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8.2.16

I will marry only a bachur who has learned in a Lithuanian Yeshiva

I will marry only a bachur who has learned in a Lithuanian Yeshiva




When I first got to yeshiva in Far Rockaway I discovered the magic method of review.
I was in a kind of dilemma because I wanted to make progress and the yeshiva was spending about a week of more on each page of Gemara. And I wanted to go faster. But going too fast left me without understanding at all. So I discovered this method of one review per paragraph.

This probably worked because of the unique kind of learning that I was doing. The Soncino Talmud had a great translation that was divided into paragraphs. So I could take the Gemara with Rashi and say over the equivalent of one paragraph. Then I would say word for word the English Translation of Soncino. And all that time I would have not understood anything. Then I would review the Gemara again in its original Aramaic and it would become clear on this second reading.

This combines two things that you have in the Gemara. One is the idea of גרסה (Girsa) that is just saying the words and gong on. The other is the importance of review. The tension between these two ideas gave me the impetus to do this middle ground method.  


What this means in terms of hard kinds of learning like Field Theory is to do the same kind of thing. Say each paragraph twice and go on.

[It is not as if I discovered all this on my own. Rabbi Freifeld and his son were always talking about the importance of "Review, Review, Review, ..." A book of Musar called אורחות צדיקים  talked about going fast and also review. [I was given that book by Simcha Wassermann when I used to hang out in his yeshiva in Los Angeles. He was the one to advice me to go to Shar Yashuv. He was by the way the son of Elchanan Wassermann the author of the Kovetz Shiurim] So it was the tension between these two opposites that caused me to come up with this middle approach. [Read the paragraph twice  and go on.] (Schelling held all progressions in human history happens in this way.)

I should mention that this method was disapproved of in both yeshivas. It was just my private way of trying to get somewhere in Gemara. Obviously Reb Naphtali Yeager [the Rosh Yeshiva in Far Rockaway] was  into learning in depth, and the deeper the better. A week on one page of Gemara was already considered way too fast. And later at the Mir in NY,  people were  involved in just preparing for the Rosh yeshiva's class at 12:15. This type of learning that I was doing just was not done. All I am saying is this: for guy like me that was struggling to catch up to everyone else, this method helped me. Clearly no one needed it in the Mir except for me. They were already light-years ahead of me.

And at the Mir in the afternoon they were already going faster than me also because the afternoon was meant for faster learning. That meant there to say over the basic Gemara, Rashi, Tosphot and get the basic idea and go on. [If I had a learning situation I would do this also. But I am kind of in exile.]