Laws of Learning Torah

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Learning aloud

  1. One should be careful to enunciate with one's lips everything one learns and one shouldn't just reading with one's eyes. [1]
  2. When one learns one should learn out loud but it’s considered Talmud Torah even if one only thinks about it. [2]

Learning with a Chevruta

  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. [3]

References

  1. S"A Y"D 246, Kitzur S"A 27:5
  2. Halichot Olam (8 pg 390).
  3. 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 (Biur Halacha beginning of 155) writes that the mitzvah of Talmud Torah also applies to learning individually.