Derech Halimud

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  • #598638

    Chacham
    Participant

    How come all the American yeshivos learn so slow? The Yeshiva (12th grade) I went to this past year in the winter zman, which was 7 months, all we did first seder was from beis until 6b in Bava Metziah. That is five blatt. Second Seder we did from 8a-12a. That is 4 blatt. That means the entire winter zman of an ibbur yor all we did was nine blatt. Now, we were not wasting our time, we were learning all day long every day. But we just kvetched on every small ha’arah etc.

    Rav Shach, Rav Shteinman, Rav Michel Yehudah ZT”L, Reb Shlomo wolbe, Rav Gifter and many other gedolim all are/were strongly against this mehalach. In Eretz Yisrael, the average Israeli yeshiva learn over 20 blatt first seder. And even on this the gedolim complained

    Rav Shach in Michtovim writes, ”learning like this will cause torah to be forgotten from klal yisrael. The Yeshivos think you can do 15-20 blatt first seder and be yotzei going fast second seder.” Now Rav Shach complained about 15 blatt, now we are doing 5 blatt. And Rav Shach was talking about where they go quick second seder. All we did was just 4 blatt.

    So for this coming year I had to find a bais Medrash. But I can not find a decent Yeshiva in America yeshiva that learns a little quicker. There are around 40 yeshivos on the East Coast. NOT ONE IS LEarning the way the gedolim taught us to.

    Why not 1 in 40?

    And where did this mehalach come form if all the gedolim were so against it?

    And according to this mehalach If let’s say someone wanted to finsh Bava Metzia it would take over 10 years. Is this where Talmidei Chachamim who know shas and poskim are going to come form?

    #1093246

    real-brisker
    Member

    Did you not enjoy your learning? You would rather quantity over quality?

    #1093247

    mommamia22
    Participant

    I’m so impressed with what you’re saying. Maybe you’re one of the future gedolim. Maybe what you need to do is not just look for a yeshiva, but find a rav who can be your personal guide. Rabbi Rudinsky in Monsey, is fairly young and at an even younger age (shidduchim) had already completed learning much of Shas (if not all. I don’t remember). Speak with him. Maybe he can tell you how he did it in light of the current problem you are describing.

    #1093248

    on the ball
    Participant

    As you say, the Gedolim are against this, it doesn’t result in Talmidei Chachomim, all it results in is men who ‘know how to learn’ but have very limited areas of knowledge in Torah that they can apply their skills to which they forget quickly as Chazorah and bekius is completely negated.

    Why is this so? I think because it’s harder and more tedious work to learn and review over and over and over again in order to gain real bekius (as was common in Litvish yeshivos pre-war; they reviewed sugyas over 40 times usually). It takes too long and isn’t so quickly appreciated by peers. On the other hand, a sharp head capable of a deep svorah is more readily admired and doesn’t take much effort on the part of gifted learners. Our instant gratification generation prefers this.

    #1093249

    WIY
    Member

    Chacham

    If you have noticed, most young Talmidei Chachamim today are that way because they put in their own time. Meaning they are Talmidei Chachamim despite the system not because of it. You are 100% right. The yeshivas aren’t even trying to put out Gedolim or Rabbanim. Im not quite sure what they are trying to put out actually because if you would look around on visiting day…nevermind.

    #1093250

    Try Yeshivas Ohr Reuven in Monsey.

    #1093251

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I went to this past year in the winter zman, which was 7 months, all we did first seder was from beis until 6b in Bava Metziah.

    That IS slow!

    Try Speedy Freidman in EY, where they do an Amud a day (from what I hear).

    #1093252

    Chacham
    Participant

    real-brisker- I found that I had a greater sipuk from my learning when I learned faster. And I do not need mkotzeh lkotzeh. I will be happy with a place that did 20 blatt.

    From what I heard there is only about 10 guys at yeshivas ohr reuvain

    #1093253

    Toi
    Participant

    your all dumb. do you think the rosh yeshivas today are blockheads? do you think theyre turning a blind eye to what klal yisroel needs? maybe in america more iyun is needed to fight the spirit of the times, who knows?! go ask the gedolei yisroel- not shoot down every RY in north america. theyre acting on mesorah and guidance from rabbeim.and somehow they know shas (the real RYs- not every 30year old shnuk in lakewod who was a rosh chaburah). Lo sassur yemin u’smol still applies.have a little faith and keep shtaiging

    #1093254

    lkwdbum
    Member

    try shaar hatorah in queens

    #1093255

    jewish source
    Participant

    You have to fight the system a little by being Kshei Oref you wil Shteig.

    learn on your own as much as possible finish blatt by blatt perek by perek and be mesayeim masechta after masechta.

    #1093256

    on the ball
    Participant

    After 120 years we will be farhered on the Torah we KNOW. Not on how clever a Shtickle Torah we can give (even assuming that it’s not contradicted by an open Mishna that some ‘lamdanim’ will never even glance at), not on how ‘tief’ we can understand a Reb Baruch Ber, but on what we actually know – the Torah knowledge we have amassed. In halacha the definition of a talmid chacham (regarding issues like being exempt from paying municipal taxes) is someone who has bekius in MOST OF SHAS – that means knowing it thoroughly, not that you once gave a knak chaburo on it.

    #1093257

    real-brisker
    Member

    Chacham – if you are not getting a sipuk hanefesh from learning beyiun, than it would probably be better for you to go to a quicker pace yeshiva.

    #1093258

    real-brisker
    Member

    otb – Where are you getting this information from?f

    #1093259

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    You would rather quantity over quality?

    Sometimes there is something to be said for quantity as well as quality. Five wonderful shiny pennies, polished over and over and in mint condition, are still only five cents at the end of the day. A dull, dingy quarter is still worth more.

    Yes, there is great value in going in-depth into a subject and it should be a regular seder in a yeshiva (although if I don’t know about the degree to which it is done in the OP’s yeshiva). But there is also value in learning and covering ground as well.

    A person who spends all his time learning every ha’arah in the first five blatt of Baba Kamma has a great understanding of it… but he’s also ignorant of the rest of Shas.

    In short, there should be a seder for iyun and a seder for b’kiyus.

    The Wolf

    #1093260

    newhere
    Participant

    chacham- I understand exactly how you feel, these words could’ve been written by me when I was your age. My advice to you is to find a yeshiva that is not so on top of how you learn. If you can go to e’y then go the Mir and do your own thing. Sure, your friends will make fun of you, some rebbeim will say you’ll never be a talmid chacham, but you’ll know in your heart of hearts that you’re doing the right thing. And in 10 years from now, if you really shteiged, none of your friends will be making fun of you.

    #1093261

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Two anecdotes:

    My rav told me that when he was learning in BMG the oilam used to learn 35 blatt first seder and 35 blatt second seder each zman and R’ Aharon used to get upset at them for going so slow…

    I heard R’ Yosef Tendler (Ner Israel) say over that he was once shmoozing with R’ Shneur (they were both kollel yungerleit at the time) and R’ Shneur told him that he once asked his grandfather, R’ Isser Zalman, what is the proper way to learn? R’ Isser Zalman told him, “one blatt a week be’iyun, and seven blatt a day bekius…”

    Chacham-

    I don’t know how old you are, but in NIRC there are shiurim that go much faster than the average American yeshiva. For example, I was in R’ Tvi Berkowitz’s shiur for BK and we got up to daf chaf alef or so (other yeshivas are lucky to get past daf vav) first seder.

    #1093262

    yacr85
    Participant

    I was by Reb Matisyahu’s house and he was “Shraying Chai Vekayom against it.

    I kept my mouth closed because the Yeshiva I was in had done Kiddushin that year, and we only got until Daf Zayin(7) in a whole year!

    Cue the jokes.

    Someone came to Telz for a Farher. Rav Gifter asked him what he was learning in his previous Yeshiva. When he said “Yevamos”, Rav Gifter said, Ok, Open to Daf Samech(60)”

    He said, “Erm we didn’t get that far”

    Rav Gifter said, “Ok, Daf Nun(50)”

    etc etc

    Rav Gifter said, “Ok, Daf Yud(10)”.

    He said that we didn’t get that far!

    Rav Gifter said, “So what do you want me to Farher you on? You didn’t learn anything”!

    On their way down to Mitzrayim, Rashi says that Yackov sent Yehuda ahead to open up a Beis Hatalmud (Genesis 46,28 Rashi)

    But why Beis Hatalmud, why not Ponevizh or Mir?

    The Mefarshim answer that if Yosef was still doing the same sugya for the last 22 years (Eglah Arufah) then he was probably learning in Beis Hatalmud!

    Jokes aside, when I was learning in Yeshiva, we learned very slow, 10 daf of Gittin, and 6 of Kiddushin in two years!

    I was able to finish those Mesechtas many times throughout the year with putting in a lot of spare time. (Ok you can stop slapping my back now!)

    #1093263

    srugee123
    Member

    some suggestions: 1) Rav Rudinsky in Yeshivas Ohr Ruven in monsey

    2) Rav Shachter or Rav Sacks in YU

    -Both these shiurim cover a lot of ground in the masechta be iyun

    #1093264

    srugee123
    Member

    also if people want to see reasoning behind the derech halimud of yeshivas today look at the introduction to Rav Gurwicz’s sefer “Rashei Sharim”.

    #1093265

    MHY
    Participant

    “How come all the American yeshivos learn so slow?…”

    First of all, compliments to you for thinking and facing this important issue head on.

    You are correct in what you say. However, to say that all American Yeshivos learn so slow is not right. The derech of Sephardim and Chassidim is not like that. And there are Litvishe Yeshivos that don’t do it either. You just have to go beyond the narrow groups that do go too slow and get an arrangement that allows you to learn faster. Later on in life, after you have learned much Torah, you will have time to go through it again at a much slower pace, if you wish. But first, when you are young, you must learn a large quantity of Torah, at a quicker pace.

    On this inyan there is a great kuntrus called ??? ???? ?????, with haskomos from Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Rav Schach, ??”?. Take a look at it. You can see it at http://www.hebrewbooks.org/22633

    #1093266

    MDG
    Participant

    “In Eretz Yisrael, the average Israeli yeshiva learn over 20 blatt first seder. “

    Maybe because they speak Hebrew there, they are more advanced. They start earlier in life, learn more, and progress faster.

    #1093267

    on the ball
    Participant

    Realbrisker – Moed Katan 28a the story with Rav Ashi where he told the Malach Hamaves he needs 30 days more to review all his Torah – Ashrei Mi Shebo L’kan v’Talmudo B’yodo.

    Not V’Shticklech Torah B’yodo. We have a chiyuv to (at least attempt to) learn Kol Hatorah Kuloh.

    There’s a great sefer called Kerem Yehoshua written by a Rav Yehoshua Cohen Shlita on Derech Halimud – where he writes in his introduction that Choshuve Rabbanim and Magidei Shiur have called him literally crying that they feel they are living a lie as they are respected as Talmidei Chachamim when they in fact know so little as all they learned all their lives is HOW to learn and give good shiurim but with no real Kinyan in Torah Knowledge.

    #1093268

    mommamia22
    Participant

    Toi

    I’m confused by your speech

    You use words like “dumb” “blockheads” and “shteiging” in the same paragraph. Those two manners of speech don’t seem to belong together. You also dismissed the recommendation of a rav (“30 year olds….”) while two other people recommended the same rav.

    #1093269

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    I think it all depends on the student. Some students like to delve into topics and spend a lot of time on more minute details. This is fine for them, because it makes them excited and happy to learn. Other students like to cover a lot of ground, and simply want to know more basic material rather than deal with the fine details. This is fine for them, because it makes them excited and happy to learn.

    So, I think it is best to learn in the way you enjoy most.

    #1093270

    on the ball
    Participant

    Middlepath – perhaps not. Perhaps the best way to learn is the way in which you ACHIEVE the most even if it’s not as enjoyable (to begin with). Im B’Chukosai Telechu – Shetihyu Amelim Batorah. This surely means we have to exert ourselves and not just try and enjoy the ride. Of course it’s important to enjoy learning but we also need to focus on the goal. Lo Alecha Ham’locha Ligmor V’lo Ata Ben Chorin L’hibotel Haimena.

    #1093271

    MiddlePath
    Participant

    on the ball, I hear that. But wouldn’t you agree that you would achieve the most in the way you enjoy learning the most? Personally, if I had to learn in a way I didn’t enjoy, I would not achieve much.

    Also, about the idea of exerting ourselves, I agree that it’s a central idea in learning. But I don’t think enjoying learning and exerting yourself in learning are mutually exclusive. I think many people enjoy exerting themselves in learning.

    #1093272

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    This is the cry of the Maharal. People think his main point was the Mishna of Ben Asor, but his main point is actually that there is no Yedi’as Hatorah. He says that in one or two years someone with no background in Torah can be up to par with any Lamdan. I’ve seen this myself. The Maharal actually says exactly what OnTheBall said earlier, that knowing how doesn’t make you a Talmid Chacham. I was really surprised to see someone question that. Like a Maggid Shiur of mind once said, being able to steal doesn’t make you a thief.

    In Beis Hatalmud the idea was that the people in America should see the depth of Torah. That served its purpose by now, even if it justifies the extremely slow pace. It is really sad because in the end there is no Kinyan. They don’t end up really knowing those ten Bletter, either. They just have some famous Chaqiros floating in the head. So now we all know that a Migui is either a Raaya or a Koach Hataana, and there’s a Siba and Simman, and Umdena Shaft Nisht Ah Kinyan. Now what?

    Bochurim don’t really relate to all that anyhow, which is why they cannot be tested. The thing is that there is something between what’s called Iyun and Bekius. That is what Chazal call Mareh Panim. Rashi explains that to mean giving a reason to everything. The funny thing is that while getting all heated up about how the Rashba in this Sugya relates to the famous Reb Akiva Eiger in Kesubos, there is little focus on the flow and Svara of the Gemara. What should be emphasised is how much everything actually makes sense. The point in learning is to adapt your mind to that of the Torah. That is done by making sure you agree to what it says.

    #1093273

    Chacham
    Participant

    So if so many people here also hold of going faster why is there not a single normal and respected yeshiva that learns faster.

    MDG- the reason they go quicker in Eretz yisrael is because they do not learn every single possible mehalech in a machlokes rishonim. It has nothing to do with being more advanced.

    I have no problem if some yeshivos want to go slow. BUt why is there 40 yeshivos doing the same thing that all the gedolim opposed?

    I onced asked one of my rabbeim if most gedolim were against this, who are we following that was for it. Basically who says what the yeshivos are doing is right. His answer was more or less that rav shach did not really understand this generation…. and a lot of shtusim. But if Rav Shach understood politics, understood shidduchim and understood chinuch, why by learning which was his main field and he excelled at it more than anyone else something he could not understand?

    And yes I have plenty of my own sedarim (which were frowned on) to finish mesechtos… but there is a difference between bikios and biyun. Bikiyus let us say means gemara rashi. But there is such a thing as knowing a mesechta biyun. i want to be able to learn such a mehalach, a mehalach that covers ground and gets deep into it also. If the mehalach is widespread in Israel, why is nobody teaching it in America?

    #1093274

    Toi
    Participant

    o dont be confused. what i meant with my tone was to express my indignation at the way the biggest RYs are being spoken about. they know what theyre doing. klal yisroel should trust its leaders. and thirty year old rabbonim (while choshuv-sometimes) are not klal yisroels leaders

    #1093275

    Chacham
    Participant

    real brisker- If you are a real brisker it is kdai to know reb chaim said in order to earn the name ben torah you must learn at least 40 blatt a month.

    Toi – do you think rav shach was also dumb

    #1093276

    on the ball
    Participant

    As things stand, we have most bochurim and yungerleit with good heads coming out of mainstream Yeshivos in EY and America having learned for 10, 15, 20 years and sometimes longer not being able to recall much more than where certain sugyas and memras come up in a few limited mesechtas. Shakla Vetarya? Forget it. Maskonas hasugyas? Unimportant. What counts? Er ken gut lernen. Er farshteit gut dem shtickle Ktzos.

    The Birchas Avrohom (R’ Avrohom Erlanger a magid shiur in Kol Torah) has a sefer (sorry forgotten the name) in which he ‘haks’ tremendously against Magidei Shiur who instead of imparting to their students the ability to learn a daf Gemora Rashi Tosfos K’Pshuto, review and retain it, they are busy farkoifing to the young minds their Shticklech in Rambam.

    He also writes that nowadays we have come to the ridiculous stage where if a bochur has some yedios in Shas he is considered having a weak head because he doesnt sit and kvetch all day on one sugya (to come up with Krum Boich Svoras that Rashi 3 dafim later explicitly discounts but which by the time they get to this Rashi (if they ever do – that is) they will have long forgotten as they are in the throes of kvetching out a new Shtickle Torah- my addition – from experience with chavrusos with this attitude)

    #1093277

    Chacham
    Participant

    toi- rav shach may be dead but he said learning like this will produce amei haratzim. Did time change and now it is capable oF producing talmidei chachamim? And there are plenty of gedolim today who argue on this also. Take Rav Shteinman Reb Mattisyahu Solomon and Rav Chaim Kanievski and Reb Nosson Tzvi Finkel and I do not believe time changed so much since we lost Reb Michel Yehudah. And these are klal yisraels leaders. If you know of a leader who disagrees please write his name and do not say a choshuveh person. And if you want a full list look in dirshu’s propaganda book called chizuk.

    And if it is just a horaas shaah for todays bachurim, how come I feel the way I do and two bachurim from my 12th grade shiur of 17 people feel the same way. Just to note the biggest daily shiur in the world right now is Rav Aher Arieli’s in the mir that is full of americans , who reaches past daf chaf heh

    #1093278

    Chacham
    Participant

    I personally do not think there was an active decision to go slow. I think it sort of evolved. My rebbi was all suprised pesach time when we only got up to daf vav. He said 7 years ago we got to daf ches. I think it happened when all the rosh yeshivos’s shiurim were printed. In reb shmuel’s shiur they learned only reb shmuel’s mehalach but we learn reb shmuel, reb shlomo, reb dovid, the dvar yaakov, ohel tora, reb ruevain etc. mehalach.

    #1093279

    real-brisker
    Member

    Chacham – You can do both.

    #1093281

    Toi
    Participant

    no CV dont entertain the thought. im probably the farthest rightwing person in here. (ay internet? good q. for another time and place and in private) what i meant was that klal yisroel has to go according to its current gedolim and we can be assured were doing ok if we follow the gedolim. if u go on your own system then who knows. and maybe R shach ztl was talking for EY or maybe even after a few years he’d be maskim nowadays. we cant know. but what our gedolim do and how they feer us now we can depend on

    #1093282

    Chacham
    Participant

    real -brisker do you do 40 blatt a month or are you not a ben torah? also 40 blatt a month I take means quantity over quality, no?

    #1093283

    Toi
    Participant

    my gut feeling is to agree. but the fact that this occuring on a wide scale must mean something.

    #1093284

    Chacham
    Participant

    toi- rav shach was clearly talking to bnei chutz laretz too. Look in michtavim from rav shach (6 vol.) and see his strong leshonos and why he was against it ( and you will it does not look like he will change his reason. His main reason was this is not the way gedolim were always made and this is not the way gedolim will be made) and keep in mind rav shach was an active rosh yeshiva and magid shiur for over 50 years

    #1093285

    Toi
    Participant

    shkoich im quite aware. R shach also said that he would lie down in front of taxis to prevent tiyulim and R elyashiv assured crocs for Yom Kippur. shaychus? if the RYs of america and their biggest talmidim are doing this- they know what theyre doing. do you think you have more of a ha’arachah for r shach then then R yisroel neuman does? cuz i dont think you do. so if theyre still doing it then they understand all the issues.

    #1093286

    Chacham
    Participant

    Maybe. But what am I myself meant to do if I like learning faster and rav shach says I will be an am haaretz. And 100 percent there may be a makom to learn slow. But why is not one of forty going any faster . Let them both co-exist

    #1093287

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Chacham, check out a few of the mid-sized yeshivas in Lakewood and surrounding areas. I don’t know where you are from but we did not go that slow (In BMG many chaburas learning the yeshiva masechta yes, but I’m referring to the post high-school yeshivos – it seems you’re from that age group). It was more like 10 blatt a zman first seder and 25-30 second seder. And learning bekius bein hasedorim was always encouraged.

    #1093288

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Be a good boy in Yeshiva and don’t fall behind in what they do. But, Bein Hasdarim and on Shabbosos learn a completely different Masechta on your own. When you finish the first Perek do it again. When you finish the Masechta, do it again. The Ragichover said that until he learned a Masechta nine times he didn’t know it. You can ask the Ragichover’s assistant!

    #1093289

    Stamper
    Member

    Rav Elazar Shach zt’l told American educators that Yeshiva boys should be taught Chumash in Yiddish, even if the boys speak English amongst themselves. (He said that both boys and girls should learn to be comfortable in Yiddish.)

    #1093290

    Chacham
    Participant

    Yitayningyut- I am going into first year bais medrash. The main mid-sized yeshivos in lAkewood for this age do less than 10 blatt ( around 8 ) and second Seder in most yeshivas is faster than what I did but around 18 blatt. What I want is to pick up the mehalach used n eretz yisrael which learns in a different style that allows more like 25 blatt

    #1093291

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    This is a big problem. A guy can sit in yeshiva for 7 years and only know 49 blatt — 7 blatt from each year’s mesechta. There is slow, and there is too slow. By the same token, there is fast and there is too fast. I’ve personally heard Rabbi Belsky of Torah Vodaath call the American style of “iyun and bekius” “chipus and kria” because iyun seder is spent searching for excuses not to move on and bekius is spent reading without any havana. People would get more Torah out of a solid daf yomi (if it was given at an hour when they could concentrate).

    #1093292

    mw13
    Participant

    “How come all the American yeshivos learn so slow?”

    I believe the theory goes that although learning bikiyus is really the way to go (at least the first couple of times through Shas), in today’s day and age when people have difficulty sitting down and learning it is good idea to learn the more “exciting” iyun. However, some Yeshivos go too slow and the bochrim lose intrest in the sugya, defeating the entire purpose of learning bi’iyun.

    “Rabbi Rudinsky in Monsey, is fairly young and at an even younger age (shidduchim) had already completed learning much of Shas (if not all. I don’t remember).”

    I’m pretty sure he finished all of it. But either way, he currently makes a siyum on Shas Bavli and Yerushalmi every year (in between running a Shul, an elementary school, a high school, a bais medrash, a kollel, paskening shailos, and giving about 6-8 shiurim daily on everything from iyun and halacha to Navi and Yerushalmi).

    “Try Yeshivas Ohr Reuven in Monsey.”

    As an alumnus of Ohr Reuven (R’ Rudinsky’s yeshiva), I can tell you that they do indeed “move”. In first seder they tend to cover about an amud a week, sometimes more; and second seder is an amud a day, Israeli style.

    Also the Yeshiva recently began a Semicha program in Yoreh Deah which learns regular first seder but learns Yoreh Deah bi’iyun halacha li’maaseh.

    EDITED

    #1093293

    mexipal
    Participant

    it’s slightly ironic that chofetz chaim, the “slowest” yeshiva on the block covers around 60 blatt gemara, rashi, tosfos, in bekiyus

    #1093294

    Health
    Participant

    I posted a reason why they learn so slow under the Food Stamps topic!

    #1093295

    old man
    Participant

    One must understand that the “derech halimud” has seen many variations over the generations, and certainly over the centuries. For various reasons, learning was at times fast (one daf a day in Volozhin), slower and more focused (nashim and nezikin only) in Slobodka-influenced yeshivas, slower still in the extremely focused Chofetz Chaim derech, and blazingly fast in sefardic yeshivas. Who is right? They all are.

    A Rebbe who cries over the fact that he is challenged by the breadth of shas when he spent his early learning days focused on the first perek in one of only seven mesechtas, need not cry, and his learning was not in vain. For a real lamdan, bekius should be easily attained with a concerted effort over a year or two. He should certainly know the basics of shas even from his limited scope.

    So, do not despair, anyone. Just change direction if you feel the lack, it’s not too late.

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