learning from an artscroll

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  • #1753059

    bove basreh
    Participant

    why cant bnei torah use an artscroll gemara , in bekius seder then they could finish more mesechtos faster

    #1753139

    Grey matter
    Participant

    Bec in order to understand Torah you must work on it. Also otherwise you’ll never develop skills to read a Gemara.

    #1753141

    lakewhut
    Participant

    It’s a crutch

    #1753142

    too geshmak
    Participant

    Theres nothing wrong with it but I’ll spell out 2 reasons (there may be many more but this is what I could think of right now). First of all, an Artscroll is not appropriate for anyone currently learning in a yeshiva. The yeshiva years are designed to teach boys the skill of “knowing how to learn”. Yeshiva is not meant to be a trade school for rabbis, it’s meant for bochurim to learn from a rebbi a derech halimud and acquire the skills to learn the rest of their lives. This is why the yeshivos focus on certain mesechtos which are conducive to developing these skills. Just as you wouldnt let first graders learning arithmetic use a calculator, anyone learning any skill is better off figuring it out on their own. Secondly, even for those not in yeshiva, our mesora is that Torah is nikneh with ameilus. This doesn’t mean one cant be amul with an artscroll, certainly you can, but for many people, true ameilus comes with working out the gemara on their own.

    #1753140

    Grey matter
    Participant

    Bec in order to understand Torah you must work on it. Also otherwise you’ll never develop skills to read a Gemara.

    #1753180

    The Shady Charedi
    Participant

    Because…
    “If you’re gonna’ only eat food that was chewed up for you by other people and spit out on a plate so that you can eat it…
    it will be very easy to eat, but it won’t be very tasty.”
    -Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky
    from his shiur on How to Love Learning
    https://www.rabbiorlofsky.com/podcast/42

    #1753193

    akuperma
    Participant

    Traduttore, traditore

    While Art Scroll (in English) is useful for looking up words in context, the very act of translating Hebrew thoroughly distorts it. ArtScroll’s commentary is very useful, but if you can’t read the original text you are missing a lot. English and Hebrew are about as unrelated as any two languages with radically different grammar. The Hebrew artscroll is an interest commentary, but might be more affordable if published without the gemara.

    #1753205

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    If the idea was to make it a struggle to learn, the gemorah would have been written in Hebrew, not Aramaic. Aramaic was the everyday spoken language of the people, as is English in the US

    #1753230

    akuperma
    Participant

    Aramaic and Hebrew are closely related, similar to French and Spanish, or German and Yiddish. Hebrew is as different from English, as English is from Chinese or Navaho or Zulu.

    If you are serious about learning Torah, learn Hebrew.

    #1753260

    Rebbe Yid
    Participant

    Obviously people have to learn how to learn. And they can’t have stuff spoonfed to them. But at some point, amount of Torah learned has to outweigh the ameilus aspect. We wouldn’t say that we shouldn’t learn beis yosef, rather we have to look up all the gemoros and individual rishonim that he quotes instead, would we?

    #1753297

    DovidBT
    Participant

    If the idea was to make it a struggle to learn, the gemorah would have been written in Hebrew, not Aramaic. Aramaic was the everyday spoken language of the people, as is English in the US

    I think the idea is to study the teachings of the Tannaim, Amoraim and later commentators. Those teachings are best represented in a language in which they were fluent.

    I would study in Aramaic or Hebrew if I could, but for now, I have to use English. Otherwise I’d have to spend a week on each sentence.

    #1753327

    rational
    Participant

    The Artscroll Talmud has entered almost every frum home and is used by almost everyone. The result is a deterioration in the quality and depth of understanding in all areas of Torah study, from Mishna and Gemara, through Poskim and Shutim. I doubt there is a way back.

    #1753531

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Before Artscroll, the Gemara was a closed book to me.

    Since using it, it has helped me to become familiar with the terminology and methods used in the Gemara. The more I used it, the more I learned how to read the Gemara without it. Since using it, the Gemara has opened up to me to the point where I can open a non-Artscroll Gemara and figure out, in most cases, what is going on.

    The result is a deterioration in the quality and depth of understanding in all areas of Torah study, from Mishna and Gemara, through Poskim and Shutim. I doubt there is a way back.

    I guess it was terribly selfish of me to contribute to the communal deterioration of learning in all areas of Torah just for the sake of my own learning. The classic case of a mitzvah haba’ah b’aveirah.

    The Wolf

    #1753547

    GRATEFULBLAC
    Participant

    I have just bought the new Artscroll Tosafos English sefer on Makkos – a tremendous piece of work and it thoroughly explains each Tosafos with backgrounds, footnotes, summaries and plenty of detail.
    What do others think of it.

    Also many of the comments above of learning how to learn in Yeshiva etc. The Yeshivos only cover the most lomdish masechtas, Bobbah Kamma, Yevamos etc. To be able to learn the more technical masechtas like Shabbos and Eruvin, Zavochin, Chullin, Kodshim, Taharos,that are not taught in Yeshivah is not possible without something like the Artscroll or Mesivtah.

    #1753597

    rational
    Participant

    I am going to violate my rule of not responding on a personal level, as I have deep respect and admiration for the Wolf.

    Dear Wolf,
    With the utmost respect, I maintain that you are the exception who proves the rule. I don’t doubt there are many like you. However, I have seen many daf yomis, individual learners, group learners, possibly hundreds of them. All good and even pious people. The vast majority have a solid yeshiva education from first grade through the great litvishe roshei yeshiva. Almost (not all, but almost all) have slowly or quickly took the lazy road to advance in a given mesechta.
    The varied interpretations of the gemara, the rashis, the tosfot, and the rishonim are passed through the fine artscroll filter. The giver of the daf yomi barely prepares, what for? It’s all explained and can be given over on the fly. When I see a person learning from an artscroll gemara, he is almost surely not even looking at the side of the tzurat hadaf. These have been my observations since the first editions came out, and it has become ever prevalent.

    So, I apologize if I offended you, it was unintentional. But for the generation that grew up without it, the artscroll has been the Waze of learning. One need not know where one is, one just needs to follow the prescribed instructions. I am of the opinion that on the grand scale, serious Torah learning has suffered as a result.

    #1765019

    MrSarahLevine613
    Participant

    What happened before Artscroll is that many people just didnt learn. We totally over romanticize the “old country”. Many people were illiterate or just could not read aramaic. Translations allow people access. (The only argument against “Artscroll” is that translation is a de facto commentary — so often times — they provide one possible interpretation to the exclusion of others.

    #1765056

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “The only argument against “Artscroll” is that translation is a de facto commentary”
    That is not the “only” argument. Don’t be ridiculous.

    #1765035

    GRATEFULBLAC
    Participant

    MrSarahLevine613 – There was a translation pre Artscroll – it was the Soncino.

    It was like trying to read the English Law Reports. It was like a classical literal translation of the Gemara without much commentary.

    It was no near as good as the Artscroll which not only translates but explains and comments on the Gemara.

    Also Artscroll is a frum organisation producing seforim that have haskomas from our leading Rosh Hayeshivos, Rabbonim, and Gedolei Hador.

    Soncino had no such Haskomas apart from say the English Chief Rabbi at the time of its printing.

    There have been many questions asked of the company particularly about their Chumash and Tenach editions that included commentary from Bible critics, University academics and others. Many people found that learning from such seforim could lead to atheism or agnostic leading to doubts about faith we must have in the words of the prophets.

    Also pre Artsroll there was Marcus Jastrow’s dictionary of the Talmud. Again although acclaimed by University scholars and the like, many frum people had problems with the Author, was he frum?

    Like you said I was not lucky enough to have a chavruso for every seder in Yeshivah and many times I sat there with an open Gemara just staring into space and bored out of my head. If only there was the Artscroll Gemara then I would have had no problems!

    #1765145

    too geshmak
    Participant

    Sara Levine,
    Perhaps you’re right, maybe before artscroll a lot of people couldn’t learn. And now they could and that’s a great zchus for the publishers. But that’s not what the OP asked and that’s not what e everyone before you was addressing. OP specifically asked why Bnei Torah dont like to use it.

    #1765155

    beisyosef
    Participant

    Akuperma: “Aramaic and Hebrew are closely related, similar to French and Spanish, or German and Yiddish. Hebrew is as different from English, as English is from Chinese or Navaho or Zulu.
    If you are serious about learning Torah, learn Hebrew.”
    Your logic is flawed. If your problem with learning from an artscroll is because it’s in English and therefore it takes away from the context of the original text (that’s how I’m understanding you) than how is any english speaker who only learns gemara till they’re a little older (5th grade) supposed to learn? How are you supposed to learn when you come across a new word? obviously your brain makes a translation into your native tongue. As for words that people have a hard time to translate because it becomes part of your gemara lingo (i.e. lechaora) artscroll has academic words for all of those. Besides you get both the aramaic and english with artscroll, it’s not like Soncino which is straight english.
    That said: I still believe that one should learn in yeshiva from a standard gemara for reasons already mentioned here (i.e. with hard work comes greater analysis and understanding, and long-term memory, etc.) but if one comes across a word they aren’t familiar with it’s a great tool (Jastrow is quicker for words in my opinion, and mesivta is better for a sugya you’re truly having problems with).

    #1765158

    beisyosef
    Participant

    MrSarahLevine613: I don’t think OP has a problem with people who wouldn’t be learning otherwise to use an artscroll, OP mentions the word “bnei torah” and then mentions “bekiyus seder” therefore I’m assuming OP meant guys in yeshiva.

    #1765162

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    when you work on understanding the gemara etc you remember better, if you just read it from artscroll you won’t remember it and also u won’t learn how to learn, but for beginners which cant learn gemara at all alone should start with artscroll to start them off

    #1765379

    MrSarahLevine613
    Participant

    “OP specifically asked why Bnei Torah dont like to use it.”

    I please guilty to not always going back to the original post. OK…i never do. It would appear to me that if you know how to learn — you dont need it in the first instance but youd use it as any other commentary (which a translation is).

    #1765403

    beisyosef
    Participant

    MSL613: If by “if you know how to learn you don’t need it in the first instance” you mean that one won’t initially pull out an artscroll to learn, but if they come across a word they’re unfamiliar with, or are Stam having a difficult time understanding the sugya, then they’ll use it, then I agree with you and believe there to be no problem.

    #1766002

    PracticalPost
    Participant

    While I understand that learning has maybe deteriorated due to the ease in which it was delivered, Artscroll is good for those who would otherwise not learn due to a learning/language issue etc. Think about pre-war times. Likely the water carrier in your little town was labeled as an unlearned person aka the person who did not have the understanding to learn. Perhaps if there was Artscroll or some oother simpler broken down version/book, those water carriers would have spent their days learning. So if someone would not be learning otherwise, or struggling too much that Torah would then not be “sweet” to them, they should use Artscroll. And they should not think they are less honourable for doing so.

    #1766016

    DWKL1
    Participant

    before artscroll came out with their shas they went to rav schach ztl who was opposed to it and for good reason
    as we now see
    though much learning has happened due to artscroll it isnt for everyone all the time as mentioned a boy in his developing years in yeshiva will never fully gain the tools to learn on his own as well as miss out on the toil and huruvanya that brings the geshmak in learning on the other hand someone who is learning the daf and gets stuck artscroll is a tremendous help and tool to reach his goal of finishing the daf

    #1766298

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    DWKL1 I agree with you that it’s not good for the majority of yeshiva bochurim, but that is not a reason why not to print it being that it is good for some types of ppl

    #1766291

    CTRebbe
    Participant

    I think at the root of the question lies the issue of what are the goals of a bachur learning in Yeshiva is it
    A. to gain the skills necessary for life long learning
    B. to gain Torah knowledge

    If its 100% emphasis on A then indeed a bachur should never touch an Artscroll. If it is 100% B then he should use it more often than not. Perhaps the goals of a bachur should be a hybrid of both with a bit more emphasis on A at the beginning of his Yeshiva career and more emphasis on B toward the ( projected) end of his career.

    If no thought is given to reassess his gaols each year then any serious yeshiva student will be missing out. If a 9th grader can still say that “he is learning how to learn” with the same conviction as a 5th year kollel yungerman then we have a serious flaw in out system.

    #1767629

    Redleg
    Participant

    The main issue for yeshiva high school and first year BM is to learn how to make a leining. The problem is two fold. the first, is to understand how the gemora is organized and to be able to able to follow the shakla v’tarya. The second, and frankly the harder of the two, is learning the translation of technical terms. Back in the day, the primary tool for translation was Jastrow. Yeah, he was a shtikel apikores but the translations were extremely accurate. The system of learning inside and going to Jastrow when necessary, gave one the tools for life long learning. Along comes the Soncino Sha’as. While the translation was also quite accurate (frankly, more accurate than Artschroll). The daf by daf format was distracting and required less internalizing translation and p’shat.
    Enter Artschroll. With Artschroll the system is reversed. The English text and explanations become the ikkar and the original daf is just for reference. Now, that’s fine in that it opens up learning for those who may not have developed the skills alluded to above and adds to the general accumulated understanding of p’shat, but it eliminates any requirement to actually know how to learn.
    So the maskana seems to be that Artschroll has its place but it is not a substitute for learning inside.

    #1767637

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Soncino and Jastrow are far better than Artscroll. You’ll never learn Aramaic using Artscroll because of the way they do their translations (not word-by-word).

    Yeshivas still use Jastrow, by the way. 21st century bochrim are not all magically born fluent in Hebrew and Aramaic.

    #1767781

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    I don’t think the point of artscroll is to teach you how to learn, the point is to be able to properly learn gemara without having to use the orgignal text

    #1767986

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    To learn on your own, get a program gemara tutor, a multiple choice on the idioms of the gemora or a sefer onumber it. Once you learn them, it will help you set the words by recognizing these common expressions.

    #1768012

    Doing my best
    Participant

    I find with artscroll two problems:
    1) learning a daf one time with artscroll and no more is a segulah to forget all the teisch words and it will be impossible to remember the shakla vtarya.
    I have to learn it at least one time without any artscrolling in order to remember it. This is not commonly done.
    2)even if one knows how to lein a gemara, after using artscroll for a while they will forget.

    #1768167

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “the point is to be able to properly learn gemara without having to use the orgignal text”
    Then why do they bother printing the original text on the other page (several times over)?

    #1768197

    Satmer101
    Participant

    Satmar101
    My Father z”l used to say:
    אבי מען לערענט
    All this talk that using Artscroll is not “lomdish” not “Yeshivash” “will never become a Talmud Chachim” “will never remember” is all a bunch of word salad and means absolutely nothing …
    If you want to learn … do what’s best for you and don’t listen to any of those comments above
    Now, with every one B’H having big families and the boys learning different mesactas, a father will never be able to keep up or learn with his children, even if he is a Rosh Yeshivah, without using Artscroll…

    I am 100% positive that when Rashi first came out …people that learned Gemarrah with Rashi were made fun of ..

    edited
    At the end of the day as long as one is learning …that’s all that counts ….

    #1768570

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    Satmar, you have a point, it’s still torah,but you still have to make sure that the learning you do is in the best possible way, which for many ppl is without artscroll.
    Nevillechaimberlin, the point of artscroll is to have the whole gemara in a way that you can learn it without having to use the original text, but they still put the regular daf so that people who want to can use the regular daf and the english only for specific times when they need it

    #1768590

    UniqueUsername
    Participant

    For Bekiut – found nothing better than the Artscroll. IMHO Very legimate, especailly the Hebrew one.
    For Iyun – Artscroll is a not the way to break into the sugya.
    For Yerushalmi – I don’t know how much it is possible to learn this without the Artscroll.
    B’Hatzlacha

    #1768777

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The effort in artscroll is to find a page.

    #1768800

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    When you learn girsah (bekious) you’ll remember it a lot better if learnt without an artscroll

    #1768818

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “If you want to learn … do what’s best for you and don’t listen to any of those comments above”
    Except if you don’t listen to others, you’ll assume that what’s easier is better, and of course Artscroll is easier.

    #1769666

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rabbenu Bechayu at the end of Parshes Ki Siso explains the expression in the gemora חסורי מחסרא והכי קתני something is missing, so we must learn it differently, not that there is something wrong with it ch’v, but it was left out on purpose. Rebbi realized that it can be understood without it, so it was unnecessary to include it. As the generations became weaker in understanding, elaboration in greater detail was necessary and the gemora and commentaries came about. This has evolved to the artscroll. Rav Noson Adler ztz’l had a photographic memory, so he only placed dots in the margin to remember by, believing that for him it was unnecessary to write things down,

    #1769783

    apushatayid
    Participant

    R’ Art Scroll is the worlds best and most sought after chavrusa.

    #1769784

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “why cant bnei torah use an artscroll gemara , in bekius seder then they could finish more mesechtos faster”

    Say what you want about Artscroll, they write a better English than the OP.

    #1769797

    apushatayid
    Participant

    The OP specifically mentions “bekiyus seder”, because the goal of a bekiyus seder NOT to learn the sugya in depth with every chdidush from Rav Baruch Ber or Rav Shimon Shkop. The point is, surprise, bekiyus. The faster one can get through a daf, the more “bekiyus” one will have, so that when learning beiyun and a concept off the daf being learned is brought up by the gemara, tosfoas or anyone else, one will have some context to the question being asked or the point being made. In short, if the point is gaining a bekiyus of a lot of gemara, why not go as quickly as possible.

    #1769822

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The Rabbenu Bechaye above translates the missing above on our mind and understanding meaning that there is lack in our understanding. Our mind is not as good as it used to be. The further we become from kabolas hatorah, our understanding of the Torah diminishes.

    #1769945

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    When Meshiah will become, we will pasken like the Beis Shamai because currently we don’t understand their stringencies so we pasken like the Beis Hilel, but when he will come, we will acquire a new understanding ומלאה הארץ דעה and the majority will follow the Beis Shamai.

    #1770229

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “before artscroll came out with their shas they went to rav schach ztl ”

    “Artscroll” did not go to Rav Schach Z’l. Rav Gifter Z’l went to Rav Schach and presented the view of the American Gedolim who wholeheartedly endorsed the work of Artscroll. As a result of that meeting Rav Schach Z’l, while not endorsing Artscroll in any way, did not publicly come out against it.

    #1770327

    dafbiyun
    Participant

    Most of the participants at my daf yomi shiur prepare beforehand with a Hebrew or English Art scroll, and use it during the shiur. Accordingly, as part of my preparation, I will look at the art scroll’s footnotes to look for questions they raise but don’t answer(which is quite common)and then try to address those questions during the shiur , perhaps s by learning a tosfos inside or by explaining consensus the rishonim or achronim”s approach to the issue. .Overall, I believe their use of the art scroll in advance has increased their understanding exponentially.

    Since my preparation time is limited to a few hours Most of the ‘reid” that I speak out is coming from the “oitzer meforshim ” in back of the Mesifta gemora and its footnotes. In my “free time” I try to learn a sugya a week… with my starting point being the ” oitzer inyanim”thusfar in the last 3 weeks Tmurah, iv’e gone through , lav shain bo maasa, lav hanitik l’asai, and iy avid mahani..( I’m kind of surprised no one has been debating the merits of the Mesifta gemora here.)

    Nevertheless, I fully recognize that none of this is a substitute for real yegia. Systematically going through a sugya from rasih to tosfos, rishonim achronim , and limitless effort is what makes a bnai torah. It scares me when I see someone whe”did the daf” by reading through the art scroll for 45 minuets and really believe that they have done all that is required of them.

    #1770389

    Whatsaktome
    Participant

    I don’t believe learning a sugya leiyun can be done properly with a mesivta, asides for the same issues as artscroll being that you don’t toil to understand the signon of the meforshim additionally u have to use the orginal text being that you need to make diyukim etc

    #1770391

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    dafbiyun, Look ar the Sefer Kesef Nivchar with a haskoma of the Chasam Sofer containing 160 sugyos with all the gemora references folkowed by the psak halacha.

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