Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Without Any Program At All"

(Painting by Tamar Finkelstein)

Excerpt from "Lights on the Path" by Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter:

In any event, until we can discover the method of Torah study that is best for us, we must be careful not to waste a moment. Until G-d opens our hearts as to what and how we should study, we must grab whatever we can, even in an unstructured way, because the sin of wasting time from Torah is very grave, while the reward for Torah study is greater than all the other mitzvos.

Many people become so confused by the various approaches to Torah study that they do not know what to do or where to begin. Even after committing themselves to one approach, they still have doubts. They start to learn Gemara, then they think it would be better to learn Mishnayos. They study Mishnayos and worry about Halacha. What about Chumash with Rashi? Perhaps they should drop everything and start learning Daf Yomi. They start learning halachos of kashrus and end up worrying about those of Shabbos. And so on and so on...

Once again, the best advice is to commit oneself to studying without any program at all. To learn a lot of whatever one can, and a proper study program will soon become apparent.

The bottom line is: don't busy yourself with making plans to learn, just sit and learn. The proper balance will emerge by itself.


At February 7, 2008 at 3:19:00 PM EST, Anonymous Yossele said...

Amazing! B'hashgocha, as it happens at this moment I'm trying to juggle doing the weekly sedra with Rashi, learn gemoro and get into a nach seder, but of course worrying how to fit it all in, maximise the time availible and also about the lack of limud halacha and mishna currently.

This eitzah really speaks to me and what I take out of it is the sounds-really-obvious-but-we-usually-just-forget-about-it-anyway rule that the ikkar is doing it - not just planning it and talking about it - although of course they are at times necessary.

Yasher koach.


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