Reply To: 40th Siyum Harambam This Sunday!!!

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Reb Eliezer; I agree that for kodshim taharos and zeraim it makes some sense, but there’s still the issue of conflating mishnayos with da’eos yechidim; absent of a mesorah I’m wary of the pitfalls but I definitely would hear where someone’s coming from should they want to do it.

Enness; teshuvaso be’tzida – you admit yourself that shnayim mikra is a halacha. Even if we don’t understand something that chazal instituted, we’d be bound to adhere to it. But for us to invent our own systems which we further do not understand? That doesn’t sound reasonable – we’d say די לך בחידושו.

However that’s only under your premise that there is a comparison. However I don’t see anything in common. Klal yisroel’s mesorah is that Rashi is synonymous with pshat in chumash, to the point that his perush is the first and foremost explanation; everything else comes afterwards. That is the case in the every cheder of virtually every community in the world. The rambam by contrast, is not one and the same with psak or pshat in gemara; he is one of the main 4 or 5 shitos that one must learn in order to see a rudimentary scope of a sugya, along with rashi, tosfos, the rif, and the rosh. Like I said previously, shulchan aruch treated them with basically the same importance. .

Also, i addressed above the idea of not wasting time vs learning rambam. Reading sefer raziel hamalach is also better than wasting time, but when we go up to shomayim, they will demand a din vecheshnon on bitul torah be’kamus and b”eichus. Instituting something simply because people are mevatel torah and mevatel zman is…. I’m not really sure how to describe that. But it doesn’t make sense, that’s for sure.

Also, my concern, again, with rambam yomi is not that it’s bekius as opposed to iyun. Gemara can be learned in both of those ways and there is a time and a place for both. Some things are not designed for that duality. You cannot learn ketzos hachoshen or birkas shmuel in a bekiyus format.

The rambam has two practical functions in our learning, which end up being three. One is as a halacha sefer, from which it would be forbidden to pasken straight out of. The other is a perush on gemara; when we learn a gemara, the rambam is one of the shitos that we delve into, in order to understand the gemara. On this end, we also have to put in the work to understand his shitos, which are often contradictes by himself or other gemaros when taken at face value. I believe – and this is my opinion that I’m not fully convinced of – that learning random psak, such as the 40 hairs shiur for payos, without the sugya or without proper havanah, is not a kiyum of talmud torah. It’s a soundbyte of information without any context, pshat or anything. The rambam is not pesukim which one (according to most opinions) gets a mitzvah for even if he doesn’t understand it (this is true for shnayim mikra too). Even gemara, most hold you are not mekayam the mitzvah of talmud torah if you have no idea what you are saying. I don’t think rambam is any different in that regard.