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  • Torah and Jewish Thought

The system of learning and teaching


Rabbi David Sperling

Sivan 22, 5779
How is the system of learning and teaching in Judaism different from other methods in other cultures? whats the basic difference? thanks
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Yes, you are correct that the concept of learning and teaching in Judaism is different from other methods. There are several major differences - 1. The subject of what is being studied. In Judaism we are studying Torah – which is a living entity that has a spiritual reality. This is very different from other subjects (such as maths or a language) which are purely intellectual explanations of concepts. The Torah has it's own spiritual essence – and by learning it we connect to it and bring it's light into this world. Because of this, the very act of Torah study is important, beyond any practical knowledge gained. 2. The holiness of Torah creates a mitzvah – positive commandment – to study. This brings us to the second difference, that a Jew finds in learning Torah. As a commandment to learn, Torah study connects us to the will of G-d. 3. In methodology, Torah study is usually carried out by learning with a learning partner (a chevrutah), with both students working together to master to the text. The process of acquiring to the knowledge is at least as important as the having the knowledge. 4. The vastness of Torah means that one will never finish learning. There are more subtle differences – but this is a good start. May I invite you to come to Israel and sit and study in a Yeshiva here. There are Yeshiva classes in Torah for all levels, men and women. This is certainly an experience that no Jew should miss out on – believe me, you'll love it! Blessings.
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