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TALMUD TORAH-----what a baal habyis should learn

1111 Posted - 07 December 2000 16:57

What should a 17 year old boy not in yeshivah who would learn about 2 hours a day by himself concentrate on? (-9th grade yeshivah education and learns in the morning with a chavrusah mishnayos for 30 min.)


MODERATOR Posted - 07 December 2000 17:54

Mostly Halachah. If he is up to it, Shulchan Aruch and Nosei keylim, and Mishna Brura. If not, then Mishna Brura alone, and if he is not up to that either, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch or Chayei Adam.

After that it's Chumash with Rashi. If he wants more depth, he can add some Ramban.

He also should do some Hashkafa. I don't know his level, but it should be material that explains basic Judaism, such as our purpose in the world, hasgachah, the difference between Jews and other nations, the significance of Mitzvos etc.

I would recommend Rejoice O Youth by Rabbi Avigdor Miller, which in my opinion is the single best English book on this topic.

An advanced student looking for this would pursue something like Derech Hashem of the Ramchal or Shem MiShmuel on Chumash.

Most of his time should be spent on Halachah - at least one hour.

The remaining hour should be spent approx. 40 minutes on Chumash and approx. 20 on hashkafa.

1111 Posted - 10 December 2000 1:46

Thanks a lot.

He has been learning gemarah with ArtScroll (and enjoys it) should he give it up entirely or fit it into the schedule?

Also for hashkafa is tapes ok or is it better to read?

MODERATOR Posted - 10 December 2000 2:00

If he enjoys it he should fit it into his schedule. But Halachah and Hashkofo are the most important for him to learn (and Halachicly, learning Halachah gets precedence over all other topics in learning).

Books are better than tapes for Hashkafa because he can cover a lot more in the same amount of time, and whereas each tape covers only one topic, certain books (such as the one I recommended) are designed to provide a more complete set of Hashkafos.

bmguy Posted - 15 December 2000 14:07

I heard a story that someone once asked reb yisrael, that if he is only has time for 15 minutes of learning, what should he learn, and reb yisrael answered to learn mussar bec if you learn mussar for 15 minutes a day you will make more time to learn everything else, so isn’t that in stira to your answer?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 December 2000 15:08

Nope. Rav Yisroel was giving the guy Mussar, rejecting the sheailah, not paskening it. He was saying, yeah, right, you only have 15 minutes to learn. Go learn Mussar and you will see that you have a lot more!

Does that mean that when every guy says they have 2 hours a day to learn that they're fooling themselves also?

Rav Yisroel knew about this specific guy that he really did have more time to learn. he also knew that by learning Mussar he would realize that.

Do you think that that means everyone who learns Mussar will be similarly affected? Reb Yisroel knew this guy, probably, and he told him what was best for him in his circumstances.

It's good to tell the story, because it has an obvious lesson. That is, don't be so sure you only have 15 minutes to learn.

Which has nothing to do with the question at hand, namely, if this guy has 2 hours to learn, what should he learn? For that, the halachah is clear:

The Shach, Taz, Drisha, and Aruch Hashulchan all write (in Hilchos talmud Torah) that is a Baal HaBayis who only has a few hours a day to learn, must learn Halachah.

(So why are so many of them learning Daf Yomi when they don't even know Hilchos Shabbos? Says the Aruch HaShulchan (246:17):

"A Baal Habayis who only learns a few hours a day should learn Halachah, not Gemara. Every man must know Orech Chaim, and some Halachos of Yoreh Deah, Even Haezer, and Choshen Mishpat . . . but we see that if we will tell them this, they will not learn at all, because they only want to learn a daf of Gemara each day. Therefore, we should not disallow them to [learn daf yomi], and we hope they will do even that . . . "

In other words, they refuse to do what's right and we have to deal with them as such. Fine.

Rav Ovadiah Yosef similarly rules in Responsa Yechaveh Daas that a Baal Habayis who is committed to learning Daf Yomi may change his curriculum to Halachah without being Matir Neder, because halachah is what he should be learning.)

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