HaGaon HaRav Amar Shlita Calls for Sticking With Basics to Learn Gemara


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amar.jpgRishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita is calling to put away the Schottenstein and Steinsaltz gemaras in yeshiva to permit bochrim to learn gemara the way they should.

Responding to the recent alarming events dominating the news in Eretz Yisrael, the Rav told Kol B’Rama Radio that “the education system is bankrupt”. The Rav explained that today, we all know the education system in Israel is bankrupt, lacking qualified teachers and professors. He questions why Israel leads the world in so many areas, but not so regarding education.

Stressing “the Jews are not like other people,” the Rav laments the “tragedies” in reference to the horrific news over recent days.

He expressed his disapproval of the Schottenstein and Steinsaltz gemaras, which he feels make learning too easy, depriving the bochrim of the need to invest in their learning and thereby acquiring the skills to learn gemara as they should. He explained these seforim were designed for balei batim who never had the opportunity to learn, opening the world of learning torah for them, but instead, the yeshiva bochrim are taking the easy way out and the results are unwelcome.

He rejected a situation in which bnei torah seek “easy commentaries” by learning such gemaras instead of the standard text as is traditional in a beis medrash.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Sad to say I challenge our Yeshiva community to take any group of 20 year olds not learning full time, and give them a Gemara and let us see if their years in Yeshiva gave them the skills to make a Leining.

  2. While Rav Amar may be right about children and bochurim learning in Yeshivas around the world, the fact is that the Steinsaltz and Schottenstein gemaras have opened the doors to learning to many that were locked out before: baalei teshuva, men that do not have the adequate time to invest in trying to solve the puzzles of gemara, etc.

    It is like any tool in life, in the hands of the right person it helps tremendously for others it can be devvastating.

  3. At my old Yeshiva- we were not allowed to use artscroll. It made things much harder- but that’s the beauty in learning- and it made my learning allot better

  4. Does he also object to Rashi, Tosafos and use of printed gemaras, all of which are “recent” hiddushim (originally, the gemaras were memorized and recited -writing them down was quite radical).

    Is there an objecion that the two best selling commentaries of the gemara both came from outside the pinacle of the yeshiva world (and in the case of R. Steinsaltz, from a hasidische baal tseuvah with radical political ideas).

  5. if you read the haskomas in the artscroll gemoras from some of our gedolim, they have clearly taken the same approach regarding their ‘support’ of this method of study. more needs to be done before today’s ‘bidieved’ becomes tomorrow’s ‘lechatchila.’ the real problem is that even if the yeshivas decide to not allow the gemoras in the beis midrash, the students can still own them privately and ‘prepare’ a good layning.
    when will the stores start only being allowed to sell’kosher gemoras’?

  6. I agree with 3, its a tool, but a tool not meant for everyone, bochurim have to know what a leining is, if we never force ourselves to ” break our teeth” on a hard sugya or working through a difficult Tosafos how will we have a new generation of Gedolei Torah

  7. To #9, to them I challenge to make a leaning on a Tosafos. Baruch Hashem the Seforim “Sharey Tosafos” and the series by Rav Kahana on Tosafos are available and very helpful.

  8. to 11 only 2000 check out r avigdor miller on the churban.almost anyone who actually learns in yeshiva can lein a gemorah rashi tosfos with ease

  9. #1, 9, and 13,

    Any avg yeshiva guy WILL be able to make a laining on gemara rashi tosfos, rishonim, and acharonim by the time they’re seventeen or so. but these guys never used artscroll regularly, because if they did, they wouldnt know how to lain