Which is better: a bad chavrusa or no chavrusa?

Home Forums Bais Medrash Which is better: a bad chavrusa or no chavrusa?

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  • #610056

    abc12345
    Participant

    I was learning with a great chavrusa learning a tough mesecta. After each session I would come out feeling accomplished. Unfortunately he is unable to learn with me anymore. I have since found a new chavrusa and I don’t learning anything with him. We just read through the gemara and that’s it. I need some advice on what to do…

    #966309

    Need more info– how often do you learn with this person? Is this in a yeshiva or on your own? What mesechta is it?

    #966310

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Can you get another chavrusa (and he too, if a commitment was made)?

    How well do you learn on your own?

    #966311

    writersoul
    Member

    Are YOU putting everything into it that you can?

    I remember once being put in a group in school for a Chumash project. I was doing it with a friend of mine who is AMAZING. I did it with her and I understood everything, it was fascinating, etc. Then I did a different part of the project with someone else, and it just didn’t have the same geshmak to it.

    I was really annoyed, and I wanted to switch partners, but then I realized- the other time, I’d kind of been coasting along with my friend. I’d been letting her do all the work, making it amazing and meaningful. Why couldn’t I do it this time? So I did. I won’t tell you it was the same, but it was still 100x better than before and, in the end, actually pretty darn incredible.

    I’m not saying you’re not trying- how could I? I don’t know you or your situation- and I’ve never learned in a yeshiva-style chavrusa situation, but this may be something to keep in mind- if your partner isn’t the motivator for you, try being the motivator for your partner. Chances are he can use it just as much as you can, and you can explore what you’re doing in so many ways.

    #966312

    Toi
    Participant

    dont ask girls about chavrusas. theyre liable to be insulted if you dump them.

    #966313

    shmuelgold
    Member

    jewishfeminist02: I don’t want to sound mean, but in fairness do you really think he wanted advice from a girl about his chavrusa question and do you not see how it is inappropriate for you to be answering a question about a boy’s chavrusa? It’s like a boy giving a girl advice on what to give another girl for a bridal shower. Not only that, but what on earth would it matter what masechta he is learning? You didn’t even answer his question.

    To help answer: I would say that it is for sure worse to have a bad chavrusa apposed to no chavrusa. When you learn alone you can really stop and think about things, bring back to your heart and memory and internalize things. There is no one you are trying to impress, no one you have to keep up with, no meaningless tangents you have to run off too and spend hours on because he wants to talk about so and so. While a good chavrusa in MODERATION is very useful, a bad one is a lot worse.

    #966314

    pixelate
    Member

    shmuelgold-

    a) Jewishfeminist’s husband is wont to chime in occasionally

    b) I think those questions posted are very relevant, even in your particular answer.

    Is it a particularly difficult Mesechta, or is it an interesting one that you are Chazering. What setting is it in. How often. All these identifying questions are very apropos in true advice on the matter.

    #966315

    oomis
    Participant

    Shmuelgold,there is no reason a girl cannot give advice. Unlike most boys who have never shopped for bridal gifts for a shower or anyone else, most yeshivah girls HAVE learned with another girl, whether in studying for a test, doing a project, or chazering over in class. It was a poor comparison.

    My humble opinion is that unless the chavrusah is causing one to have an antipathy to learning, or causing the OP to waste time and not be actually learning, maybe he can seek ways to strengthen the learning experience, or find another chavrusa. It motivates someone to learn when he knows he has an achrayus to another person.

    #966316

    shmuelgold
    Member

    oomis: Yeshiva girls have learned with others GIRLS. This question was about a boy learning with another BOY. And boys do buy gifts for other boys. Boys and girls learn differently and their relationships in terms of how they learn differ. You cannot answer the question because YOU have never learned alone as a boy. Girls are more talkative and need to express their feelings with others more than boys do.

    I still do not understand how asking what masechta is relevant. Please give me the name of one masechta that would make it relevant. To me, it seems it was asked to show off that you know about whats in each masechta.

    I personally have yet to meet a girl who is capable of learning biyun the way a boy does or who would make a good chavrusa for a boy.

    #966317

    “jewishfeminist02: I don’t want to sound mean, but in fairness do you really think he wanted advice from a girl about his chavrusa question and do you not see how it is inappropriate for you to be answering a question about a boy’s chavrusa? It’s like a boy giving a girl advice on what to give another girl for a bridal shower. Not only that, but what on earth would it matter what masechta he is learning? You didn’t even answer his question.”

    When I saw the thread, I asked my husband if he had any suggestions. He told me he needed the answers to these questions before he could offer any advice. He said that the reason it matters which mesechta is that some are harder than others, and therefore for those masechtas it’s more important to have a good chavrusa. I understand why you were confused, but next time please try to be dan l’kaf zechus. And by the way, I and other women have had chavrusas too. Do you think it’s equally “inappropriate” for writersoul to be answering? I’m sure the OP would be grateful for advice from any source, if it were useful.

    #966318

    YW Moderator-73
    Moderator

    shmuelgold

    try to keep it civil

    #966319

    pixelate
    Member

    jewishfeminist- Aha! so I was right.

    #966320

    shmuelgold
    Member

    I thought I was being civil but don’t worry, I won’t be back here for a long time (I don’t like having conversations online). Again can you please give me the name of a masechta that would ake a difference? Because every masechta I have ever learned had parts that were very difficult.

    This is an anonymous internet forum. Anyone can answer questions, boys or girls. Part of it is because you call yourself a feminist that I felt it to be inappropriate, but mainly, I felt it was a question directed to other guys, just like some girls have questions directed to other girls.

    #966321

    WIY
    Member

    shmuelgold

    “I personally have yet to meet a girl who is capable of learning biyun the way a boy does or who would make a good chavrusa for a boy.”

    You obviously haven’t met the girls who have very logical brains and who excel at math….There are some very smart girls who have a gemara kup who can learn gemara better than many boys if they so wished to.

    #966322

    YW Moderator-73
    Moderator

    I won’t be back here for a long time (I don’t like having conversations online)

    okee dokee then, mister man-of-a-thousand-user-names

    #966323

    writersoul
    Member

    jfem02: Sorry… I deserved that just as much as you did. (Take that however you want as far as how much blame is deserved either way…) shmuelgold seems to be just smart enough to figure out that feminists are girls but not enough to read my obviously-a-girl post and catch the signals.

    And excuse me, but I know of plenty of girls who would do perfectly well in a gemara discussion. We’d start off at a disadvantage because we don’t know what’s flying on a page of gemara (at least I sure don’t), but after an intro, don’t worry TOO much about us. (Actually, I have no idea if I’d be good at gemara- if math knowledge is important I probably wouldn’t be, though my brother’s great at it and about like me in math- but don’t jump to conclusions, wise guy.)

    #966324

    Agreed. There are (many) girls out there who can learn Gemara just as well as boys. To answer your challenge as to whether or not there are girls out there who would make good chavrusas for boys: there are, if such a thing were tznius. Now married couples on the other hand can learn b’chavrusa if they happen to be well-matched (or, I suppose, brothers and sisters). I certainly can’t learn with my husband or brother on a peer level (although maybe in 20 years?) There are women who theoretically could keep up with my husband, but they’ll never have the opportunity to try. Actually, the girl my husband was once engaged to learned in GPATS and is at his level of learning.

    I will, b’li shevua, ask my husband for an example of a masechta that would make a difference in answering this question. He is working now and I don’t want to bother him. But I can guarantee you that he wasn’t trying to “show off his knowledge”. He only posts in the CR because I do, and ask him questions. He doesn’t really care what anyone here thinks of either one of us. If he was really that invested he would create his own account and username.

    #966325

    writersoul, I wasn’t trying to attack you!! Sorry!! I think both of us have every right to be posting in this thread. (Hey, remember the thread that had “GIRLS ONLY” in its subject line and the posters who responded were oomis and a bunch of men?)

    #966326

    abc12345
    Participant

    @jf learning bava kama 5 days a week.

    @daas im sure i can find another chavrusa it will just take precious time. i learn soso on my own but im at a stage where i need to keep growing and i cant do it on my own (just as of yet). im learning a different masechta with a litvish guy and he is amazing, however i really like bava kama and need help with it.

    #966327

    rebdoniel
    Member

    Where are you holding? Are you doing Perek Merubah?

    #966328

    abc12345
    Participant

    @writer

    I am putting as much into that i can at my level. I only started learning gemara 8 months ago. my litvish chavrusa has matured me to a point, and in brochos i can somewhat independently learn. however with bava kama, it is a little more challenging.

    #966329

    abc12345
    Participant

    @pix

    Is it a particularly difficult Mesechta, or is it an interesting one that you are Chazering. [it is difficult as stated in my earlier post]

    What setting is it in. shul

    How often. 5 days

    #966330

    writersoul
    Member

    jfem02: Oh NO… I need to try for some clarity here, like rereading my posts to make sure I’m not insulting people.

    I was NOT talking to you. I was talking to the male chauvinist who thought that girls didn’t have higher order thinking skills.

    (That is the first time I have ever called someone a male chauvinist. It will probably be the last.)

    I definitely think that we have equal right to respond over here. And I definitely remember that thread :). I never actually POSTED on it… maybe I should have, just to dilute the Y chromosomes.

    abc: If that’s the case, and you really think you aren’t gaining and you need help (anyone who only started something as complex as gemara 8 months ago probably needs some help), then I have no idea by what kind of mechanism you got your current chavrusa, but maybe you can use the system to get a new one.

    Are your chavrusas at the same level as you, or have they been learning longer? Can you arrange for a chavrusa who will specifically help you?

    Hatzlacha!

    #966331

    sharp
    Member

    This chavrusa is not necessarily bad. Sometimes it’s only a matter of finding the right one. Or switching techniques with the one you have.

    #966332

    oomis
    Participant

    Boys and girls learn differently and their relationships in terms of how they learn differ. “

    So what? What difference does it make if I take a taxi, drive myself, go by train, or walk, if I arrive at the same destination? The fact that girls and boys learn MIGHT have different learning styles (and I am not certain that it is a disadvantage for the girls, as I inferred from your implication), does not mean that the end result, the learning of Torah has not been attained.

    If I were you, I would take the female perspective a bit more STRONGLY into account, because we have binah yesirah, and perhaps could even give the OP better advice than a male. Males tend to see issues as “black or white,” but women tend to see more of the subtleties and make assessments based on those shades of gray.

    #966333

    ED IT OR
    Participant

    Need more info–

    how often do you learn with this person?

    Is this in a yeshiva or on your own?

    What mesechta is it?

    what is your national insurance number?

    #966334

    Toi
    Participant

    i dont want to step on anyones toes, but girls are hardwired and think differently then boys. the classic test is to aske your wife or mother or sister if they would like to hear tomorrows chaburah. start with a gemara in gittin. the gemara discusses the halachah pertaining to a man who is stuck in a pit and yells up to the people above to write and give a get to his wife.

    if you are a guy, you will say, ok vaiter.

    if you are a girl, you have just asked yourself,”Why doesnt anyone just take him out of the stupid pit?”

    it worked on my mother, sister, wife, and SIL. and theyre good at math.

    #966335

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    if you are a guy, you will say, ok vaiter.

    if you are a girl, you have just asked yourself,”Why doesnt anyone just take him out of the stupid pit?”

    I was about to ask why not just take him out. But then I was like: “Are you crazy? Maybe it’s really a sheid!!”

    #966336

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    if you are a girl, you have just asked yourself,”Why doesnt anyone just take him out of the stupid pit?”

    Except for those who know that many people die from falling in wells every year. Besides, even if he is pulled out, we still have no proof the voice wasn’t a Shaid.

    abc12345: Are you using an Artscroll?

    #966337

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    toi: That’s not really a convincing proof. What I believe you are describing is use hypothetical or absurd scenarios from which to extrapolate principles, basis for further inquiry, etc. This is a mode of thinking that one can certainly have natural proclivity toward, but is mostly trained. As posters above have said, people in STEM fields deal in such thinking, and spend years of schooling honing not merely their knowledge, but their understanding of such principles. Also, being “good at math” doesn’t really signify anything–like I said, this is something that you train extensively at the highest levels. Generally, frum (yeshivish/chareidi) girls are not trained in any such field, so even if they have some natural proclivity toward such thinking, they won’t be able to realize it. Also, I’d be willing to bet that male BTs who enter the system without any prior Talmudic knowledge or training in a STEM field (or a discipline such as classical philosophy, etc.) would have the same problem.

    #966338

    Toi
    Participant

    OOM- its not at all absurd. like i said, it really happened.

    #966339

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    That is not what the term “absurd” means. Notice the use of the terms both “hypothetical” and “absurd.”

    #966340

    Toi
    Participant

    i was joking.

    #966341

    🐵 ⌨ Gamanit
    Participant

    Toi- hate to break it to you, but it didn’t work on me. I was thinking that I don’t know hilchos gittin, but I think a get has to be written. What would saying anything do?

    #966342

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    …so that’s your response my post?

    #966343

    writersoul
    Member

    Toi: So what?

    Would having that thought stop them from learning the gemara?

    Especially since it’s not a stupid question at all. It may be irrelevant, but it’s not stupid. (I may just be saying that because I was wondering the same thing, but while true, if the inyan is about gittin and you need an example this works, it does seem to be a kind of a strange scenario. For someone unused to gemara, it would be a very logical question. Note the use of the word “unused” as opposed to “unsuited.”)

    #966344

    emestorah
    Member

    “I was NOT talking to you. I was talking to the male chauvinist who thought that girls didn’t have higher order thinking skills.”

    If saying that men and women learn differently and they would not good chavrusas with one another is considered a chauvinist, I guess every Rabbi in the gemarah would be a chauvinist as well.

    R. Nahman said: Positions of esteem (chashivus) are not appropriate for women. There were two haughty women, and their

    names are hateful, one being called a hornet and the other a weasel. Of the hornet it is written,

    HENCE DECLARED BEN AZZAI: A MAN IS UNDER THE OBLIGATION TO TEACH

    ELIEZER SAYS: WHOEVER TEACHES HIS DAUGHTER TORAH TEACHES HER

    OBSCENITY. Can it enter your mind [that by teaching her Torah he actually teaches her] obscenity!

    #966346

    jbaldy22
    Member

    It really depends on your age/maturity in learning. To me the subject/masechta doesnt matter as much. If this chavrusa is causing you to battel/waste time than of course it is better to learn on your own. Otherwise I feel that there is a lot of value to learning with any chavrusa regardless of level of intelligence Mikol Melamdai Hiskalti etc. This is question is really more dependent on your level of learning and your personal situation and I would advise asking a rebbi.

    I have no problem with women responding to this thread – this is a public forum and I am sure the op anticipated that. I would have no problem discussing this type of thing with my wife.

    #966347

    writersoul
    Member

    emestorah: Call them by their names. Devorah and Chuldah, two of only seven nevios, great women whose shoes you don’t even reach, even if you are a man (yeridas hadoros and all that).

    I was not responding to whether guys and girls should learn together (it may not be optimal, but it can’t be bad- school studies have shown that while girls do better in girls only classes, boys do better with girls in the classroom). I was responding to the implication that girls CANNOT reason the way boys do and are not CAPABLE (charged word) of learning be’iyun.

    And what are you trying to say with the quote about the nevios? That we need to squash down the women so that they don’t get into a position where they get haughty?

    You may have a much more benign meaning- in which case, maybe try making that point in a benign way.

    #966348

    emestorah2
    Member

    There was a problem with the other name. I would never compare myself to Devorah of course. The point I think is that men and women are different. The gemarah in Sanhendrin says that women have binah yesera and men don’t. Does that mean that women are smarter than men now? I would say obviously not, only in some areas. On the other hand, men are smarter in some areas. That is why men and women compliment one another, because they are different. Should women learn Torah the best they can, of course. Do they learn LIKE men? By and large no. Men and women for the most part (always exceptions) will always learn differently, no matter what society does to them.

    The point about Devorah was only because of the chauvinist comment, though women should be more tznius in terms of public leadership. That is a diff/ matter.

    #966349

    Sam2
    Participant

    Toi: Your anecdotal evidence is, well, anecdotal.

    #966350

    emestorah2
    Member

    “school studies have shown that while girls do better in girls only classes, boys do better with girls in the classroom).”

    Well every major yeshiva and gadol hador in the world will prove you wrong about that. The way the gemara is structured is geared towards the way men learn. Men are also chiuv. But in general, the more learning of Torah lishma the better!

    #966351

    Achashveirosh
    Participant

    If not having a chavrusa means you lay in bed and skip the learning, then a bad chavrusa is better than no chavrusa.

    Also if you’re a single, living alone that may be the only person you

    talk to all day, dont give it up.

    #966352

    Toi
    Participant

    Sam2- i know, and its bloody hysterical.

    #966353

    “The way the gemara is structured is geared towards the way men learn”

    The Gemara is a legal text of questions, answers, and machlokeses. If you are right that womens’ brains cannot handle Gemara, then why are there so many female lawyers? Today, half of all law school graduates are women, and these women have to handle complex trial cases, read briefs, and argue in front of courts. Would you really say they are inferior to men as well, even though they graduate at the same rate and do the same exact tasks?

    #966354

    WIY
    Member

    Oi Chavrusa Oi Mesusa, Me thinks the bad chavrusa can be what the gemara calls mesusa.

    #966355

    For some reason, in Yeshiva, I find it hard to learn on my own, on Shabbos when I’m at a shul or a different yeshiva when nobody knows me, I can plug for hours on end B’H. If you’re like me that you can’t learn in yeshiva on your own, then it might be better to stick to the “bad” chavrusa. On the other hand, if you guys have completely different goals in learning (ie, even during 2nd seder, I like to learn a little more iyun-dik like iyun kal, as opposed to a more bekiyus-dik, and I had a chavrusa that would constantly get upset and show it whenever I’d ask a kashya that would require a little more thought) then I’d suggest possibly trying to switch or maybe even dropping him (if possible).

    #966356

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    If you are right that womens’ brains cannot handle Gemara, then why are there so many female lawyers? Today, half of all law school graduates are women, and these women have to handle complex trial cases, read briefs, and argue in front of courts. Would you really say they are inferior to men as well, even though they graduate at the same rate and do the same exact tasks?

    Google “shatter the ceiling harvard law” if you believe that.

    #966357

    WIY
    Member

    rationalfrummie

    Any woman that goes into law obviously has the kind of brain that is highly logical and geared towards legal analysis. That type of thinking is more common by men.

    #966358

    Popa: Google “women in law,” and you’ll find that indeed 47% of law students are women, 33% of all practicing lawyers are women, and 32% of all federal judges are women. There are 3 women on the Supreme Court. Yes, feminists and women’s rights people want more progress to be made on this front, but the numbers as is are strong enough evidence to prove my point. (Pro tip: Instead of asking people to google things, you could try writing your own words or at least summarizing.)

    WIY: Perhaps, but there are many women in the goyish world that are smart enough to become lawyers. However, in a very similar area of learning gemara, people here are saying that they know women can’t learn, even though women use similar skills as lawyers all the time. Also, are you a neuroscientist? How do you know that men specifically have gemara kups and women do not? Could you quote a scientific study to back up this claim?

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