Torah Learning Disability for Adult

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    What options does an adult who has great difficulty learning Chumash and Gemorah “inside” have, to teach himself to be able to learn a Sefer (Chumash, Gemorah, Rishonim, and Achronim) on his own?

    The adult learnt in mainstream (Litvish/Chasidish) Yeshivos from Kindergarten through High School. Can understand all Torah, Gemorah, Meforshim discussions “outside”. Knows most stuff (including deep and complicated issues/concepts) that are conceptually discussed in Shiurim (etc.) and sugya’s (etc.) in a verbal discussion. But cannot open a Chumash or Gemorah without getting stuck very quickly on the “teitch” (translation) of the Loshon Kodesh.

    What can he do to learn and understand the teitch very well and be able to open the Seforim on his own to learn by himself?

    Yasher Koach


    there are no short cuts, take an easy sefer, ex kitzur shulchan aruch, and actually look up every word he doesn’t know.

    in a short time he’ll see he knows more and more words, and feel good about it, and himself.



    As far as Chumash and Gemara goes, one can use an artscroll. It takes time to pick up “tietch” skills. Basically there are 2 ways to go about it, either one can use an artscroll and learn it inside with teh english and then review, (review is very very important for a beginner)

    it a few times without the tietch. Work with a system. If you are doing chumash you can do a few pesukim a day with Rashi and with gemara a few lines with Rashi.

    The bottom line is the person has to be serious about reviewing so that he starts remembering his learning and building his vocabulary.

    Another approach thats harder but works a lot better is for one to use a regular Chumash or Gemara (get Oz Vehadar for Gemara or some other nice easy to read helpful Gemara), but get a good English Hebrew or Bible Hebrew dictionary and an Aramaic Hebrew English dictionary and as you go along, look up the words and write the translation with a lead pencil on top of the words. Chazara is important here as well, but the process of looking things up and writing them down helps you remember. After a while you will see that you start remembering more and more words.

    Once familiar with the translation of Chumash Rashi it should be easier to move on to Rishonim and Acharonim.

    Dont think this will happen overnight. However if you review everything a minimum of 4 times (really, for a beginner you should do it even more but absolute minimum is 4) you will see that you remember it and it will build your confidence. Once you know 20 Blatt Gemara with Rashi cold you should be able to learn most Gemaras on your own and should be fairly comfortable opening up a Rishon or Acharon.

    Main thing is dont rush and expect it to happen too quickly, its really up to your level of commitment and and how much time and effort you put into it. Also did I mention do lots of Chazara?

    so right

    There is a school of thought that using the Artscroll hampers ones ability to learn how to learn.


    i totally understand where this person is coming from.

    totally describes me to a t.

    very difficult.

    i have just given up hope that i’ll ever be able to open a sefer and understand it with out looking on the other side.



    My good friend, Art Scroll would love to help him.



    I personally own this guidebook and find it very helpful. Its called aiding talmud study. Take a look (you may be able to find it cheaper on Amazon or something but see it first on Feldheims website)


    Dont give up. Not everybody learned how to learn in Yeshivah. What it takes is a commitment and dedication to learn how to learn. Just like you have excelled in other areas of your life you can learn to excel in learning. Why is it that when it comes to learning people give up quickly yet they never give up on trying new things in business, trying to make it “big” people have all the energy and motivation in the world and try and try and try.

    I guarantee you that in a year or less of serious commitment (a 2-3 hours a day minimum no distractions) you can know how to read the average Gemara without looking at the other side.

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