Sunday, July 24, 2005

The more you learn the more you realize how little you know

As I mentioned a while back I am learning Amud Yomi with tests. We just had a hard test on 1 perek (about 15 blatt), which really required you to know the perek. I reviewed a lot and thankfully did well on the tests and I feel that I really know the perek.

However, before I get a swelled head, I realize that this is a drop in the bucket. Right now I know 1 perek, I really need to know all of Shas at least like this. When I think of my Rebbe, RHS, he can do this on any Maseches in Shas and much more. He can tell you all the shitos of the Rishonim, Acharonim, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch etc. on everything.

After learning 1 perek and trying to keep all the information in my head it is mind boggling to me that someone could have all of Shas, Rishonim, and Acharonim like that. However, that is my goal, when we finish this Masechta we are going to have a test on the whole masechta and I hope that I can do as well on that as I did on the perek test and remember it. After that, we will move on to the next masechta etc. until we finish Shas. This is a very long term plan but doable.

There is a story about the Gra that someone came to him and said that he had just learned a given masechta. the Gra then asked him how many disputes are there in the maseches between Abaye and Rava, the person was dumbfounded and couldn't answer off the top of his head. The Gra then proceeded to list off all the Amoraim and Tannaim mentioned in the mesechta and what they argued about etc. right then and there without having to think for a second. That is bekius.

I really recommend this kind of program for everyone, it forces you to do Chazara and the tests give you a good sense of where you are. It gives every person a realistic opportunity to learn Shas and actually know it.


bluke said...

See my post An approach to learning. This is a local program where I live. However, there is a program in some cities known as dirshu. You learn an amud a day, and take weekly tests.

As for Chazara, we have a chart that tells us what back amudim we need to chazer every day. It works quite well.

Anonymous said...

And keep up the added good work of speaking up for gush katif.

Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

Speaking of the Gra, someone once asked him if it's really true that "Eino domeh mi sheshaneh pirko meah pe'amim".

The Gra said that it was. So the man told him "okay, I believe it then".

The Gra responded "I didn't believe it".

Litvshe said...

Two things...
I'm not sure if exists in the US as well, but in Israel there is Mifal HaShas, run by Sanz. It's 20,30 or 70 daf a month, Gemara, Rashi, Tosofos. With a test every month and every 4th month a test on the past 3 months. Avrechim and bachurim who are learning full time can get a stipened depending on how well they do (awards for between 70 and 80 percent, 80 and 90 percent and 90 and 100).
The second point was, for one to get into Yeshivas Chochmei Lublin one had to know 400 daf by heart. The test was occasionally very simple. In one case the bachur came in, he said which Masechtos he knew and R' Meir then asked how many times does Raba bar bar Chana show up in one of the Masechtas. The bachur said 5, R' Meir said, no, 4. And the bachur wasn't accepted. The bachur checked, pointed out that it was a machlokes between the Hagos Ha'Gra and Hagos Ha'Bach.