Torah Learning

Torah learning differs from other disciplines. Other disciples are generally taught to convey information (most wanted outcome; knowing the content) or, on a deeper level to impart knowledge (imbibing the information intellectually).

The key to Torah learning is that the information be imbibed by the learner as knowledge and then become so integrated as to be a part of the student's personality. 

Torah learning - knowledge ball

So that, for example, if the person has a good sense of humour, his or her humour reflects the learning and besides being halachically sound (morally appropriate etc.) the content and level reflect deeper wisdom than just jokes.

If a person has a natural tendency to violence, then learning must direct that to realise the tendency in constructive ways like Talmudic debate, to the point where a beis medrash (Torah hall of learning) can appear to the uninitiated quite (verbally) aggressive.

In fact the Chazal (Chachamim zichroinam livracha – sages of blessed memory) refer to Talmudic debate as Milchamte De’emes (the war of Truth).

Immersive Torah Learning

In order to transmit this level of learning, Torah must be taught by a master in the content and methodology according to the level of the generation.

An essential understanding of Torah methodology is that each generation, as we get further away from the giving of Torah, is spiritually and intellectually weaker (see Meaning of Torah,) as the leaf is removed from the essence of the tree compared to the seeds and roots.

The master must also be a representative of Torah life (notwithstanding that the paradigm - Adam if he had not sinned - doesn’t exist yet.)

The methodology must be immersive to the point where the content is completely real to the learner.

This is accomplished in a number of ways (addressing each age and competence level,) including:

  1. Stories of the Tanach and Talmud
  2. On a deeper level, midrashim (analysis and explanation of Written Torah text providing greater detail and deeper understanding)
  3. At a tertiary level, Talmudic debate involving the learner in the actual content and ultimately in drash (exegesis) - content creation.

The success of Torah methodology is evidenced in the fact that for over two thousand years of extraordinarily difficult exile the Jewish People are still so driven to learn, observe and connect to the Torah. 

The following are examples and explanations of Torah methodology:

  • Written and Oral Torah – This module reveals the intrinsic values of the Written and the Oral Torah through contrasting the Heavenly achievements of Pesach with the Human achievements of Purim.
  • Meaning of Torah - What is about the meaning of Torah that makes it transcend the level of worldly wisdom? This module explains why Torah is found only amongst the Jewish People and why it requires such specialised education.
  • Meaning of Torah Part 2 - Set yourself up for ultimate achievement in Torah learning, through a clear analogy relating to the meaning of Torah which defines success in Torah.

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