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Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Teacher Title Abstract Course
Rav Tzvi Sinensky 01: Introduction In this introductory shiur, we explore the centrality of Torah study in the thought of the Rabbis. From Noach to Ezra, prominent Jewish leaders throughout the biblical period are portrayed as Torah scholars, and this mitzva is ascribed paramount importance in every aspect of life. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #02 - Talmud Torah as a Fundamental Component of Other Mitzvot Assessing the centrality of Torah study in Jewish life, this shiur analyzes the degree to which talmud Torah is an essential component of many other mitzvot: from the recitation of Shema and other parts of the daily prayer services, to the unique connection between Shabbat and Torah study, to the role generational talmud Torah plays in the Haggada. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #03: The Purpose of Talmud Torah, Part 1 Why is Torah study so important? In this shiur, we will examine the reasons propounded through Jewish history for why talmud Torah is so important, from the Mishna and Gemara to R. Chayim Volozhin and HaRav Yehuda Amital. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #04: The Purpose of Talmud Torah, Part 2 In this shiur, we examine another motivation for Torah study: self-actualization. This concept of talmud Torah may help us understand the details of the prohibition of Torah study for mourners, both for those who have lost a loved one and for the community as a whole on Tisha Be-Av. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #05: Torah Lishmah An integral element of Torah study is the concept of Torah lishmah, for its own sake; but what does this term actually mean? In this shiur, we will examine the divergent views of commentators from the medieval to the modern age on this subject. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #06: Osek Be-mitzva for Talmud Torah In this shiur, we will consider the general principle that whoever is involved in one mitzva is exempt from performing others. Does this apply to studying Torah? How does this question shape our view of talmud Torah? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #07: The Relationship between the Written and Oral Torah Torah study encompasses two major fields of study, the Written and the Oral Torah. Which takes precedence? Which brings one closer to God? Which should get the lion's share of one's time? We will examine the philosophical and halakhic implications of these questions. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #08: Talmud Torah for Non-Jews Is Torah unique to the Jewish people, or does all humanity have a right to study it? Is a non-Jew who studies Torah to be put to death or to be regarded as the holiest of Jews, the High Priest? Two key Talmudic passages indicate that both statements may be true. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #09: Prerequisites for Talmud Torah Before embarking on a course of Torah study, what attributes must a prospective student embrace? As the sources show, to be humble and God-fearing is not only an ethical imperative, but a prerequisite for talmud Torah. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #10: The Experiential Dimension of Torah Study In this shiur, we will examine three essential elements of the experience of Torah study: toil, reverence and enjoyment. How do these interact, and how do they not contradict each other? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #11: Women, Children and the Purpose of Torah Study In this shiur, we will examine the question of who is obligated to study Torah. How do women and children fit into this mitzva, and what does this say about the purpose of talmud Torah? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #12 Is There a Constant Obligation of Torah Study? Part 1 In this shiur, we will examine the question of the scope of the obligation to study Torah: must one study Torah constantly, does reciting Shema suffice, or is the answer somewhere in the middle? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #13 Is There a Constant Obligation of Torah Study? Part 2 In this shiur, we will tackle some of the ramifications of the scope of the obligation to study Torah: What is the relationship between Torah and making a living? When does Torah study come before marriage? What is the meaning of neglecting Torah study? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #14: Autonomy in Torah Learning What role does personal choice play in choosing a curriculum for Torah study? Is it better to pick a subject that piques the student's interest, or is there a set formula or subject matter required? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #15: Iyun and Bekiut Which type of Torah study is preferable, that of greater depth or that of greater breadth? What do the Mishna and Gemara have to say, and are their standards still applicable today? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #16: Reviewing One’s Learning Why is forgetting one's Torah study considered a capital crime? What advice do Chazal give for retaining one's Torah knowledge? How does this reflect the very purpose of talmud Torah? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #17: Private versus Public Talmud Torah In this shiur, we will examine the difference between private and public Torah study. Is service in the Temple more or less important than Torah study, and how does this fit into the mitzva of reading the Megilla? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #18: Torat Eretz Yisrael Is the Torah of the Land of Israel superior? Is this for inherent or circumstantial reasons? Which of the Talmuds provides a deeper spiritual experience? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #19: The Ideal Location for Learning — The Beit Midrash In the absence of the Temple, two locations allow us to approach God: the beit midrash and the beit knesset. Which one has greater sanctity, and what does this tell us about the nature of Torah study? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #20: Ideal Times for Talmud Torah part I Are some times of the year (or the week) more conducive to Torah study? What connects Torah study to Shabbat and the holidays? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #21: Ideal Times for Talmud Torah part II What time of day is most conducive to Torah study and why? Is there a time in one's life especially auspicious for delving into Torah? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #22 - Rambam on Accepting Money for Talmud Torah Is teaching (or studying) Torah an acceptable career choice? Why does Rambam oppose talmud Torah as a profession, and why do others disagree? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #23: Studying and Ruling on Theoretical Scenarios What value does the study of theoretical topics hold? Is there a difference between studying such matters and issuing halakhic rulings about them? What does this tell us about the broader purpose of Torah study? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #24: Teaching Torah Is teaching Torah part of the mitzva of Torah study, its own mitzva--or perhaps even two? Who is the best teacher: a professional Torah scholar or a parent? What is the special role for the Tribe of Levi? In this shiur, we will explore these questions about teaching Torah. Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study
Rav Tzvi Sinensky Shiur #25: Rebbe-Talmid Relationship What is the ideal relationship between a teacher and a student of Torah? Is it best to have one teacher or many? Does the nature of the relationship change in the modern era? Talmud Torah: The Mitzva of Torah Study

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