Talmid: Water (The TALMID Trilogy Book 1)

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The "words of the prophetic tradition" are considered part of the Written Law; and their explanation, part of the Oral Law. The matters referred to as Pardes are considered part of the Gemara. The above applies in the early stages of a person's study. However, when a person increases his knowledge and does not have the need to read the Written Law, or occupy himself with the Oral Law constantly, he should study the Written Law and the oral tradition at designated times.

Thus, he will not forget any aspect of the laws of the Torah.

There, the Talmud explains that one must divide "one's days. A person who is a craftsman may spend three hours each day involved in his work, and [devote] nine hours to Torah study - Examples chosen by the Rabbis reflect common situations. Thus, these statements teach us what would be considered a commonplace division of one's time in the Rambam's age.

In those nine hours, he should spend three reading the Written Law; three, the Oral Law; and three meditating with his intellect to derive one concept from another - i. The "words of the prophetic tradition" - the remainder of the Bible - i.

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Accordingly, though in certain regards the five books of Moses are given greater prominence, the entire Written Law is generally considered on the same footing. The matters referred to as Pardes - The mystic secrets describing the nature of Godliness and His creative power, which are mentioned in brief in the first four chapters of Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah. In particular, see Chapter 4, Halachah 13 there.

The above applies in the beginning stages of a person's study. In response to the same question, Tosafot, Kiddushin 30a explains that the study of the Babylonian Talmud also fulfills that directive, because it combines all three areas of study in a single text. At present, this pattern of study is not followed even in the early stages of a child's learning.

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Note the Maharal of Prague, Tiferet Yisrael , Chapter 56, and the Sh'lah, Masechet Shavuot , who complain that the advice given in Avot "At five, to the study of the Written Law; at ten, to the study of the Mishnah; and at fifteen, to the study of the Gemara" is not generally followed. The basis for this departure can be explained in terms of two differences that exist between our contemporary circumstances and the situation which prevailed in Talmudic times: a During the Talmudic era, written texts were rare, and it was necessary for a student to commit all his subject matter to memory.

Thus, the emphasis was on teaching students by rote. At present, the major emphasis is on teaching learning skills and developing a student's powers of comprehension with the understanding that once one knows how to study, since the texts are easily available, he will be able to apply himself to the actual study at his convenience. However, when a person increases his knowledge and does not have the need to read the Written Law, or occupy himself with the Oral Law constantly - because he has already mastered them.

Thus, he will not forget any aspect of the laws of the Torah - as mentioned above, a lack of review will cause an individual to forget what he has already learned. A woman who studies Torah will receive reward. However, that reward will not be [as great] as a man's, since she was not commanded [in this mitzvah]. Whoever performs a deed which he is not commanded to do, does not receive as great a reward as one who performs a mitzvah that he is commanded to do. Even though she will receive a reward, the Sages commanded that a person should not teach his daughter Torah, because most women cannot concentrate their attention on study, and thus transform the words of Torah into idle matters because of their lack of understanding.

However, if one teaches her, it is not considered as if she was taught idle things. The first halachah of this chapter relates that women are not obligated to study Torah. Chassidic thought explains the concept differently.


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The Hebrew word mitzvah commandment shares the same root as the word tzavtah connection. Fulfilling the commandments establishes a transcendent bond with Godliness. In contrast, a good deed that is not commanded, no matter how worthy, remains an act of man and does not establish such a connection.


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Even though she will receive a reward, the Sages commanded that a person should not teach his daughter Torah - There is no explicit source for the Rambam's statements, though one may draw such a conclusion from Sotah 20a. That passage relates that one prominent sage, ben Azzai, did not share this opinion. As mentioned in the commentary on Halachah 1, the Rabbis require a woman to study the laws governing the mitzvot which she is obligated to fulfill. Based on that decision, many commentaries explain that the Rambam's statements refer only to intensive study of the subject matter described as Gemara in the previous halachot.

This applies to the Oral Law. Some point to the Mishnah, Nedarim , which, in passing, mentions a daughter's study of the Written Law.

What's the Mishnah, and what does "Mishnah" mean anyway? ✡ Introduction to the Mishnah 1/4

However, the Rambam's own text of that Mishnah lacks the words "or daughter. Nevertheless, there is a difference between study of the Written Law in its entirety and hearing the reading of a few inspirational passages. See Taz In this context, it might be noted that the Tur 's text of the Rambam reverses these statements and mentioned teaching women the Oral Law as preferable to the Written Law. This can easily be reconciled with the opinions mentioned above, which require a woman to learn the laws governing the mitzvot she is obligated to fulfill.

In contrast, the Written Law is a less closely defined field of study. There, a greater possibility exists that a woman who is not gifted may misinterpret the teachings. Please Donate. Please partner with Chabad. Thank you to:. Here's a great tip! Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.

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Shabbat Times. Email Subscriptions. More Sites Today is Tue. Jewish Practice. Show content in:. Both English Hebrew. Introduction to Hilchos Talmud Torah They contain two positive commandments. They are: 1.

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