. The Pri Megadim ...


13

I've got to put in a plug for the translation and commentary of R' Hirsch, of which I'm a big fan. I love his elegant, holistic, thoughtful take on the whole Torah, especially the ritual stuff in Leviticus (Temple offerings, ritual purity, etc.) that's otherwise most difficult to understand from a modern perspective. When I read R' Hirsch, everything fits ...


13

From the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: ואפילו ללמוד אסור בשעה שהשליח צבור חוזר התפלה "And even learning is forbidden when the Chazzan repeats Shemoneh Esrei. From Daily Jewish Law One should not learn Torah during the repetition of the amidah. There are a few concerns: At least 10 men must pay attention to every word of the amidah; All of those ...


13

To answer your more specific question: no, a Gentile who studies Torah in a forbidden way is still not stoned. The Rambam rules (Milchamot 10:9 and English) ואם עסק בתורה, או שבת, או חידש דבר--מכין אותו ועונשין אותו, ומודיעין אותו שהוא חייב מיתה על זה; אבל אינו נהרג.‏ If a gentile studies the Torah, makes a Sabbath, or creates a religious practice, ...


13

אף-על-פי שבודאי שאין ללמוד תורה בגילוי ראש, מכל מקום אין זה מעיקר הדין, אך יש להזהר בזה מאד, ואפי' כשלומד לבד בחדרו. [שו''ת יביע אומר ח''ו חאו''ח סי' טו סק''ז]‏ Meikar Hadin (according to the letter of the law) one isn't obligated to learn with a head covering: nevertheless, one should certainly wear a head covering while learning (even alone in his ...


13

(1) Compare it to an intellectual pursuit they already know. And (2), show don't tell. I've never had the benefit of full-time learning in yeshiva, but I've participated in some shorter programs that were also more beginner-friendly but no less engaging. Here's (approximately) how I explained the attraction to some non-Jewish friends who are geeks about ...


12

Since no one seems to have answered the last question, namely, are there any Chabad commentaries on the Gemara.... There are many talks and writings from all the Lubavitcher Rebbeim on different topics in Gemara. As far as I know, there is no one systematic commentary on the Gemara, and as their discussions of Gemara topics are usually (though not always) ...


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