Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Continuing The Conversation On Learning Chumash

(Illustration by Saul Raskin)

The Seforim Blog: Eliezer Brodt: A Censored Work by a Student of R. Hayyim of Volozhin: The Case of Menuchah u-Kedushah :

"Once the boy knows chumash only than should you go on to learn Gemara. When he begins this limud, be careful to go slowly so as not to over burden him. The main point is not to learn enmass, rather emphasis on making sure the student fully understands everything before going further. Instead what happens is the boy only knows how to parrot what the teacher says and on Shabbos he shows this off to the father; however nothing of value ever comes out of this."

Related: Learning Chumash In Volozhin


At February 20, 2007 at 10:29:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more!

but, it sounds too normal and thoughtful to ever happen in our current chareidi culture.


At February 20, 2007 at 12:20:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I never went to yeshiva so this quote really resonates with me. If I have to rack my mind to come to a 15% understanding of the shlishi [construction of the Mishkan] of Chumash with Rashi on this week's parsha how am I going to understand a complex sugya in Gemara? I am still struggling to get the basics!

At February 20, 2007 at 11:11:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

This is why I learn parsha (The Parsha Reader and The Little Midrash Says) with my kids. When they come home from school and we read their parsha questions Shabbos night at the table I always ask them to tell me something that wasn't included on the teachers' list of questions.

The greatness of Chumash or Gemara, for that matter, is that there is always something new to learn. Look, Volozhnin produced great thinkers, but then again, I've met (sadly) a handful of truly brilliantly schooled and real vessels of Torah knowledge who didn't have the midos to match their chochma.

Speaking of this weeks pasha
Shmos 25:11
11. And you shall overlay it with pure gold; from inside and from outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make upon it a golden crown all around.

Rashi: from inside and from outside you shall overlay it Bezalel made three arks, two of gold and one of wood. Each one had four walls and a bottom, and they were open on the top. He placed the wooden one inside the golden one and the [other] golden one inside the wooden one. He covered the upper rim with gold, thus it is found that [the wooden one] was overlaid from inside and from outside [with gold]. — [from Yoma 72b, Shek. 16b](Chabad.org)

R Zelig Pliskin, in GROWTH THROUGH TORAH, pg 205 quotes a gemara in Yoma72b that says we learn from the pasuk that a Talmud Chochom must be the same on the inside as he is on the outside... :)


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