Difference between revisions of "Laws of Learning Torah"

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Learning Torah is incredibly important and rivals all other mitzvot in its importance. <ref>Mishna Peah 1:!</ref>
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[[Image:Learning_torah.jpg|250px|right]]
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Learning Torah is incredibly important and rivals all other mitzvot in its importance. <ref>Mishna Peah 1:1</ref>
 
==Importance==  
 
==Importance==  
# Chazal tell us that "regardless, if one brings a large Korban or a small one as long as one's intentions are for heaven one's korban is accepted." <ref> Menachot 110a </ref> The same idea applies to Torah study. One should learn as much as one can and that is precious in God's eyes as long as one's intentions are pure.<ref> Mishna Brurah 1:12 writes that this principle also applies to Torah learning. Halacha Brurah 1:11 concurs and writes that such is evident from [[Brachot]] 5b. </ref>  
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# If one likes to learn and really understands his learning, one can refrain from extending [[Tefillah]] and only say the portions that are obligatory. <ref> Eliyah Rabba 1:1, Lechem Chamudot ([[Brachot]] HaRoeh 84), Birkei Yosef 1:9, Mishna Brurah 1:12, Halacha Brurah 1:11, Kaf HaChaim 1:31. </ref>
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#Chazal tell us that "regardless, if one brings a large Korban or a small one as long as one's intentions are for heaven one's korban is accepted." <ref>Menachot 110a </ref> The same idea applies to Torah study. One should learn as much as one can and that is precious in God's eyes as long as one's intentions are pure.<ref>Mishna Brurah 1:12 writes that this principle also applies to Torah learning. Halacha Brurah 1:11 concurs and writes that such is evident from [[Brachot]] 5b. </ref>
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#If one likes to learn and really understands his learning, one can refrain from extending [[Tefillah]] and only say the portions that are obligatory. <ref>Eliyah Rabba 1:1, Lechem Chamudot ([[Brachot]] HaRoeh 84), Birkei Yosef 1:9, Mishna Brurah 1:12, Halacha Brurah 1:11, Kaf HaChaim 1:31. </ref>
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#Someone who learns Torah purely for the sake of heaven is deserving of great rewards.<ref>Mishna Avot 6:1</ref> Even if a person finds himself encouraged to learn for ulterior reasons he should continue to learn and eventually reach the level of learning purely. <ref>Gemara Pesachim 50b</ref> Many emphasize that nowadays it is critical to start learning with an external motivation in order to overcome the Yetzer Hara and become involved in learning Torah<ref>[https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%A0%D7%A4%D7%A9_%D7%94%D7%97%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9D/%D7%A9%D7%A2%D7%A8_%D7%92* Nefesh HaChaim (Shaar 3* ch. 1 s.v. vegam)]</ref> and once one is involved it'll help purify oneself.<ref>Gra (Mishlei 25:21) writes that even learning which is shelo lishma helps combat the yetzer hara.</ref>
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#If one learns and doesn't understand what is learning it isn't considered Talmud Torah.<ref>Magen Avraham 50:2, Mishna Brurah 50:2. Chida in Marit Haayin Avoda Zara 19a s.v. vamar explains that the Gemara which encourages learning without understanding to mean that if one can't understand it one should still learn without understanding. Or that one should learn even if one only understands the words without understanding the greater context. Ayin Yakov explains that it is referring to someone understanding but has questions on it.</ref> Many poskim say that it is considered Talmud Torah when reading Tanach even if one doesn't understand it.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Harav 2:12:13. See Divrei Shmuel Al Hatorah p. 11 who quotes the Likutei Maamarim of the Chafetz Chaim as arguing that without understanding even reading mikrah isn't learning.</ref>
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==Tanach, Mishna, and Talmud==
 
==Tanach, Mishna, and Talmud==
# One should apportion one's time to study torah everyday into three, one portion for Tanach and some say it's commentaries, one portion for Mishna and Gemara, and one portion to analyze the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. After one grows in Torah one should review Tanach, Mishna, and Gemara, but focus on analyzing Torah. Some say that by learning Talmud Bavli one fulfills learning each area of Torah because the Bavli includes everything, nonetheless, certainly one must still know Tanach and Mishna. Some say that one should devote more time to Mishna than to Tanach and more time to Gemara than to Mishna each one according to its difficulty. <ref> See next footnote</ref>
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# Many authorities emphasize that it's absolutely crucial to learn Halacha so that one knows what one must do as well as mussar which subjugates the Yetzer Hara. Some say that these are included in the above three categories. <ref>
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#One should apportion one's time to study torah everyday into three, one portion for Tanach and some say it's commentaries, one portion for Mishna and Gemara, and one portion to analyze the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. After one grows in Torah one should review Tanach, Mishna, and Gemara, but focus on analyzing Torah. Some say that by learning Talmud Bavli one fulfills learning each area of Torah because the Bavli includes everything, nonetheless, certainly one must still know Tanach and Mishna. Some say that one should devote more time to Mishna than to Tanach and more time to Gemara than to Mishna each one according to its difficulty. <ref>See next footnote</ref>
* In Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Rav Safra interprets the word “ושננתם” as ושלשתם which means that one should split one’s time in three in study Torah, one third to study Mikrah, one third to study Mishna, and one third to study Talmud. The Gemara says that since one doesn’t know how long one will live, one should split up one’s days in three ways. Rashi s.v. LeYomi explains that one should split up the days of the week into these three parts. However, Tosfot s.v. Lo argues that it means that one should split up every single day into these three sections. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) and S”A 246:4 agree with Tosfot.
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#Many authorities emphasize that it's absolutely crucial to learn Halacha so that one knows what one must do as well as mussar which subjugates the Yetzer Hara. Some say that these are included in the above three categories. <ref>*In Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Rav Safra interprets the word “ושננתם” as ושלשתם which means that one should split one’s time in three in study Torah, one third to study Mikrah, one third to study Mishna, and one third to study Talmud. The Gemara says that since one doesn’t know how long one will live, one should split up one’s days in three ways. Rashi s.v. LeYomi explains that one should split up the days of the week into these three parts. However, Tosfot s.v. Lo argues that it means that one should split up every single day into these three sections. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) and S”A 246:4 agree with Tosfot.
* Tosfot also quotes the Rabbenu Tam who says that we rely on only learning Talmud Bavli which itself is a combination of Mikrah, Mishna, and Gemara.
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*Tosfot also quotes the Rabbenu Tam who says that we rely on only learning Talmud Bavli which itself is a combination of Mikrah, Mishna, and Gemara.
* Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:11) writes that Mikrah means Torah SheBaal Peh, Mishna means Torah SheBichtav, and Gemara means comparing, analyzing, thinking, and understanding the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) continues to say that this only applies in the beginning of one’s learning, however, after one has acquired wisdom one should review Torah SheBaal Peh at certain times but primarily one will spend one’s time on Gemara as he defined above. Kesef Mishna (Talmud Torah 1:12) writes that the Rambam's reason is obvious because study of Talmud is the most time consuming and this is the basis for the minhag not to apportion one's time in three parts.
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*Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:11) writes that Mikrah means Torah SheBaal Peh, Mishna means Torah SheBichtav, and Gemara means comparing, analyzing, thinking, and understanding the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) continues to say that this only applies in the beginning of one’s learning, however, after one has acquired wisdom one should review Torah SheBaal Peh at certain times but primarily one will spend one’s time on Gemara as he defined above. Kesef Mishna (Talmud Torah 1:12) writes that the Rambam's reason is obvious because study of Talmud is the most time consuming and this is the basis for the minhag not to apportion one's time in three parts.
* S”A 246:4 rules like the Rambam and the Rama rules like the Rabbenu Tam. Aruch HaShulchan YD 246:14 writes that the halacha and minhag follow the Rabbenu Tam, however, certainly one must still know Mikrah and Mishna.  
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*S”A 246:4 rules like the Rambam and the Rama rules like the Rabbenu Tam. Aruch HaShulchan YD 246:14 writes that the halacha and minhag follow the Rabbenu Tam, however, certainly one must still know Mikrah and Mishna.
* The Ran (Avoda Zara 5b s.v. Ki) writes that certainly Talmud requires more time than Mishna and Mishna more than Mikrah rather the Gemara just means that one should apportion each area of Torah it’s proper time. Biur HaGra YD 246:15 quotes this Ran. S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:2) writes that it’s good to abide by this opinion.  
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*The Ran (Avoda Zara 5b s.v. Ki) writes that certainly Talmud requires more time than Mishna and Mishna more than Mikrah rather the Gemara just means that one should apportion each area of Torah it’s proper time. Biur HaGra YD 246:15 quotes this Ran. S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:2) writes that it’s good to abide by this opinion.
* S”A YD 246:4 writes that Mikrah means the 24 books of Torah. Aruch HaShulchan 246:13 explains that Mikrah includes the 24 books of Tanach and also their explanations. However, the S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that the explanations of Tanach is considered Mishna which is all an explanation of the 613 מצות.  
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*S”A YD 246:4 writes that Mikrah means the 24 books of Torah. Aruch HaShulchan 246:13 explains that Mikrah includes the 24 books of Tanach and also their explanations. However, the S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that the explanations of Tanach is considered Mishna which is all an explanation of the 613 מצות.
* The Shach 246:5 quotes the דרישה who writes that some people only learn Gemara, Rashi, and Tosfot and they don’t fulfill the statement of the Gemara Niddah 73a which says that a person should learn Halachot every day meaning Halacha Pesukot (Halachic rulings of the poskim). He adds that the Rabbenu Tam’s idea that Gemara Bavli includes everything only refers to those who can learn 9 hours a day but those who learn 3 or 4 hours shouldn’t just learn Gemara. Mishna Brurah (Introduction to Mishna Brurah, vol 1) quotes this and expands on it.  
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*The Shach 246:5 quotes the Drisha who writes that some people only learn Gemara, Rashi, and Tosfot and they don’t fulfill the statement of the Gemara Niddah 73a which says that a person should learn Halachot every day meaning Halacha Pesukot (Halachic rulings of the poskim). He adds that the Rabbenu Tam’s idea that Gemara Bavli includes everything only refers to those who can learn 9 hours a day but those who learn 3 or 4 hours shouldn’t just learn Gemara. Mishna Brurah (Introduction to Mishna Brurah, vol 1) quotes this and expands on it.
* On the other hand, Birkei Yosef YD 246:4 laments the fact that many people only read the abridged halachot as they dispair from the difficult study of talmud because they are decreasing torah (against the principle of "VeYagdil Torah VeYadir") and causing the reasonings of halachot to be forgotten.  
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*On the other hand, Birkei Yosef YD 246:4 laments the fact that many people only read the abridged halachot as they despair from the difficult study of talmud because they are decreasing torah (against the principle of "VeYagdil Torah VeYadir") and causing the reasonings of halachot to be forgotten.
* Kitzur S”A 27:3 writes that someone who can’t learn as his main focus but can at least set aside times to learn, at those times he should learn Halacha which every Jew needs to know and Mussar which subjugate the Yetzer Hara. S"A HaRav (Talkut Torah 246:2) seems to say that Mussar is included in the category of Talmud.
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*Kitzur S”A 27:3 writes that someone who can’t learn as his main focus but can at least set aside times to learn, at those times he should learn Halacha which every Jew needs to know and Mussar which subjugate the Yetzer Hara. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Talmud Torah 246:2) seems to say that Mussar is included in the category of Talmud.
* S”A HaRav (Hilchot Talmud Torah 2:1) explains that Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Mishnayot and Britot which explain the details of the 613 מצות and nowadays Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Shulchan Aruch and Rama. S”A HaRav adds that Talmud means understanding the reasons of the halachot in the משניות and Britot and nowadays that means the Rosh and Bet Yosef who explain the reasons of the halachot. </ref> See further in the next section regarding Halacha and Mussar.  
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*S”A HaRav (Hilchot Talmud Torah 2:1) explains that Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Mishnayot and Britot which explain the details of the 613 מצות and nowadays Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Shulchan Aruch and Rama. S”A HaRav adds that Talmud means understanding the reasons of the halachot in the משניות and Britot and nowadays that means the Rosh and Bet Yosef who explain the reasons of the halachot.</ref> See further in the next section regarding Halacha and Mussar.
# <span id="chokleyisrael"></span> Some have the righteous practice of learning [[Chok LeYisrael]] which is a daily learning regiment set up by the Arizal that includes pesukim from Torah, Nevuim, Ketuvim, Mishnayot, Gemara, Zohar, Halacha, and Mussar. <Ref> The source for such a schedule is the Arizal (Shaar Mitzvot VaEtchanan). Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:3 writes that it's praiseworthy to learn the [[Chok LeYisrael]] daily. Further on the topic, see the Machzik Bracha 156:6, Sh”t Shalmat Chaim Zonenfeld Y”D 89, Kaf HaChaim 132:6, 155:3, and Sh”t Yabia Omer (Y”D 4:31(5), O”C 9:108(79)). </ref>
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#Based on this concept, there is a practice to recite a portion from Torah, Mishna, and Gemara after Birchot HaTorah before Pesukei DeZimrah.<ref>Rav Amram Goan (cited by Tosfot Kiddushin 30a s.v. lo) established learning a piece of torah, mishna, and talmud each day before pesukei d’zimrah. Tosfot Avoda Zara 19b s.v. yeshalesh, Ritva Avoda Zara 19b s.v. vekatvu, and Hagahot Maimoniyot (Talmud Torah 1:8) cite this establishment. </ref>
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#<span id="chokleyisrael"></span> Some have the righteous practice of learning [[Chok LeYisrael]] which is a daily learning regiment set up by the Arizal that includes pesukim from Torah, Nevuim, Ketuvim, Mishnayot, Gemara, Zohar, Halacha, and Mussar. <ref>The source for such a schedule is the Arizal (Shaar Mitzvot VaEtchanan). Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:3 writes that it's praiseworthy to learn the [[Chok LeYisrael]] daily. Further on the topic, see the Machzik Bracha 156:6, Sh”t Shalmat Chaim Zonenfeld Y”D 89, Kaf HaChaim 132:6, 155:3, and Sh”t Yabia Omer (Y”D 4:31(5), O”C 9:108(79)). </ref>
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#The order for a parent or teacher to teach children Torah is discussed here:[[Halachos for Educators#Torah Curriculum to Teach Children]].
  
 
==Halacha and Mussar==
 
==Halacha and Mussar==
# It's very important to learn Mussar daily because the greater one is, the greater one's Yetzer hara is. <ref> [[Sukkah]] 52a </ref> Torah was created as an antidote to the Yetzer Hara. <ref>Kedushin 30b </ref> Even if learning Mussar takes away from learning other portions of Torah like Gemara, it's important to study Mussar. <ref> Birkei Yosef 1:9 and Chaye Adam ([[Yom Kippur]] Klal 432) write that one should study Mussar daily even at the expense of torah study time. Mishna Brurah 1:12 (and Shaar Tzion 1:26), Halacha Brurah (1:11 and 55:4), and Halichot Olam (8 pg 336) quote this as halacha. </ref>
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# Someone who only has 2 or 3 hours to learn daily should learn Halacha from Shulchan Aruch and commentaries or from contemporary Poskim so that one will be knowledgeable in practical laws and not come to do a sin without knowing. This is more preferable than learning Daf Yomi, or Gemara and Rishonim from which one can’t derive practical halacha. <Ref> Derisha Y”D 246:6, Shach Y”D 246:5 write that someone who only has a little time should learn from the poskim as it says in Nidda 73a someone who learns Halachot every day is a Ben Olam Haba. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Tamud Torah 2:9), Yarot Devash, Derech HaChaim, Sh”t [[Teshuva]] MeAhava (Introduction to 2nd volume), Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:52, Kaf HaChaim Palagi 29:9, Mishna Brurah 155:3, and Halacha Brurah 155:4 concur. </ref>
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#It's very important to learn Mussar daily because the greater one is, the greater one's Yetzer hara is. <ref>[[Sukkah]] 52a </ref> Torah was created as an antidote to the Yetzer Hara. <ref>Kedushin 30b </ref> Even if learning Mussar takes away from learning other portions of Torah like Gemara, it's important to study Mussar. <ref>Birkei Yosef 1:9 and Chaye Adam ([[Yom Kippur]] Klal 432) write that one should study Mussar daily even at the expense of torah study time. Mishna Brurah 1:12 (and Shaar Tzion 1:26), Halacha Brurah (1:11 and 55:4), and Halichot Olam (8 pg 336) quote this as halacha. </ref>
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#Someone who only has 2 or 3 hours to learn daily should learn Halacha from Shulchan Aruch and commentaries or from contemporary Poskim so that one will be knowledgeable in practical laws and not come to do a sin without knowing. This is more preferable than learning Daf Yomi, or Gemara and Rishonim from which one can’t derive practical halacha. <ref>Derisha Y”D 246:6, Shach Y”D 246:5 write that someone who only has a little time should learn from the poskim as it says in Nidda 73a someone who learns Halachot every day is a Ben Olam Haba. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Tamud Torah 2:9), Yarot Devash, Derech HaChaim, Sh”t Teshuva MeAhava (Introduction to 2nd volume), Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:52, Kaf HaChaim Palagi 29:9, Mishna Brurah 155:3, and Halacha Brurah 155:4 concur. </ref>
  
 
==Learning Kabbalah==
 
==Learning Kabbalah==
# It’s forbidden for someone to learn Kabbalah unless has learned seriously all of Gemara and Poskim, and is a Talmud Chacham ingrained with Yirat Shamayim. One should protest if someone is teaching Kabbalah to the public especially if the teacher himself isn’t fitting to learn it. <Ref>Zohar (Pekudei 247b) describes the importance of learning the secrets of Torah and it’s reward. However the poskim write that one needs to have first learned Gemara and Poskim including Etz Chaim (pg 1d), Rama Y”D 246:4, Maharsha (Chagiga 13a), Shelah (Eser Maamarot 29b) and Sh”t Yachave Daat 4:47. Interestingly, S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that Kabbalah is included in the section of Talmud (one of the three sections a person should learn daily, see above).</ref>
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#It’s forbidden for someone to learn Kabbalah unless has learned seriously all of Gemara and Poskim, and is a Talmud Chacham ingrained with Yirat Shamayim. One should protest if someone is teaching Kabbalah to the public especially if the teacher himself isn’t fitting to learn it. <ref>Zohar (Pekudei 247b) describes the importance of learning the secrets of Torah and it’s reward. However the poskim write that one needs to have first learned Gemara and Poskim including Etz Chaim (pg 1d), Rama Y”D 246:4, Maharsha (Chagiga 13a), Shelah (Eser Maamarot 29b), Sh"t Yabia Omer 10:23 and Sh”t Yachave Daat 4:47. Interestingly, S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that Kabbalah is included in the section of Talmud (one of the three sections a person should learn daily, see above).</ref>
  
 
==Learning at day and night==
 
==Learning at day and night==
# One should establish a fixed time to learn after [[davening]]. One should make certain that that time is fixed and one doesn't miss it even if one thinks one can make a lot of money by missing it. If one has a great need that one needs to leave for, one should learn at least one pasuk or one halacha. After finishing whatever was pressing one should complete one's daily standard amount. <reF>Kitzur S"A 27:1</ref>
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#It’s important to learn at night and not waste it all with sleep, eating, and talking because one accomplishes most of his learning at night <ref> Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:13). S"A 238:1 rules this with the language one must be very careful to learn torah at night, more careful than the day! </ref>, that learning is not easily forgotten and is considered like the Avoda of the [[Korbanot]]. The joy of Torah is specifically felt for learning at night and Hashem grants a special Chesed for one who learns at night. <ref>Avoda Zara 3b. The gemara in Eruvin 65a says that night was created specifically for Torah study. The gemara in Chagigah 12b says that one who studies Torah at night will enjoy Hashem’s grace by day, as the pasuk in Psalms 42:9 says “By day, G-d will direct His grace, and at night, His song is with me.” </ref>.  
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#One should establish a fixed time to learn after [[davening]]. One should make certain that that time is fixed and one doesn't miss it even if one thinks one can make a lot of money by missing it. If one has a great need that one needs to leave for, one should learn at least one pasuk or one halacha. After finishing whatever was pressing one should complete one's daily standard amount. <ref>Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:1</ref>
#There's a special practice to "join the day and night" with learning or [[davening]] by learning during sunset and sunrise. <ref> Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S"A 1:6), Bear Hetiev 238:1, and Mishna Brurah 1:2 in of the Shlah HaKadosh in fulfillment of the pasuk in Yehoshua 1:8 "you shall meditate on it day and night." </ref>
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#It’s important to learn at night and not waste it all with sleep, eating, and talking because one accomplishes most of his learning at night <ref>Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:13). Shulchan Aruch 238:1 rules this with the language one must be very careful to learn torah at night, more careful than the day! </ref>, that learning is not easily forgotten and is considered like the Avoda of the [[Korbanot]]. The joy of Torah is specifically felt for learning at night and Hashem grants a special Chesed for one who learns at night. <ref>Avoda Zara 3b. The gemara in Eruvin 65a says that night was created specifically for Torah study. The gemara in Chagigah 12b says that one who studies Torah at night will enjoy Hashem’s grace by day, as the pasuk in Psalms 42:9 says “By day, G-d will direct His grace, and at night, His song is with me.” </ref>.
# If one has a certain daily schedule of learning and hasn't completed it yet, one should finish it at night. However, preferably one should make a stipulation not to accept the daily schedule as a neder, but rather bli neder in case one misses a day. <ref> S"A 238:2, Mishna Brurah 238:5, Kitzur S"A 71:1 </ref>
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#There's a special practice to "join the day and night" with learning or [[davening]] by learning during sunset and sunrise. <ref>Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:6), Bear Hetiev 238:1, and Mishna Brurah 1:2 in of the Shlah HaKadosh in fulfillment of the pasuk in Yehoshua 1:8 "you shall meditate on it day and night." </ref>
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#If one has a certain daily schedule of learning and hasn't completed it yet, one should finish it at night. However, preferably one should make a stipulation not to accept the daily schedule as a neder, but rather bli neder in case one misses a day. <ref>Shulchan Aruch 238:2, Mishna Brurah 238:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 71:1 </ref>
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==Learning Tanach at night==
 
==Learning Tanach at night==
# According to the Kabbalah, it's preferable not to learn Tanach at night. <Ref> Birkei Yosef 1:13, 238:2 in name of the Arizal, Ben Ish Chai Pekudei #7, Kaf HaChaim 237:9. </ref> However, some argue that one may be lenient. <ref> Shaar HaTziyun 238:1 in name of the Pri Megadim. </ref> However, since it's not forbidden but only preferable, if not learning Tanach will cause [[Bitul Torah]] (Chas VeShalom) one may learn Tanach. <ref> Piskei Teshuvot 238:1 </ref>
 
# It is permissible to read Tehilim at night if read as a [[prayer]] for the sick or for another cause. <ref> Sh"t Tzitiz Eliezer 8:2 </ref>
 
# It is permissible to read Tanach on Friday night or the night of [[Yom Tov]]. <ref> Piskei Teshuvot 238:1, Sh"t Yabia Omer 6:30, Sh"t Maharashdam 1:158 </ref>
 
# It is permissible to learn Tanach along with Rashi at night. <ref> Sh"t Veyeche Yacov O"C 9, Piskei Teshuvot 238:1 </ref>
 
==Who is obligated to learn Torah?==
 
# Women are exempt from learning Torah.<Ref>Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1)</ref> Nonetheless, women may learn torah and will be rewarded for their actions. However, women are obligated to learn the laws of the mitzvot that apply to them. <ref> S”A YD 246:6</ref>
 
# Children are exempt from [[learning Torah]]. <ref> Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1) </ref>
 
  
==Who is obligated to teach Torah?==
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#According to the Kabbalah, it's preferable not to learn Tanach at night. <ref>Birkei Yosef 1:13, 238:2 in name of the Arizal, Ben Ish Chai Pekudei #7, Kaf HaChaim 237:9. </ref> However, some argue that one may be lenient. <ref>Shaar HaTziyun 238:1 in name of the Pri Megadim. </ref> However, since it's not forbidden but only preferable, if not learning Tanach will cause [[Bitul Torah]] (Chas VeShalom) one may learn Tanach. <ref>Piskei Teshuvot 238:1 </ref>
# All who are obligated to learn Torah are also obligated to teach Torah. <ref> Gemara Kiddushin 29b, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1 </ref>  
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#It is permissible to read Tehilim at night if read as a [[prayer]] for the sick or for another cause. <ref>Sh"t Tzitiz Eliezer 8:2 </ref>
# Specifically, a father is obligated to teach his son Torah. <ref> Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1 </ref> The obligation begins when the son begins to talk, he should be taught "Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe.." as well as the first pasuk of Kriat Shema. <ref> Bayit HaYehudi vol. 3 pg. 136 </ref>  
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#It is permissible to read Tanach on Friday night or the night of [[Yom Tov]]. <ref>Piskei Teshuvot 238:1, Sh"t Yabia Omer 6:30, Sh"t Maharashdam 1:158 </ref>
# A father is required to provide a Torah education for his son even if it will require him paying for a private teacher or private school. <ref> Bayit Yehudi vol. 3 pg. 136  </ref>  
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#It is permissible to learn Tanach along with Rashi at night. <ref>Sh"t Veyeche Yacov O"C 9, Piskei Teshuvot 238:1 </ref>
# A man is even obligated to teach his grandson Torah. <ref> Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:2 </ref>
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==Women Learning Torah==
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#Women are exempt from learning Torah.<ref>Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1)</ref> Nonetheless, women may learn torah and will be rewarded for their actions. However, women are obligated to learn the laws of the mitzvot that apply to them. <ref>Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 246:6
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*'''Exemption''': The Gemara Kiddushin 29b derives from the pasuk that women are exempt form learning Torah. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1) and Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 246:6 codify this.
 +
*'''Potential Issue''': The Mishna Sotah 20a cites a dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and Ben Azay whether a father should or should not teach a daughter torah. The Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:13) and Shulchan Aruch 246:6 codify the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that a father should not teach his daughter. According to Rashi (Sotah 21b s.v. keilu) Rabbi Eliezer holds that it is forbidden to teach a daughter Torah because it may lead to using her cleverness acquired from Torah in order to sin stealthily. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:13) interprets the gemara to mean that teaching a daughter torah is prohibited because she might misunderstand Torah and make a mockery of its true intent.
 +
*'''On her own initiative''': Both the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch ibid. write that a woman may learn Torah on their own and is rewarded for it like someone who isn't obligated in a mitzvah and fulfills it. Prisha YD 246:15 explains that a woman may learn on her own even Torah SheBaal Peh because once she decided to learn on her own we can assume that she isn't going to cause Torah to become a mockery. The Chida in Tov Ayin (Siman 4) agrees. Tzitz Eliezer 9:3:1-3 supports this opinion.
 +
*'''Torah Shebichtav''': The Rambam ibid. writes that preferably one shouldn't teach women Torah Shebichtav. Taz YD 264:4 writes that it is permitted and even ideal to teach women Torah Shebichtav on a simple level. Sheol UMeishiv 3:41 and Atret Zekenim OC 47:3 agree.
 +
*'''Learning Halacha''': The Agur (Siman 2) writes that women are obligated to learn the halachot that apply to them. Sefer Chasidim 313, Maharil 45:2, Rama YD 246:6, Taz 47:14, and Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Talmud Torah 1:16) agree.</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Non-Jews Learning Torah==
 +
 
 +
#In general, it is forbidden for non-Jews to learn Torah <ref name=":0">Sanhedrin 59a. Along the same lines, Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman (Melamed Leho'il Y.D. 2:77, cited by Rabbi Shlomo Brody in A Guide to the Complex pg. 181), allows Jews to teach non-Jews any narrative portions of the Torah, as those portions will inspire those non-Jews to believe in the grandeur of God and appreciate the ''sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach'' more.</ref> and for Jews to teach non-Jews Torah<ref>Chagiga 13a. Tosefot ''ibid'' s.v. "Ein" asks why there is a need to forbid teaching non-Jews if the gemara in Sanhedrin 59a already forbid non-Jews from learning Torah. Tosefot explains that the prohibition of teaching a non-Jew Torah is meant to apply even in cases where the non-Jew has other sources of learning Torah aside from you.</ref>, but the ''poskim'' established several exceptions, as follows:
 +
##Some ''poskim'' maintain that this prohibition applies only to non-Jews who deny the divinity of the Torah.<ref>Shu"t HaRambam 147, cited in A Guide to the Complex, pg. 181</ref>
 +
##Since non-Jews are commanded in the ''sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach'', some ''poskim'' hold that it is appropriate to teach them the sections of the Torah that pertain to those Mitzvot.<ref name=":0" />
 +
##Some ''poskim'' allow teaching any sections of Tanach to non-Jews but prohibit teaching non-Jews the Oral Law.<ref>Netziv (Meishiv Davar 2:77), Maharatz Chayot (Sota 35b s.v. “li-Divarecha”). Meiri Sanhedrin 59a s.v. "Ben Noach" (also footnote 3 in ed. Kedem Yerushalayim) implies that he distinguishes between Tanach and Talmud because he says, "if [the non-Jew] learned Torah not with the goal of fulfilling the Mitzvot; rather, he wants to delve into the knowledge of our Torah and ''Talmudeinu'', then [such a person] is fitting to be punished." [https://www.etzion.org.il/en/shiur-08-talmud-torah-non-jews Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky] explains that this idea might be rooted in the fundamental principle that the Jewish people’s covenant with God is rooted in the Oral Torah, not Scripture.</ref>
 +
##If the non-Jew wants to learn Torah in-depth in order to learn about Judaism and the Torah due to intellectual interest, then some ''poskim'' permit teaching Torah to non-Jews.<ref>Seridei Esh 2:26</ref>
 +
# According to many opinions it is permitted to teach non-Jews Torah in a superficial way just to explain them Torah without the reasons or the depths of the Torah. Additionally, it is permitted to give a ruling for a non-Jew to act in a certain fashion without explaining the reason.<Ref>Mishnat Hager p. 321 quotes the Beer Sheva (Beer Mayim Chayim n. 14) who permits teaching torah to non-Jews if you don't explain the reasons or the intricate logic of Torah. Tiferet Yisrael (Zevachim 14:4) explains that ti is permitted to rule for a non-Jew without explaining its reason.</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Teaching Torah==
 +
 
 +
#All who are obligated to learn Torah are also obligated to teach Torah. <ref>Gemara Kiddushin 29b, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1 </ref>
 +
#Specifically, a father is obligated to teach his son Torah. <ref>Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1 </ref> The obligation begins when the son begins to talk, he should be taught "Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe.." as well as the first pasuk of Kriat Shema. <ref>Bayit HaYehudi vol. 3 pg. 136 </ref>
 +
#A father is required to provide a Torah education for his son even if it will require him paying for a private teacher or private school. <ref>Bayit Yehudi vol. 3 pg. 136  </ref>
 +
#A man is even obligated to teach his grandson Torah<ref>Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:2 </ref> and pay for his tuition to learn Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 245:3 writes that it is an obligation for a parent to pay for the tuition of his son's Torah education. Shach 245:1 writes the same applies to a grandson.</ref> Some say that this is is only true for one's son's son and not one's son's daughter.<ref>Shach 245:1 writes that there's an obligation to pay for the Torah education of all grandchildren but he cites the Maharshal who limits it to one's son's son. Gra YD 240:34 writes that there's no kibbud av v'em obligation to one's mother's father.</ref>
 +
#Children are exempt from [[learning Torah]]. <ref>Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1) </ref>
 +
 
 +
==Learning Aloud==
  
==Learning aloud==
+
#One should make sure to learn Torah out loud. If one learns out loud, one will be blessed to remember one's learning. <ref>Eirvuin 54a, Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:12), Shulchan Aruch YD 246:22, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:5. Chida in Petach Eynayim (Eruvim 54a) writes that as the pasuk in Beresheet 27:22 הקל קול יעקב one קול, voice, is spelled complete and one is complete without a vav, to indicate that when we pray we silently and when we learn we learn aloud. </ref>
# One should be careful to learn Torah out loud. If one learns out loud, one will be blessed to remember one's learning. <ref>Eirvuin 54a, Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:12), S"A Y"D 246:22, Kitzur S"A 27:5 </ref>
+
#Bruria, the wife of Rebbe Meir, was passing a student who was studying silently without verbalizing what he was learning. She rebuked him and said that his manner of study was incorrect because the verse states, “Life comes to the one who comes upon them” which is meant to be understood as, “life comes to the one who articulates its words with one’s mouth.” <ref>Eruvin 53b-54a </ref>
# Bruria, the wife of Rebbe Meir, was passing a student who was studying silently without verbalizing what he was learning. She rebuked him and said that his manner of study was incorrect because the verse states, “Life comes to the one who comes upon them” which is meant to be understood as, “life comes to the one who articulates its words with one’s mouth.” <Ref>Eruvin 53b-54a </ref>
+
#When one learns one should learn out loud but it’s considered Talmud Torah even if one only thinks about it and doesn't even enunciate the words. <ref>Rav Ovadia Yosef in Halichot Olam (8 pg 390) and Anaf Etz Avot (Avot 3:3). Rav Ovadia cites the Rashbetz Avot 3:3, Yereyim 27, and Shitah Mikubeset Brachot 15b all say that learning in thought is called learning. Interestingly, the Maharal (Derech Chaim Avot 3:6) writes that when learning with someone else, such as a chevruta, one is forced explain the issue in words in order to discuss it. In this manner, one accomplishes the an awesome fulfillment of learning Torah which is spoken aloud. However, when one learns alone, even if one says the words aloud, primarily it is a mental thought process and the words are insignificant, which is a lower level of learning Torah. </ref> Some poskim hold that for Mikra if one doesn't enunciate the words it isn't considered learning.<ref>Shulchan Aruch Harav 2:12 writes that if for Mikra one doesn't enunciate the words that one is learning it isn't considered learning at all. Gevurat Yitzchak v. 2 pp. 19-20 Sotah 32b s.v. layma proves from the Shitah Mikubeset Brachot 13a citing the Raavad that if one doesn't enunciate the words of Mikra when learning it doesn't fulfill the mitzvah.</ref>
# When one learns one should learn out loud but it’s considered Talmud Torah even if one only thinks about it. <Ref>Halichot Olam (8 pg 390). </ref>
 
  
 
==Learning with a Chevrusa==
 
==Learning with a Chevrusa==
# Even though it is preferable and advantageous to learn with a Chevruta (partner) or in a Chabura (group) nonetheless, one who learns by oneself, fulfills the Mitzvah Deoritta of Talmud Torah. <ref> Tanna Dvei Eliyaho 23 writes that Hashem finds favor in the Jewish people because they learn in groups (Chabura’s). Pirkei Avot 3:2-3 says that an individual who learns gets reward for learning, two who learn together have their Torah written in Hashem’s Sefer Zichronot and the Shechina is present, while ten who learn together have the Shechina precede the group in wait for their learning. [[Brachot]] 63b says that one really acquires his Torah that he learns in a Chabura. From the above it just seems that there are good levels of learning and then higher forms, yet from Tanit 7a which says that Talmidei Chachamim who learn by themselves are cursed, become foolish, and sin, it seems that learning as an individual is problematic. Nonetheless, because nowadays we learn from a Sefer it’s permissible (Halichot Olam 8 pg 390) and Yavetz (Introduction) writes that it doesn’t apply to learning in [[Israel]] where the air makes one wise. Even though, Maharal (Derech Chaim (Avot 3:3)) writes that learning by oneself even if one says it out loud isn’t considered Osek in Divrei Torah, Halichot Olam rejects using this for halachic implications because one makes [[Brachot HaTorah]] for Torah one learns by oneself and also Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha beginning of 155) writes that the mitzvah of Talmud Torah also applies to learning individually. </ref>  
+
 
 +
#Even though it is preferable and advantageous to learn with a Chevruta (partner) or in a Chabura (group) nonetheless, one who learns by oneself, fulfills the Mitzvah Deoritta of Talmud Torah. <ref>Tanna Dvei Eliyaho 23 writes that Hashem finds favor in the Jewish people because they learn in groups (Chabura’s). Pirkei Avot 3:2-3 says that an individual who learns gets reward for learning, two who learn together have their Torah written in Hashem’s Sefer Zichronot and the Shechina is present, while ten who learn together have the Shechina precede the group in wait for their learning. [[Brachot]] 63b says that one really acquires his Torah that he learns in a Chabura. From the above it just seems that there are good levels of learning and then higher forms, yet from Tanit 7a which says that Talmidei Chachamim who learn by themselves are cursed, become foolish, and sin, it seems that learning as an individual is problematic. Nonetheless, because nowadays we learn from a Sefer it’s permissible (Halichot Olam 8 pg 390) and Yavetz (Introduction) writes that it doesn’t apply to learning in [[Israel]] where the air makes one wise. Even though, Maharal (Derech Chaim (Avot 3:3)) writes that learning by oneself even if one says it out loud isn’t considered Osek in Divrei Torah, Halichot Olam rejects using this for halachic implications because one makes [[Brachot HaTorah]] for Torah one learns by oneself and also Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha beginning of 155) writes that the mitzvah of Talmud Torah also applies to learning individually. </ref>
 +
 
 
==Interrupting Torah Learning==
 
==Interrupting Torah Learning==
# One should not interrupt Torah learning to answer Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shemo. <ref> Kitzur S"A of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, Volume 1, Page 111 </ref>  
+
 
# Should one interrupt one's learning in order to say the bracha on lightning and thunder? See [[Bracha_For_Seeing_Natural_Wonders#Lightning_and_Thunder]].
+
#Regarding what to do when learning Torah comes into conflict with other mitzvot, see [[Which_Mitzvot_take_precedence%3F#Learning_Torah_and_Other_Mitzvot]].
 +
#One should not interrupt Torah learning to answer Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shemo. <ref>Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, Volume 1, Page 111 </ref>
 +
#Should one interrupt one's learning in order to say the bracha on lightning and thunder? See [[Bracha_For_Seeing_Natural_Wonders#Lightning_and_Thunder]].
 +
 
 +
==Prerequisites for Learning Torah==
 +
 
 +
#One should not learn Torah if one needs to go to the bathroom.<ref>Rama 92:1</ref> Some say that it is permitted if one can hold it in for 72 minutes<ref>Mishna Brurah 92:7</ref> and others say it is forbidden.<ref>Shaarei Teshuva 6:5</ref>
 +
 
 +
===Learning in Front of Ervah===
 +
 
 +
#It is forbidden to learn Torah in a place where there is ervah exposed. A tefach of a woman that is usually covered is considered ervah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 75:1</ref>
 +
#Hair of married women is considered ervah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 75:1</ref>
 +
#One shouldn't learn torah where there is a woman singing including your wife.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 75:3</ref>
 +
#According to Sephardim, it is permitted to learn Torah in front of ervah if one closes one's eyes. According to Ashkenazim one may not learn in front of ervah unless one turns one's body away and doesn't see it.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 75:6, Mishna Brurah 75:29</ref>
 +
#It is permitted to think Torah in front of ervah.<ref>Mishna Brurah 75:29</ref>
 +
 
 +
===Learning in an Unclean Place===
 +
 
 +
#It is forbidden to learn Torah in front of feces. However, if the feces are covered even by glass or something transparent it is permitted to learn.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 76:1</ref>
 +
#If there are feces before him in a moving state it is forbidden to learn Torah.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 76:2</ref>
 +
#If someone didn't wipe themselves properly and there are feces on his body by his private area he may not learn Torah even if they are covered,<ref>Yoma 30a, Shulchan Aruch 76:5</ref>
 +
#It is permitted to learn in a house and not be concerned that there are feces in it.<ref>Shulchan Aruch 76:7</ref>
 +
#In the days of Chazal an area there was a children was considered suspect of being unclean and it would be forbidden to learn unless it is checked.<ref>Mishna Brurah 76:23 based on Rabbenu Yonah. Aruch Hashulchan 76:17 writes that one doesn't have to check the area for feces before learning even if there are children around unless it entered one's mind that there is a concern that there is feces.</ref> Today even if there are children at home the home is considered as having a status of clean from feces.<ref>Piskei Teshuvot 76:10 citing Or Letzion 2:6:14, Halichot Shlomo 22:4, Mishna Halachot 11:59, Ishei Yisrael 52 fnt. 67</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Taking Money for Learning and Teaching Torah==
 +
===Learning Torah===
 +
 
 +
#The mishna in Mesekhes Avos states that one should not derive benefit from his Torah learning.<ref>Avos 4:5.</ref> The Rambam Avos 4:5 and in Hilchos Talmud Torah perek 3.  explains that it is a desecration of G-d’s name, and by extension His Torah, to make Torah learning into a money-making profession.<ref>The Rambam lists several different reasons as to why taking money for Torah is wrong. Besides the consideration of chillul Hashem, the Rambam adds that melachah is a positive virtue which prevents falling into sin (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10). Thus, if a person is only learning and is not working he may run a greater risk of falling prey to sin.</ref>
 +
#Many gedolei Yisroel throughout the generations disagreed with the Rambam. <ref>See the Tashbetz’s reaction to the Rambam (Shut Tashbetz 1:142), where he notes that it was always the practice that Bnei Yisroel have supported their Torah scholars. He brings several proofs from midrashic and Talmudic sources that it is permissible, or perhaps even obligatory, for Torah scholars to accept wealth that matches their stature. The Rama YD 246:21 codifies the Tashbetz’s opinion. Also, Kesef Mishna (Talmud Torah 3:10) emphasizes that there was a strong minhag to be lenient on this, and he ends off by saying that even if the halacha is like the Rambam, maybe we should apply the rule of "et laasot l'hashem". He repeats this sentiment in Bet Yosef YD 246:21.
 +
The Maharshal (Yam Shel Shlomo Chullin 3:9) is adamantly opposed to the opinion of the Rambam if not taking money will cause bitul torah. He says that if a person can learn more by taking money to learn, he should do so, and it is an aveirah not to take it! </ref> Additionally, some poskim limit the scope of the Rambam’s psak and conclude that even he would agree that it is permissible to take money for Torah learning if learning would otherwise be impossible.<ref>For example, see Rav Moshe Feinstein’s approach to the Rambam in Igros Moshe (Yoreh Deah 4:36). He contends that the Rambam only said that accepting money for learning would be prohibited if the Torah scholar is capable of studying diligently with a clear mind even after working for parnassah for a portion of the day. However, if the scholar is not capable of concentrating in the same way that he would be without having engaged in work, it is permissible for him to accept donations from the tzibbur.
 +
Taz YD 246:7 is swayed by the concern that nowadays making parnasa for tuitions, weddings, and raising a Jewish family is really very hard. Also, Biur Halacha OC 231 says perhaps the Rambam would be modeh that it is muter if it isn't possible to learn properly and work.
 +
Furthermore, Rav Moshe (Igrot Moshe YD 2:116) says that it isn't even a midat chasidut to be stringent for the Rambam nowadays if it'll cause you to minimize your learning, since nowadays we're not capable of doing both. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yabia Omer YD 7:17 agrees with Rav Moshe.
 +
Interestingly, Maaseh Rav (sheilta 50) says Rav Chaim Volozhon was asked by an avrech if he was right in deciding to turn down a Yisachar-Zevulun opportunity because he said that he didn't want to share his spiritual reward for money. Rav Chaim said he was totally wrong. By not taking the money, he indicated that he wasn't interested in fulfilling Hashem's will; rather, he just wanted the spiritual reward. If he wanted to promote Hashem's mitzvot in a greater fashion, he would take the money so that he would be free to learn more.</ref>
 +
#We pasken that, while it is commendable for a Torah scholar to support himself from his own earnings, it is permissible for him to accept donations to facilitate his learning.<ref>Rama, Yoreh Deah 246:21. </ref>
 +
 
 +
===Teaching Torah===
 +
 
 +
#There is also a prohibition to charge money to teach Torah.<ref>Gemara Bechorot 29a, Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 246:5</ref>
 +
#However, there are several heteirim for those teaching Torah to charge money. For example, payment can certainly be accepted for any teaching position which includes disciplining children or instruction of non-Torah subjects.<ref>See Beis Yosef to Yoreh Deah 246:5. See Rav Schachter’s explanation in Ginat Egoz (p. 188) where he writes that for younger grades the salary for teachers could be compensation for watching the students. For teachers of mature students, the salary could be considered a compensation to allow the teachers to have free time to learn and teach, but the actual teaching isn’t for pay. Accordingly, he writes that in his opinion, there shouldn’t be a fixed amount of sick days for rebbeim because they aren’t being paid by the day, but rather they are being paid so that they’re available to teach.</ref>
 +
#Additionally, if there is no other way for a teacher to make a parnassah, it is permissible to accept wages for Torah instruction. Even if the teacher can make a living without these wages, he can charge money for clearly evident sechar batalah (payment for the amount of money he could have earned if he was not teaching).<ref>Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 246:5 </ref>
 +
 
 +
==Links==
 +
 
 +
*[http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/814103/rabbi-hershel-schachter/inyonei-talmud-torah/ Inyonei Talmud Torah] by Rabbi Hershel Schachter
 +
 
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
<References/>
+
<references />
 
[[Category:Learning Torah]]
 
[[Category:Learning Torah]]

Latest revision as of 21:00, 7 August 2019

Learning torah.jpg

Learning Torah is incredibly important and rivals all other mitzvot in its importance. [1]

Importance

  1. Chazal tell us that "regardless, if one brings a large Korban or a small one as long as one's intentions are for heaven one's korban is accepted." [2] The same idea applies to Torah study. One should learn as much as one can and that is precious in God's eyes as long as one's intentions are pure.[3]
  2. If one likes to learn and really understands his learning, one can refrain from extending Tefillah and only say the portions that are obligatory. [4]
  3. Someone who learns Torah purely for the sake of heaven is deserving of great rewards.[5] Even if a person finds himself encouraged to learn for ulterior reasons he should continue to learn and eventually reach the level of learning purely. [6] Many emphasize that nowadays it is critical to start learning with an external motivation in order to overcome the Yetzer Hara and become involved in learning Torah[7] and once one is involved it'll help purify oneself.[8]
  4. If one learns and doesn't understand what is learning it isn't considered Talmud Torah.[9] Many poskim say that it is considered Talmud Torah when reading Tanach even if one doesn't understand it.[10]

Tanach, Mishna, and Talmud

  1. One should apportion one's time to study torah everyday into three, one portion for Tanach and some say it's commentaries, one portion for Mishna and Gemara, and one portion to analyze the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. After one grows in Torah one should review Tanach, Mishna, and Gemara, but focus on analyzing Torah. Some say that by learning Talmud Bavli one fulfills learning each area of Torah because the Bavli includes everything, nonetheless, certainly one must still know Tanach and Mishna. Some say that one should devote more time to Mishna than to Tanach and more time to Gemara than to Mishna each one according to its difficulty. [11]
  2. Many authorities emphasize that it's absolutely crucial to learn Halacha so that one knows what one must do as well as mussar which subjugates the Yetzer Hara. Some say that these are included in the above three categories. [12] See further in the next section regarding Halacha and Mussar.
  3. Based on this concept, there is a practice to recite a portion from Torah, Mishna, and Gemara after Birchot HaTorah before Pesukei DeZimrah.[13]
  4. Some have the righteous practice of learning Chok LeYisrael which is a daily learning regiment set up by the Arizal that includes pesukim from Torah, Nevuim, Ketuvim, Mishnayot, Gemara, Zohar, Halacha, and Mussar. [14]
  5. The order for a parent or teacher to teach children Torah is discussed here:Halachos for Educators#Torah Curriculum to Teach Children.

Halacha and Mussar

  1. It's very important to learn Mussar daily because the greater one is, the greater one's Yetzer hara is. [15] Torah was created as an antidote to the Yetzer Hara. [16] Even if learning Mussar takes away from learning other portions of Torah like Gemara, it's important to study Mussar. [17]
  2. Someone who only has 2 or 3 hours to learn daily should learn Halacha from Shulchan Aruch and commentaries or from contemporary Poskim so that one will be knowledgeable in practical laws and not come to do a sin without knowing. This is more preferable than learning Daf Yomi, or Gemara and Rishonim from which one can’t derive practical halacha. [18]

Learning Kabbalah

  1. It’s forbidden for someone to learn Kabbalah unless has learned seriously all of Gemara and Poskim, and is a Talmud Chacham ingrained with Yirat Shamayim. One should protest if someone is teaching Kabbalah to the public especially if the teacher himself isn’t fitting to learn it. [19]

Learning at day and night

  1. One should establish a fixed time to learn after davening. One should make certain that that time is fixed and one doesn't miss it even if one thinks one can make a lot of money by missing it. If one has a great need that one needs to leave for, one should learn at least one pasuk or one halacha. After finishing whatever was pressing one should complete one's daily standard amount. [20]
  2. It’s important to learn at night and not waste it all with sleep, eating, and talking because one accomplishes most of his learning at night [21], that learning is not easily forgotten and is considered like the Avoda of the Korbanot. The joy of Torah is specifically felt for learning at night and Hashem grants a special Chesed for one who learns at night. [22].
  3. There's a special practice to "join the day and night" with learning or davening by learning during sunset and sunrise. [23]
  4. If one has a certain daily schedule of learning and hasn't completed it yet, one should finish it at night. However, preferably one should make a stipulation not to accept the daily schedule as a neder, but rather bli neder in case one misses a day. [24]

Learning Tanach at night

  1. According to the Kabbalah, it's preferable not to learn Tanach at night. [25] However, some argue that one may be lenient. [26] However, since it's not forbidden but only preferable, if not learning Tanach will cause Bitul Torah (Chas VeShalom) one may learn Tanach. [27]
  2. It is permissible to read Tehilim at night if read as a prayer for the sick or for another cause. [28]
  3. It is permissible to read Tanach on Friday night or the night of Yom Tov. [29]
  4. It is permissible to learn Tanach along with Rashi at night. [30]

Women Learning Torah

  1. Women are exempt from learning Torah.[31] Nonetheless, women may learn torah and will be rewarded for their actions. However, women are obligated to learn the laws of the mitzvot that apply to them. [32]

Non-Jews Learning Torah

  1. In general, it is forbidden for non-Jews to learn Torah [33] and for Jews to teach non-Jews Torah[34], but the poskim established several exceptions, as follows:
    1. Some poskim maintain that this prohibition applies only to non-Jews who deny the divinity of the Torah.[35]
    2. Since non-Jews are commanded in the sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach, some poskim hold that it is appropriate to teach them the sections of the Torah that pertain to those Mitzvot.[33]
    3. Some poskim allow teaching any sections of Tanach to non-Jews but prohibit teaching non-Jews the Oral Law.[36]
    4. If the non-Jew wants to learn Torah in-depth in order to learn about Judaism and the Torah due to intellectual interest, then some poskim permit teaching Torah to non-Jews.[37]
  2. According to many opinions it is permitted to teach non-Jews Torah in a superficial way just to explain them Torah without the reasons or the depths of the Torah. Additionally, it is permitted to give a ruling for a non-Jew to act in a certain fashion without explaining the reason.[38]

Teaching Torah

  1. All who are obligated to learn Torah are also obligated to teach Torah. [39]
  2. Specifically, a father is obligated to teach his son Torah. [40] The obligation begins when the son begins to talk, he should be taught "Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe.." as well as the first pasuk of Kriat Shema. [41]
  3. A father is required to provide a Torah education for his son even if it will require him paying for a private teacher or private school. [42]
  4. A man is even obligated to teach his grandson Torah[43] and pay for his tuition to learn Torah.[44] Some say that this is is only true for one's son's son and not one's son's daughter.[45]
  5. Children are exempt from learning Torah. [46]

Learning Aloud

  1. One should make sure to learn Torah out loud. If one learns out loud, one will be blessed to remember one's learning. [47]
  2. Bruria, the wife of Rebbe Meir, was passing a student who was studying silently without verbalizing what he was learning. She rebuked him and said that his manner of study was incorrect because the verse states, “Life comes to the one who comes upon them” which is meant to be understood as, “life comes to the one who articulates its words with one’s mouth.” [48]
  3. When one learns one should learn out loud but it’s considered Talmud Torah even if one only thinks about it and doesn't even enunciate the words. [49] Some poskim hold that for Mikra if one doesn't enunciate the words it isn't considered learning.[50]

Learning with a Chevrusa

  1. Even though it is preferable and advantageous to learn with a Chevruta (partner) or in a Chabura (group) nonetheless, one who learns by oneself, fulfills the Mitzvah Deoritta of Talmud Torah. [51]

Interrupting Torah Learning

  1. Regarding what to do when learning Torah comes into conflict with other mitzvot, see Which_Mitzvot_take_precedence?#Learning_Torah_and_Other_Mitzvot.
  2. One should not interrupt Torah learning to answer Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shemo. [52]
  3. Should one interrupt one's learning in order to say the bracha on lightning and thunder? See Bracha_For_Seeing_Natural_Wonders#Lightning_and_Thunder.

Prerequisites for Learning Torah

  1. One should not learn Torah if one needs to go to the bathroom.[53] Some say that it is permitted if one can hold it in for 72 minutes[54] and others say it is forbidden.[55]

Learning in Front of Ervah

  1. It is forbidden to learn Torah in a place where there is ervah exposed. A tefach of a woman that is usually covered is considered ervah.[56]
  2. Hair of married women is considered ervah.[57]
  3. One shouldn't learn torah where there is a woman singing including your wife.[58]
  4. According to Sephardim, it is permitted to learn Torah in front of ervah if one closes one's eyes. According to Ashkenazim one may not learn in front of ervah unless one turns one's body away and doesn't see it.[59]
  5. It is permitted to think Torah in front of ervah.[60]

Learning in an Unclean Place

  1. It is forbidden to learn Torah in front of feces. However, if the feces are covered even by glass or something transparent it is permitted to learn.[61]
  2. If there are feces before him in a moving state it is forbidden to learn Torah.[62]
  3. If someone didn't wipe themselves properly and there are feces on his body by his private area he may not learn Torah even if they are covered,[63]
  4. It is permitted to learn in a house and not be concerned that there are feces in it.[64]
  5. In the days of Chazal an area there was a children was considered suspect of being unclean and it would be forbidden to learn unless it is checked.[65] Today even if there are children at home the home is considered as having a status of clean from feces.[66]

Taking Money for Learning and Teaching Torah

Learning Torah

  1. The mishna in Mesekhes Avos states that one should not derive benefit from his Torah learning.[67] The Rambam Avos 4:5 and in Hilchos Talmud Torah perek 3. explains that it is a desecration of G-d’s name, and by extension His Torah, to make Torah learning into a money-making profession.[68]
  2. Many gedolei Yisroel throughout the generations disagreed with the Rambam. [69] Additionally, some poskim limit the scope of the Rambam’s psak and conclude that even he would agree that it is permissible to take money for Torah learning if learning would otherwise be impossible.[70]
  3. We pasken that, while it is commendable for a Torah scholar to support himself from his own earnings, it is permissible for him to accept donations to facilitate his learning.[71]

Teaching Torah

  1. There is also a prohibition to charge money to teach Torah.[72]
  2. However, there are several heteirim for those teaching Torah to charge money. For example, payment can certainly be accepted for any teaching position which includes disciplining children or instruction of non-Torah subjects.[73]
  3. Additionally, if there is no other way for a teacher to make a parnassah, it is permissible to accept wages for Torah instruction. Even if the teacher can make a living without these wages, he can charge money for clearly evident sechar batalah (payment for the amount of money he could have earned if he was not teaching).[74]

Links

Sources

  1. Mishna Peah 1:1
  2. Menachot 110a
  3. Mishna Brurah 1:12 writes that this principle also applies to Torah learning. Halacha Brurah 1:11 concurs and writes that such is evident from Brachot 5b.
  4. Eliyah Rabba 1:1, Lechem Chamudot (Brachot HaRoeh 84), Birkei Yosef 1:9, Mishna Brurah 1:12, Halacha Brurah 1:11, Kaf HaChaim 1:31.
  5. Mishna Avot 6:1
  6. Gemara Pesachim 50b
  7. Nefesh HaChaim (Shaar 3* ch. 1 s.v. vegam)
  8. Gra (Mishlei 25:21) writes that even learning which is shelo lishma helps combat the yetzer hara.
  9. Magen Avraham 50:2, Mishna Brurah 50:2. Chida in Marit Haayin Avoda Zara 19a s.v. vamar explains that the Gemara which encourages learning without understanding to mean that if one can't understand it one should still learn without understanding. Or that one should learn even if one only understands the words without understanding the greater context. Ayin Yakov explains that it is referring to someone understanding but has questions on it.
  10. Shulchan Aruch Harav 2:12:13. See Divrei Shmuel Al Hatorah p. 11 who quotes the Likutei Maamarim of the Chafetz Chaim as arguing that without understanding even reading mikrah isn't learning.
  11. See next footnote
  12. *In Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Rav Safra interprets the word “ושננתם” as ושלשתם which means that one should split one’s time in three in study Torah, one third to study Mikrah, one third to study Mishna, and one third to study Talmud. The Gemara says that since one doesn’t know how long one will live, one should split up one’s days in three ways. Rashi s.v. LeYomi explains that one should split up the days of the week into these three parts. However, Tosfot s.v. Lo argues that it means that one should split up every single day into these three sections. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) and S”A 246:4 agree with Tosfot.
    • Tosfot also quotes the Rabbenu Tam who says that we rely on only learning Talmud Bavli which itself is a combination of Mikrah, Mishna, and Gemara.
    • Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:11) writes that Mikrah means Torah SheBaal Peh, Mishna means Torah SheBichtav, and Gemara means comparing, analyzing, thinking, and understanding the primary ways the Torah is learnt so that one will know that which is forbidden and that which is permitted. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:12) continues to say that this only applies in the beginning of one’s learning, however, after one has acquired wisdom one should review Torah SheBaal Peh at certain times but primarily one will spend one’s time on Gemara as he defined above. Kesef Mishna (Talmud Torah 1:12) writes that the Rambam's reason is obvious because study of Talmud is the most time consuming and this is the basis for the minhag not to apportion one's time in three parts.
    • S”A 246:4 rules like the Rambam and the Rama rules like the Rabbenu Tam. Aruch HaShulchan YD 246:14 writes that the halacha and minhag follow the Rabbenu Tam, however, certainly one must still know Mikrah and Mishna.
    • The Ran (Avoda Zara 5b s.v. Ki) writes that certainly Talmud requires more time than Mishna and Mishna more than Mikrah rather the Gemara just means that one should apportion each area of Torah it’s proper time. Biur HaGra YD 246:15 quotes this Ran. S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:2) writes that it’s good to abide by this opinion.
    • S”A YD 246:4 writes that Mikrah means the 24 books of Torah. Aruch HaShulchan 246:13 explains that Mikrah includes the 24 books of Tanach and also their explanations. However, the S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that the explanations of Tanach is considered Mishna which is all an explanation of the 613 מצות.
    • The Shach 246:5 quotes the Drisha who writes that some people only learn Gemara, Rashi, and Tosfot and they don’t fulfill the statement of the Gemara Niddah 73a which says that a person should learn Halachot every day meaning Halacha Pesukot (Halachic rulings of the poskim). He adds that the Rabbenu Tam’s idea that Gemara Bavli includes everything only refers to those who can learn 9 hours a day but those who learn 3 or 4 hours shouldn’t just learn Gemara. Mishna Brurah (Introduction to Mishna Brurah, vol 1) quotes this and expands on it.
    • On the other hand, Birkei Yosef YD 246:4 laments the fact that many people only read the abridged halachot as they despair from the difficult study of talmud because they are decreasing torah (against the principle of "VeYagdil Torah VeYadir") and causing the reasonings of halachot to be forgotten.
    • Kitzur S”A 27:3 writes that someone who can’t learn as his main focus but can at least set aside times to learn, at those times he should learn Halacha which every Jew needs to know and Mussar which subjugate the Yetzer Hara. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Talmud Torah 246:2) seems to say that Mussar is included in the category of Talmud.
    • S”A HaRav (Hilchot Talmud Torah 2:1) explains that Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Mishnayot and Britot which explain the details of the 613 מצות and nowadays Mishna includes the Halacha Pesuka of the Shulchan Aruch and Rama. S”A HaRav adds that Talmud means understanding the reasons of the halachot in the משניות and Britot and nowadays that means the Rosh and Bet Yosef who explain the reasons of the halachot.
  13. Rav Amram Goan (cited by Tosfot Kiddushin 30a s.v. lo) established learning a piece of torah, mishna, and talmud each day before pesukei d’zimrah. Tosfot Avoda Zara 19b s.v. yeshalesh, Ritva Avoda Zara 19b s.v. vekatvu, and Hagahot Maimoniyot (Talmud Torah 1:8) cite this establishment.
  14. The source for such a schedule is the Arizal (Shaar Mitzvot VaEtchanan). Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:3 writes that it's praiseworthy to learn the Chok LeYisrael daily. Further on the topic, see the Machzik Bracha 156:6, Sh”t Shalmat Chaim Zonenfeld Y”D 89, Kaf HaChaim 132:6, 155:3, and Sh”t Yabia Omer (Y”D 4:31(5), O”C 9:108(79)).
  15. Sukkah 52a
  16. Kedushin 30b
  17. Birkei Yosef 1:9 and Chaye Adam (Yom Kippur Klal 432) write that one should study Mussar daily even at the expense of torah study time. Mishna Brurah 1:12 (and Shaar Tzion 1:26), Halacha Brurah (1:11 and 55:4), and Halichot Olam (8 pg 336) quote this as halacha.
  18. Derisha Y”D 246:6, Shach Y”D 246:5 write that someone who only has a little time should learn from the poskim as it says in Nidda 73a someone who learns Halachot every day is a Ben Olam Haba. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Tamud Torah 2:9), Yarot Devash, Derech HaChaim, Sh”t Teshuva MeAhava (Introduction to 2nd volume), Sh”t Yachave Daat 6:52, Kaf HaChaim Palagi 29:9, Mishna Brurah 155:3, and Halacha Brurah 155:4 concur.
  19. Zohar (Pekudei 247b) describes the importance of learning the secrets of Torah and it’s reward. However the poskim write that one needs to have first learned Gemara and Poskim including Etz Chaim (pg 1d), Rama Y”D 246:4, Maharsha (Chagiga 13a), Shelah (Eser Maamarot 29b), Sh"t Yabia Omer 10:23 and Sh”t Yachave Daat 4:47. Interestingly, S”A HaRav (Talmud Torah 2:1) writes that Kabbalah is included in the section of Talmud (one of the three sections a person should learn daily, see above).
  20. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:1
  21. Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:13). Shulchan Aruch 238:1 rules this with the language one must be very careful to learn torah at night, more careful than the day!
  22. Avoda Zara 3b. The gemara in Eruvin 65a says that night was created specifically for Torah study. The gemara in Chagigah 12b says that one who studies Torah at night will enjoy Hashem’s grace by day, as the pasuk in Psalms 42:9 says “By day, G-d will direct His grace, and at night, His song is with me.”
  23. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 1:6), Bear Hetiev 238:1, and Mishna Brurah 1:2 in of the Shlah HaKadosh in fulfillment of the pasuk in Yehoshua 1:8 "you shall meditate on it day and night."
  24. Shulchan Aruch 238:2, Mishna Brurah 238:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 71:1
  25. Birkei Yosef 1:13, 238:2 in name of the Arizal, Ben Ish Chai Pekudei #7, Kaf HaChaim 237:9.
  26. Shaar HaTziyun 238:1 in name of the Pri Megadim.
  27. Piskei Teshuvot 238:1
  28. Sh"t Tzitiz Eliezer 8:2
  29. Piskei Teshuvot 238:1, Sh"t Yabia Omer 6:30, Sh"t Maharashdam 1:158
  30. Sh"t Veyeche Yacov O"C 9, Piskei Teshuvot 238:1
  31. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1)
  32. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 246:6
    • Exemption: The Gemara Kiddushin 29b derives from the pasuk that women are exempt form learning Torah. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1) and Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 246:6 codify this.
    • Potential Issue: The Mishna Sotah 20a cites a dispute between Rabbi Eliezer and Ben Azay whether a father should or should not teach a daughter torah. The Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:13) and Shulchan Aruch 246:6 codify the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that a father should not teach his daughter. According to Rashi (Sotah 21b s.v. keilu) Rabbi Eliezer holds that it is forbidden to teach a daughter Torah because it may lead to using her cleverness acquired from Torah in order to sin stealthily. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:13) interprets the gemara to mean that teaching a daughter torah is prohibited because she might misunderstand Torah and make a mockery of its true intent.
    • On her own initiative: Both the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch ibid. write that a woman may learn Torah on their own and is rewarded for it like someone who isn't obligated in a mitzvah and fulfills it. Prisha YD 246:15 explains that a woman may learn on her own even Torah SheBaal Peh because once she decided to learn on her own we can assume that she isn't going to cause Torah to become a mockery. The Chida in Tov Ayin (Siman 4) agrees. Tzitz Eliezer 9:3:1-3 supports this opinion.
    • Torah Shebichtav: The Rambam ibid. writes that preferably one shouldn't teach women Torah Shebichtav. Taz YD 264:4 writes that it is permitted and even ideal to teach women Torah Shebichtav on a simple level. Sheol UMeishiv 3:41 and Atret Zekenim OC 47:3 agree.
    • Learning Halacha: The Agur (Siman 2) writes that women are obligated to learn the halachot that apply to them. Sefer Chasidim 313, Maharil 45:2, Rama YD 246:6, Taz 47:14, and Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Talmud Torah 1:16) agree.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Sanhedrin 59a. Along the same lines, Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman (Melamed Leho'il Y.D. 2:77, cited by Rabbi Shlomo Brody in A Guide to the Complex pg. 181), allows Jews to teach non-Jews any narrative portions of the Torah, as those portions will inspire those non-Jews to believe in the grandeur of God and appreciate the sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach more.
  34. Chagiga 13a. Tosefot ibid s.v. "Ein" asks why there is a need to forbid teaching non-Jews if the gemara in Sanhedrin 59a already forbid non-Jews from learning Torah. Tosefot explains that the prohibition of teaching a non-Jew Torah is meant to apply even in cases where the non-Jew has other sources of learning Torah aside from you.
  35. Shu"t HaRambam 147, cited in A Guide to the Complex, pg. 181
  36. Netziv (Meishiv Davar 2:77), Maharatz Chayot (Sota 35b s.v. “li-Divarecha”). Meiri Sanhedrin 59a s.v. "Ben Noach" (also footnote 3 in ed. Kedem Yerushalayim) implies that he distinguishes between Tanach and Talmud because he says, "if [the non-Jew] learned Torah not with the goal of fulfilling the Mitzvot; rather, he wants to delve into the knowledge of our Torah and Talmudeinu, then [such a person] is fitting to be punished." Rabbi Tzvi Sinensky explains that this idea might be rooted in the fundamental principle that the Jewish people’s covenant with God is rooted in the Oral Torah, not Scripture.
  37. Seridei Esh 2:26
  38. Mishnat Hager p. 321 quotes the Beer Sheva (Beer Mayim Chayim n. 14) who permits teaching torah to non-Jews if you don't explain the reasons or the intricate logic of Torah. Tiferet Yisrael (Zevachim 14:4) explains that ti is permitted to rule for a non-Jew without explaining its reason.
  39. Gemara Kiddushin 29b, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1
  40. Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:1
  41. Bayit HaYehudi vol. 3 pg. 136
  42. Bayit Yehudi vol. 3 pg. 136
  43. Gemara Kiddushin 30a, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Talmud Torah 1:2
  44. Shulchan Aruch 245:3 writes that it is an obligation for a parent to pay for the tuition of his son's Torah education. Shach 245:1 writes the same applies to a grandson.
  45. Shach 245:1 writes that there's an obligation to pay for the Torah education of all grandchildren but he cites the Maharshal who limits it to one's son's son. Gra YD 240:34 writes that there's no kibbud av v'em obligation to one's mother's father.
  46. Rambam (Talmud Torah 1:1)
  47. Eirvuin 54a, Rambam (Talmud Torah 3:12), Shulchan Aruch YD 246:22, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 27:5. Chida in Petach Eynayim (Eruvim 54a) writes that as the pasuk in Beresheet 27:22 הקל קול יעקב one קול, voice, is spelled complete and one is complete without a vav, to indicate that when we pray we silently and when we learn we learn aloud.
  48. Eruvin 53b-54a
  49. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Halichot Olam (8 pg 390) and Anaf Etz Avot (Avot 3:3). Rav Ovadia cites the Rashbetz Avot 3:3, Yereyim 27, and Shitah Mikubeset Brachot 15b all say that learning in thought is called learning. Interestingly, the Maharal (Derech Chaim Avot 3:6) writes that when learning with someone else, such as a chevruta, one is forced explain the issue in words in order to discuss it. In this manner, one accomplishes the an awesome fulfillment of learning Torah which is spoken aloud. However, when one learns alone, even if one says the words aloud, primarily it is a mental thought process and the words are insignificant, which is a lower level of learning Torah.
  50. Shulchan Aruch Harav 2:12 writes that if for Mikra one doesn't enunciate the words that one is learning it isn't considered learning at all. Gevurat Yitzchak v. 2 pp. 19-20 Sotah 32b s.v. layma proves from the Shitah Mikubeset Brachot 13a citing the Raavad that if one doesn't enunciate the words of Mikra when learning it doesn't fulfill the mitzvah.
  51. Tanna Dvei Eliyaho 23 writes that Hashem finds favor in the Jewish people because they learn in groups (Chabura’s). Pirkei Avot 3:2-3 says that an individual who learns gets reward for learning, two who learn together have their Torah written in Hashem’s Sefer Zichronot and the Shechina is present, while ten who learn together have the Shechina precede the group in wait for their learning. Brachot 63b says that one really acquires his Torah that he learns in a Chabura. From the above it just seems that there are good levels of learning and then higher forms, yet from Tanit 7a which says that Talmidei Chachamim who learn by themselves are cursed, become foolish, and sin, it seems that learning as an individual is problematic. Nonetheless, because nowadays we learn from a Sefer it’s permissible (Halichot Olam 8 pg 390) and Yavetz (Introduction) writes that it doesn’t apply to learning in Israel where the air makes one wise. Even though, Maharal (Derech Chaim (Avot 3:3)) writes that learning by oneself even if one says it out loud isn’t considered Osek in Divrei Torah, Halichot Olam rejects using this for halachic implications because one makes Brachot HaTorah for Torah one learns by oneself and also Mishna Brurah (Beiur Halacha beginning of 155) writes that the mitzvah of Talmud Torah also applies to learning individually.
  52. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch of Rav Rephael Baruch Toledano, Volume 1, Page 111
  53. Rama 92:1
  54. Mishna Brurah 92:7
  55. Shaarei Teshuva 6:5
  56. Shulchan Aruch 75:1
  57. Shulchan Aruch 75:1
  58. Shulchan Aruch 75:3
  59. Shulchan Aruch 75:6, Mishna Brurah 75:29
  60. Mishna Brurah 75:29
  61. Shulchan Aruch 76:1
  62. Shulchan Aruch 76:2
  63. Yoma 30a, Shulchan Aruch 76:5
  64. Shulchan Aruch 76:7
  65. Mishna Brurah 76:23 based on Rabbenu Yonah. Aruch Hashulchan 76:17 writes that one doesn't have to check the area for feces before learning even if there are children around unless it entered one's mind that there is a concern that there is feces.
  66. Piskei Teshuvot 76:10 citing Or Letzion 2:6:14, Halichot Shlomo 22:4, Mishna Halachot 11:59, Ishei Yisrael 52 fnt. 67
  67. Avos 4:5.
  68. The Rambam lists several different reasons as to why taking money for Torah is wrong. Besides the consideration of chillul Hashem, the Rambam adds that melachah is a positive virtue which prevents falling into sin (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10). Thus, if a person is only learning and is not working he may run a greater risk of falling prey to sin.
  69. See the Tashbetz’s reaction to the Rambam (Shut Tashbetz 1:142), where he notes that it was always the practice that Bnei Yisroel have supported their Torah scholars. He brings several proofs from midrashic and Talmudic sources that it is permissible, or perhaps even obligatory, for Torah scholars to accept wealth that matches their stature. The Rama YD 246:21 codifies the Tashbetz’s opinion. Also, Kesef Mishna (Talmud Torah 3:10) emphasizes that there was a strong minhag to be lenient on this, and he ends off by saying that even if the halacha is like the Rambam, maybe we should apply the rule of "et laasot l'hashem". He repeats this sentiment in Bet Yosef YD 246:21. The Maharshal (Yam Shel Shlomo Chullin 3:9) is adamantly opposed to the opinion of the Rambam if not taking money will cause bitul torah. He says that if a person can learn more by taking money to learn, he should do so, and it is an aveirah not to take it!
  70. For example, see Rav Moshe Feinstein’s approach to the Rambam in Igros Moshe (Yoreh Deah 4:36). He contends that the Rambam only said that accepting money for learning would be prohibited if the Torah scholar is capable of studying diligently with a clear mind even after working for parnassah for a portion of the day. However, if the scholar is not capable of concentrating in the same way that he would be without having engaged in work, it is permissible for him to accept donations from the tzibbur. Taz YD 246:7 is swayed by the concern that nowadays making parnasa for tuitions, weddings, and raising a Jewish family is really very hard. Also, Biur Halacha OC 231 says perhaps the Rambam would be modeh that it is muter if it isn't possible to learn properly and work. Furthermore, Rav Moshe (Igrot Moshe YD 2:116) says that it isn't even a midat chasidut to be stringent for the Rambam nowadays if it'll cause you to minimize your learning, since nowadays we're not capable of doing both. Rav Ovadia Yosef in Yabia Omer YD 7:17 agrees with Rav Moshe. Interestingly, Maaseh Rav (sheilta 50) says Rav Chaim Volozhon was asked by an avrech if he was right in deciding to turn down a Yisachar-Zevulun opportunity because he said that he didn't want to share his spiritual reward for money. Rav Chaim said he was totally wrong. By not taking the money, he indicated that he wasn't interested in fulfilling Hashem's will; rather, he just wanted the spiritual reward. If he wanted to promote Hashem's mitzvot in a greater fashion, he would take the money so that he would be free to learn more.
  71. Rama, Yoreh Deah 246:21.
  72. Gemara Bechorot 29a, Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 246:5
  73. See Beis Yosef to Yoreh Deah 246:5. See Rav Schachter’s explanation in Ginat Egoz (p. 188) where he writes that for younger grades the salary for teachers could be compensation for watching the students. For teachers of mature students, the salary could be considered a compensation to allow the teachers to have free time to learn and teach, but the actual teaching isn’t for pay. Accordingly, he writes that in his opinion, there shouldn’t be a fixed amount of sick days for rebbeim because they aren’t being paid by the day, but rather they are being paid so that they’re available to teach.
  74. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 246:5