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Nobody Is Perfect

For many years I had the following question: Let's say someone learns a masechta but doesn't understand a certain sugya [or maybe dozed off for a few lines], can they still make a siyum? It would seem not because they haven't properly learned [at least on a simple level] the totality of the masechta. But that would make life difficult because just about every masechta has at least one really really difficult sugya.

How glad I was when I saw the other day that R' Shlomo Zalman ruled that in such an instance one can still make a siyum! [See Halichos Shlomo Page 181]

So First Borners - A hearty appetite!

Boy would that be problematic for siyyumei mishnayos made at the שלשים. How many people take on משניות and end up just reading throught them during the waning daylight hours of the last day?

Problem is, Tyere Will, that when many people take upon themselves Mishnayos the goal is to FINISH and not to learn.

But of course. But that's a problem with learning in general - many people don't learn to know a masechta, they learn to finish the masechta, make a סיום, and move on.

I personally learn משניות with פירוש הרמב"ם (the קאפח edition). It's fantastic.

As an עצה for those who continue to take on משניות knowing they won't learn it properly (boy do I know many of them): each time you take on משניות at least take on the same מסכתא. After running through it many many times chances are you'll know it on some level, or at least when you see an excerpt from one of the משניות in the גמרא you can say "that משנה is in the 3rd פרק of ____!". And how much more so if you actually learn the משניות well is taking on the same משניות (for a time) beneficial.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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