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- This topic has 69 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by n0mesorah.
May 20, 2022 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #2088985
There is such an emphasis in the frum world now about learning and Torah. There is a plethora of Torah out there. Every website, every Magid Shiur, every organization talks about learning learning learning. But I must say that in my experience, very few people learn very strongly (myself included). I ask people basic questions like “who was Haman’s father” and they don’t know even though it’s mefurash in the pasuk.
It’s cool to talk about Torah and learning, but ein bo mamash.May 20, 2022 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2089044midwesternerParticipant
Once again demonstrating that some people have no clue what goes on in a real Bais Medrash.May 20, 2022 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #2089045
Of course! It’s the most difficult to attain and the easiest to lose. In reality, what percentage of boys can be assumed to learned? We would need to give so much more input to our schools, yeshivos, and kollelim, to attain the expected output.May 20, 2022 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #2089053
If you would compare to what the basic level of a full time learner fifty years ago, you would not so easily refer to all of them as a real Bais Medrash.May 20, 2022 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #2089055
The problem is that not enough emphasis is placed on bekios and Shulchan Aruch see the sefer Tenu Kavod Latorah from Rav Fuerst. See https://hebrewbooks dot org/22633May 20, 2022 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #2089060
Yabia – ask those boys for 5 shitos on how to learn ruba vechazakah ruba adif, sfaikoh deoraysoh lechumra, mamon hamazik, or any other sugya.
You won’t understand a word they’re saying.
But you know haman’s father’s name. Congratulations.May 20, 2022 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #2089063ubiquitinParticipant
I’m skeptical of your example, Haman’s name and father is read twice a year in a sing song tune that everyone I know recognizes and can easily finish “Haman ben…” .
Now if you said they don’t know Yerachmiel’s father I’d believe you, though I don’t think that is indicative of people not learning very strongly; even though that too is mefurash in the passuk
I don’ t think learning and preparing for a chidon haTananch are the same (though to be clear I do think there is value in knowing who Yerachmiel (which one’s?) father was) .May 20, 2022 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #2089064
I just think real learning is for yechidei segula. Everyone has an obligation to learn but the high quality stuff is only a very few.May 20, 2022 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #2089109provaxxParticipant
People who post on this website don’t know what bracha to make on riceMay 20, 2022 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #2089122
Avira. Of course a yeshiva guy might know ruba vechazakah ruba adif,. But I’m talking about the average frum yid. Most learn very little and know even less. From my experience of MANY communities.May 20, 2022 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #2089137
Yabia, i apologize, i thought you were criticizing people who learn the whole day who might not be familiar with tanach, but have great depth in sugyosMay 20, 2022 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #2089138MarxistParticipant
Why the assumption @Yabia Omer won’t understand what they are saying? Sounds like a bit of anti-Sephardi racism here.May 20, 2022 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #2089143
Go ask them when they are holding in Yevamos or Eruvin. Too many long term learners will just stammer.May 20, 2022 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #2089156
Yabia isn’t Sefardic.May 20, 2022 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #2089161
Yabia Omer is Sephardi?
On another note, we should not underestimate bekius on Mikra.May 20, 2022 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #2089162
Not sure what the argument is about but I agree on a possible difference of perceptions – Sephardim start with basics and do them well and even when learning Gemora focusing on peshat and practical implicatiosns, with Ashkenazim focusing on lamdus. Similar to a professor from my bubba’s lessons – why do I need arithmetic, when I am professor of calculus (she was evidently not a Brisker). This latter approach used to be controversial by Maharal, etc. Our time brought a new challenge when we have. Baruch Hashem, multitudes learning rather than just yachidim. I suspect lamdus goes with them as well as calculus with most of college students.
As to testing sugyos, I would suggest first test ability for sevorah, ability to reason logically, that is a prerequisite to any meaningful lamdus.May 20, 2022 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #2089163
Would there be an SAT-type test for objective measure for learning? with 3 parts: Tanach, Mishna, Gemora … Something to put on shidduch resume.May 20, 2022 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #2089178
Real Learners do not necessarily need to learn or know a lot. A learner who spends 10 hours a day cracking his head to try to understand less than half an Amud, and after the 10 hours has only a very basic idea of what he learnt, and he does this every day of the week, year after year, is a much better Yeshivab or Kollel student than the guy sitting next to him who spends two hours a day learning five new blatts with all the meforshim, and he successfully knows it inside and out and is capable of acing any test with flying colors, but spends the next eight hours of his days battling about sports, politics and whatever else.May 20, 2022 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #2089182GadolhadorahParticipant
“Real Learners do not necessarily need to learn or know a lot”
UJM: That explains so much about your postings.
A gutten shabbos.May 20, 2022 8:17 pm at 8:17 pm #2089184🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
😳May 21, 2022 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #2089259
Some Safardim suffer the misconception that their Rabbanim can not compete with the super lamdus of the Litvishe Rosh Yeshivos. That is not at all true. The clarity of precise lamdus exhibited by the Sefardishe Gedolim of the last fifty years, is of the highest quality. You just do not find everyday Sephardim trying to explain their way through things that they do not know.May 21, 2022 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #2089260user176Participant
I think the UJM approach is the “problem.” Hashem creates every individual with varying ability. To paraphrase YO, the gifted are yechide segula. Even those who learn seriously, usually will not fully understand let alone remember what they’ve learned. (I’m sure with more effort we would have more serious learners but even still, a minority). But with the push nowadays for every individual to learn Torah (which is truly amazing) a great value has been placed on the quantity and the quality has become less important. In truth though, I think there are a large number of real Talmide Chachamim, and the fact that there are so many “not serious” learners just means the Rabbis are doing a good job at spreading Torah to the masses. A great alternative to leaving the Torah to yechidim and everyone else remaining ame haaretz.May 21, 2022 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #2089261
Logical reasoning, is not a prerequisite for lamdus. Reading comprehension, and not wishing away complications, are.
But my argument is about something else. Even if we would establish the bar for what can be called knowing sugyos, one it a fraudulent lamdan if they do know mesechtos. Besides for finishing whole Seforim.May 21, 2022 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #2089262
Ten hours a day for barely understanding half an amud is not a real learner. Using the word learning to explain such an activity would be a misnomer. I do not know what to call such a person. They may be a better yeshiva student, but are they better talmid chacham than someone who learns TaNaCH all day? What kind of mitzvah is it to learn what is not being understood?May 21, 2022 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #2089284
Correction above: A real learner must know whole masechtos.May 21, 2022 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm #2089288
First off, my OP jade absolutely ZERO to do with Ashkenaz vs Sefardi. I meant it across the board, all Yidden.
UJM: I disagree with you. I think the latter guy is Adif.
I think historically Sephardim were great codifiers, Halachists etc whereas Ashkenazim were more into pilpul and “lomdus”. But we know that Sinai is adif over Oker Harim.
I actually think it’s a negative for a Sephardim to engage in Lomdus because that is not their style. I don’t think there is a maala of Lomdus over, say, learning th pshat and the practical Halacha.May 21, 2022 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #2089290
N0m: Limud Torah is a huge mitzvah in its own right. The Mitzvah is not one iota less if the person is an extremely slow learner and takes 10 times as long to understand Torah or Gemora than an average person. Him learning 10 times as long and still end up understanding “only” half as much Torah as the next guy who aced the sugya in 20% as much time spent in Limud Torah, the guy who knows half as much gets 5 times the schar for Limud Torah as the other guy. And if the Yeshiva can only have one of the two, they’d be much better off holding unto the slower learner.May 22, 2022 8:48 am at 8:48 am #2089360user176Participant
In terms of fulfilling the mitzva of Talmud Torah, sure.May 22, 2022 8:49 am at 8:49 am #2089361
Understanding the Torah is critical to the fulfilment of the mitzvah of limud hatorah. My question is why is your hypothetical student, spending his whole day on what he does not understand? Better he learn something that he understands. Or else he can just learn Arizal or the Ragotchaver all day. Sitting all day on what you do not understand is also bittul torah.
Rewarded does not go by minutes or results. I do not totally disagree with your point. But it does not prove yours.
I don’t know what’s better for the yeshiva. However, the more the yeshiva prioritizes the one who follows the yeshiva guidance, over the one who is really growing in Torah- the more of a failure the yeshiva becomes. If a yeshiva can’t produce boys that are using their strengths for Torah, than why does it exist?May 22, 2022 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #2089464
N0m: I didn’t say that he didn’t understand. I said it took him an awfully long time to understand a small amount. In my theoretical example it was 10 hours to understand half a Daf. But understand it he did.
By the way, even if he wouldn’t understand it, which wasn’t the example I earlier gave, he still gets full credit of Limud HaTorah for all his effort. As much as a Masmid who put in an equal amount of effort and time, and came away understanding 100x more and 100x better.
A Yeshiva or a Kollel is better off with the Talmid who spends 10 hours a day seriously learning, even though he only finishes half a Daf per 10 hours, than a Talmid who spends 2 hours a day seriously learning, but he fully understands inside out 5 Blatts every 2 hours, but then spends another 8 hours a day schmoozing, socializing or catching up with what’s going on in the world.May 22, 2022 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm #2089534
For the record: “A learner who spends ten hours a day cracking his head to try and understand less than half an Amud, and after the ten hours only has a very basic idea of what he learnt, ……..”
It’s over the top. I’m not so much arguing the point that follows, as much as I’m arguing the innuendo of the above as a description of a real learner.
As you’ve elaborated your point, I’m still bothered by the same thought. In real life, is learning things you do not understand called learning? The fellow who ‘learns’ gemara but can’t understand Aramaic, is that learning? The fellow who reads Zohar for hours on end and has no idea what the context is, is that nearing? The bachur who reads through Shas, is that learning? The guy who cracks his head for hours, but has no idea what he is looking for, is that learning?May 22, 2022 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #2089558
n0 > Logical reasoning, is not a prerequisite for lamdus.
maybe we mean different things here. I am not saying knowing Aristotle or Godel, just being to reason according to facts. I think this is required. Gemora often refers to sevorah as an argument. Some say that one of the goals of Gemorah learning is to develop ability to overcome your own biases, whether personal preferences or group you belong to, and be able to argue as objectively as humanly possible.May 22, 2022 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #2089560
Gemora mentions, I think, R Yaakov who sent his son for a semester, then examined him and, after finding his learning lacking, told him to stay home and work the fields, and went to learn himself. He is them placed into a room with some nasty mazik that would kill anyone else – to clear real estate for the yeshiva, so he presumably had a good judgment. So, when you are suggesting that someone not learning much should sit in the yeshiva whole day – is he doing it at the expense of someone else who could use a stipend? Maybe someone who is working and learning, but a stipend will help him free a couple of extra hours a day for learning? Of course, if your community balabosim are supporting everyone who wants to learn, then it is not a problem.
As to those who learn 2 hours and don’t do much the rest of the day, those are worse of course, especially if they are paid to do that. But it is not a very good argument to say that someone is better than outright thieves.May 22, 2022 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #2089568
nOm: I agree overall with what you’re saying but there is an inyan to be Gores the Zohar even if you do not understand a word.
ujm: A Yeshiva or a Kollel is better off with a Talmid who spends 2 hours a day seriously learning, but he fully understands inside out 5 Blatts every 2 hours (without the schmoozing). Such a person exists.May 22, 2022 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm #2089598
Also, the Rosh says and the Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 243) rule that a person who works for a living but dedicates time to Torah has the status of a Ben TorahMay 22, 2022 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #2089600
I like the idea of being objective as the goal. Logic does not help one be objective. Compared to other forms of intelligence, it is more subjective. An objective reading requires an unhurried mind. Not one over exerted to logical subtleties. Sevorah in the Talmud does not mean the Logic. A real learner really learns. This somehow became a mystery.May 22, 2022 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #2089643
Yabia: I agree. But your example wasn’t what my comparison was about. My comparison was about two people who are in Yeshiva 10 hours a day. The first one seriously learns for 10 hours; the second one seriously learns only for two hours, and is “battling” his other eight hours there. The first one is getting through half a Daf a day; the second one is getting through 5 Blatts a day.May 22, 2022 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm #2089657
I just can’t understand what the first one is doing that is not bittul torah. He seems to be not yet up to learning gemara. I would agree with you if I could get around this problem. But I would not call either a real learner. Though the first one has a real chance to become one.May 23, 2022 12:17 am at 12:17 am #2089688
ujm > The first one seriously learns for 10 hours; the second one seriously learns only for two hours, and is “battling” his other eight hours there.
I have two job candidates. One works hard the whole day and does not produce anything. Another – works great for two hours and then browses internets. Who would I hire? None of them. Why are your choices so poor?
Seriously, to the person who sits and sits and learns nothing. R Preidah who lived long had a student who required 400 repetitions to learn (note, he learned eventually). He might be better off going to work and having yissachar/zevulun parternship with someone. This is what someone who cares about this guy would suggest (one of the amoraim did this with his son who was not good at learning, then he tried to teach him business ..). If he has no other prospects and is financially secure, it is great if he sits and learns and gets his sechar – 1/400th of infinity is still infinity. Usual caveat – if he is using OPM (other people’s money) this would work only if there is a full disclosure to the donor, whether this is a private philanthropist or a taxpayer, and they are happy to fund his learningMay 23, 2022 12:17 am at 12:17 am #2089687
n0> Logic does not help one be objective. Compared to other forms of intelligence, it is more subjective…Sevorah in the Talmud does not mean the Logic. … A real learner really learns.
We seem to be using different definitions here and going circles. “explain yourself”, as the famous Logician – the Caterpillar – said to Alice.May 23, 2022 12:30 am at 12:30 am #2089693
n0 > I like the idea of being objective as the goal.
a question to those involved in serious learning: how consistent is self-evaluation in terms of a student understanding his level and his ability to reason. I presume that if a teacher is a great Talmid Chochom, he will give that feedback, but – what if he is not? How does the student know? how does a prospective mechutan knows? Trusts representation of the teacher? Gvirim of the past generation would hire a talmid chacham to evaluate the prospective choson, but this does not seem to be done in our days.
Many professions and hobbies have objective markers – SAT, GRE, marathoner’s times, chess rating… Why don’t we have some public-facing measures that will help learners and others to see the quality of the product? I know that any measurement affects the process and people start learning for the test, but still an imperfect test might be better than none.May 23, 2022 12:56 am at 12:56 am #2089706
We do not have a public facing measure because the Torah is not of the public. It wasn’t man-made. So men can’t decide what the grade should be.May 23, 2022 12:56 am at 12:56 am #2089707
Learning Torah is not a job. Less than zero comparison.May 23, 2022 5:43 am at 5:43 am #2089713
Learning means acquiring new data/classifications/comprehension/concepts/explanations/ideas that we were unaware of before we learned them. If we did not know them originally because our logic was faulty, than I would agree that logic is a prerequisite for learning them. But most of the time it is simply a case of uncovering what slipped through our logical processes. We did not gain more logic we gained more insight. Which was revealed though a more thorough reading or a more objective view.May 23, 2022 5:45 am at 5:45 am #2089718
Yabia, shu”a in that siman makes no mention of bnei torah one way or the other.
A koveah itim is an average jew. The term ben torah is a lofty title.May 23, 2022 9:41 am at 9:41 am #2089820
מבין דבר מתוך דבר, coming to understand one thing from another which is already understood and so on.
Rashi says on ושננתם, שיהי’ דברי תורה מחודדים בפיך the words of Torah should be sharpened in your mouth שאם ישאל אדם דבר such that if one asks something אל תגמגם don’t stutter אלא אמור לו מיד but be able to answer them instantaneously.May 23, 2022 9:44 am at 9:44 am #2089834tunaisafishParticipant
some people find learning geshmak alot of people dont. shoinMay 23, 2022 11:16 am at 11:16 am #2089870
Here’s a test: ask the guy next to you at shul or at your kids’ yeshiva “what’s the latest time one can daven shachris?”. A very basic question.May 23, 2022 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #2089884
Yabia Omer, what is your answer?May 23, 2022 1:28 pm at 1:28 pm #2089888
Yabia: The answer has different shittas. You want a full Halachic analysis?
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