August 11, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #604511
If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
Has anyone ever heard or seen a psak regarding this?
Thanks in advanceAugust 12, 2012 2:25 am at 2:25 am #1017707
Of course. The importance is understanding it, not just reading words. In fact, if you read the words in Aramaic but didn’t understand them then you cannot make a Siyum. (If I recall correctly, R’ Moshe has a Tshuvah where he says if you just learned the Gemara without Rashi then it’s like you didn’t understand it and you can’t make a Siyum.)August 12, 2012 2:27 am at 2:27 am #1017708oomisParticipant
I honestly do not know the answer to this, but isn’t it crucial to the learning process and subsequent making of a siyum that one actually understands that which he is learning?August 12, 2012 3:08 am at 3:08 am #1017709moreMember
consult you LOR/mentorAugust 12, 2012 7:22 am at 7:22 am #1017710
“The importance is understanding it, not just reading words”
Is reading actually required? What if I learned portions of it without saying the words?
Re Reb Moshe, that’s interesting, and would seem like a big chiddush!August 12, 2012 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1017711ChortkovParticipant
I once heard that Torah Shebichsav you need to read with your mouth and not understand, Torah sheBaal Peh you need to understand but not speak out orally.
According to that, you can read the artscroll with your eyes and make a syum.August 12, 2012 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #1017712Charles ShortMember
Am I the only person who thinks it would be cooler if 2711 different groups were formed, maybe even 2711 tables in Jerusalem whereby the entire Shas could be studied every day. While this may betray some concept of Jewish unity in specifics; it would reinforce the unity and connection of principles and if you were so interested you might want to speak with someone who had just studied a particular page that your page brought to mind and you could look them up through the table(group).August 12, 2012 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1017713shlishiMember
What if you read (and understand) only the English side of the Artscroll Gemorah’s, without reading the original Aramaic page. Can you make a Siyum?August 12, 2012 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1017714ItcheSrulikMember
yekke2: I heard the same thing based on the halachos of reading megilla vs. davening in other languages but I don’t know the source. I think it’s a biur halacha in either the mem’s or at the end of chelek vav.August 12, 2012 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1017715
Shraga: R’ Schachter once told me that you can make a Siyum if you only read the words and didn’t say them out loud.
Yekke2: The source for that is the Shulchan Aruch Harav in Hilchos Talmud Torah (brought down in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch). For Torah Shebiksav you only have to read according to him. But Torah Sheba’al Peh you must both read and understand, if I recall correctly. (It is a Chiddush though. Pashtus should be that to get credit for Talmud Torah one would have to understand Torah Shebiksav as well.)August 12, 2012 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #1017716fedup11210Member
I heard a drasha from Harav Moshe Meir Weiss, the rov of the Aguda of Staten Island, where he gave a bracha to everyone sitting there that they should be zocheh to finish shas even if they need to use the ArtScroll to do it.August 12, 2012 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1017717
Shraga: See the SH”A OC 553:3 (if I recall correctly) where he says “Yeish Mi Sheomer that it’s Assur to learn by Hirhur on Tishah B’av”. Thus, learning by just reading has some sort of tangible meaning, even though according to the SH”A you can’t make a Bracha on it. (I’m not sure what this Halachah proves though, as you could attempt to learn just about any way from it-that Hirhur doesn’t count but it’s M’sameach; or that it really does count as learning it’s just that for a Brachah you need a Ma’aseh, which reading only with one’s eyes cannot accomplish.)August 12, 2012 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1017718shlishiMember
What if you read (and understand) only the English side of the Artscroll Gemorah’s, without reading the original Aramaic page. Can you make a Siyum?August 12, 2012 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #1017719
Shlishi: Why not? It’s still Talmud Torah. There’s nothing inherently special about Aramaic. It was the language of the time. I would assume one would also have to read the Artscroll footnotes though, as Artscroll themselves admit that sometimes nuances of the Gemara get lost in translation, which is why they have the notes in the first place.August 12, 2012 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #1017720rbcbMember
As long as you learning torah and connecting with HKB’H it is all great. Don’t let the yetzer harah stop you from learning.August 12, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #1017721lesschumrasParticipant
Shlishi, The Gemara was writtem in Aramaic, not Hebrew because the people spoke Aramaic and they wanted them to understand it. There was nothing inherently holy about Aramaic; it was just the English of its dayAugust 13, 2012 6:07 am at 6:07 am #1017722
Thanks for some great comments. Someone found the following:
“Horav Chaim Pinchus Sheinberg Shlita is of the opinion that a person who went through the mesechta with an English translation may make a siyum. However, the person who is using the English has to be actually working on understanding the Gemorah and not just reading the words like a book. For a person who needs the English, working through the entire Gemorah in English, is a very big simcha.18August 28, 2012 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #1017723mik5Participant
You can definitely make a siyum if you learned in English, since it is all torah study.
As for reading silently, I asked a shayla and was told that if one is learning in-depth and reading silently helps him understand it better, then he should do that. There IS a mitzvah to know and understand halacha, as is brought down in the sefer tanya, and this mitzvah is even greater than oral torah study. But from time to time he should enunciate the words of Mishna/ Gemara with his mouth, like he’s explaining it to someone else – which may help him understand. It’s definitely MUCH, MUCH better to learn aloud, and this gives Hashem tremendous nachas.
It says in the Tanya that if one recites words of Chumash without understanding a thing, he is yotzei talmud torah. I also heard from a Chabad rabbi that by Chumash you must say it, and by gemara and things like that (Oral Law), you must understand it.
I also heard from my congregational rabbi that if a person is just thinking in learning, this is a very good use of time, as we learn in PIRKEI AVOS that if a person sits by himself and learns, the Divine Presence is with him, and even if he’s just thinking, this is also good – but saying is MUCH better.
As for Tisha B’av – let’s say that a Torah thought pops into your head; are you obligated to chase that thought away since it’s assur?August 28, 2012 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #1017724One of the chevraParticipant
I once heard that since there is a mitva to learn torah whenever possible, and not everyone can learn gemara or things like that while walking or doing work etc, a good idea wouild be to say softly to yourself – or at least think- in English- simple everyday basic halachos – like “on fruit you say borei pri haetz, on vegetables Haadomo, on water shehakol, on wine hagofen, on bread hamotzi, on a trip tfilas haderech, after bathroom asher yatsar” etc. and this is considered learning because its saying the halachos. You can also say things like – money is muktsa on shabbos, a pen is also and so is a computer. Its ossur to cook and to turn lights on on shabbos. All these very basic halachos are considered 100% mitsva of learning Torah and every minute spent saying these things is “Talmud Torah keneked kulam”.August 28, 2012 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #1017725shmoelMember
So I can go around mumbling all day “A pen is muktsa on Shabbos”, and I’m mekuyim the mitzva of Talmud Torah at least as well as any Kollel guy?August 28, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1017726mik5Participant
One of the chevra – please give me a source for that.August 28, 2012 6:08 pm at 6:08 pm #1017727sam4321Participant
Listening to gemara tapes and fin shas one can make a syium.August 28, 2012 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #1017728sheinMember
One can go to a Siyum on a mesechta or even on the entire shas without learning the entire mesechta or shas.August 29, 2012 5:38 am at 5:38 am #1017729One of the chevraParticipant
SHMOEL wrote: So I can go around mumbling all day “A pen is muktsa on Shabbos”, and I’m mekuyim the mitzva of Talmud Torah at least as well as any Kollel guy??
The Gr”a says that Bitul Torah of “EICHUS” – quality, is also considered Bitul torah, meaning that if one who can learn on a higher level and is satisfied with a lower level it is considered bitul torah. so 1)if you can do better than just mumble these things, you are obligated to do so during those times when you can. I was refering to times when it’s too difficult to learn with a sefer as regular learning, one can still get the mitzva and schar for torah by saying these halachos. It is anyway better to learn on ANY level no matter how low, rather than spend those minutes not learning at all. 2) You asked if its “as good as any kolel guy” – Of course learning with more “Ameilus” is better than just mumbeling some basics but- Hashem demands of a person to do the best he can in any mitzvah, so if that’s the best you can do, then, YES you are as good as any kolel guy, and even better if the kolel guy is NOT doing his best and you are. If neither of you are doing his best, then the judgement is based on what percentage of your capability you acomplished. BUT, this is all in regard to the question of what you DID NOT learn, but nevertheless ANY type of learning, regardless of what you could or should have done, still receives the schar for learning torah. So, as mentioned before, it is by all means better for ANYONE to just say basic halachos of brochos and shabbos, rather not not to learn at all.May 29, 2014 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #1017730binyamin18Participant
FROM Halachically Speaking-Kof-K
Horav Chaim Pinchus Sheinberg Shlita is of the opinion that a person who went through the mesechta with an English translation may make a siyum. However, the person who is using the English has to be actually working on understanding the Gemorah and not just reading the words like a book. For a person who needs the English, working through the entire Gemorah in English, is a very big simcha.
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