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  1. It’s my birthday. As a present, would like to introduce how my Rav taught me how to learn the T’NaCH combined with the Talmud.

    Isaiah speaks almost like poety. The Books of Tehillem\psalms likewise for the same reason – very difficult to read in the original Hebrew. However, my rav had me read 18 chapters of T’NaCH every day, finished it every 51 days. The Torah, its broken down due to the Shabbot Readings, each Parsha has 7 aliyot (people called up to read from the Torah on Shabbot), each day would read all the first, or second, or third etc., aliyot respectively within the whole of the Torah. Hence would completely read the Torah every 49 days.

    In this manner I learned Hebrew. Then Rav Aaron directed me apply this same technique to the Aramaic targum (translations). Within a year could read the T’NaCH & the Aramaic like as if it existed on par with English news papers. The precise goal which Rav Nemuraskii set for me to achieve. Rav Nemuraskii, only thereafter formally introduced me to the Midrashim. During my cycle of reading T’NaCH, learned together with Rav Nemuraskii, together with other talmidim, hilchot shabbot from the Misnah Bruer (a 20th Century commentary on the Shulkan Aruch … a commentary on the Arbah Turim). The author of the Tur, the son of the Rosh. The Rosh one of the greatest Talmudic scholars in all of Western European g’lut\exile.

    The first time Rav Nemuraskii and myself sat and learned the Talmud Bavli (a 20 volume code), we completed it in about 4 months. Cycling through the Sha’s (Six orders to the Mishna) Bavli (Babylonian Talmud), would learn approximately 20 pages every day. The Bavli, its based upon common law. Common law learns by way of precedents. Therefore by cycling through the Sha’s Bavli, completed the reading cycle, as said above, in about 4 months. In this fashion, fairly quickly familiarized myself with the Cases contained in the whole of the Sha’s Bavli. Cycling through the Sha’s, after about 4 to 5 years of this, only then did thereafter did Rav Nemuraskii demand that i learn each page of Gemarah (the commentary to the Mishna) by bringing precedents, duplicating the style of how the Gemarah learns the Mishna.

    At that time started exploring how the classic Reshonim (950 – 1450 CE) learned Gemarah. The Baali Tosafot (about 60 scholars in total, the grand children of Rashi), the French school of Talmudic scholarship, they learned by way of comparing outside precedents. When the Tosafot went off the dof\page of Gemarah/immediately familiar with the precedent that the Tosafot commentary introduced, to compare this outside halachah case to that of current dof of Gemarah which Rav Nemuraskii and myself learned. Needless to say, of all the Reshonim scholars, the Baali Tosafot hands down my favorite.

    Then came the B’hag, Rif, Rosh halachic commentaries. If a person understands that the Bavli exists as a common law legal system, then and only then do these halachic commentaries reveal their absolute genius. Common law compares legal Case rulings/halachot to a specific Case\Rule Mishna — something like a mamma bird chased after and followed by her chicks. The Talmud employs a Difficulty\Answer style throughout the Sha’s Bavli. It does not decide which of the “tens” of outside precedents by which it compares halachot to a specific case rule Mishna. The halachic codes made by the B’hag, Rif, & Rosh halachic commentaries – these Great poskim\deciders/, by their authority they reduced from multiple 10s to single digits the compared halachot woven into the context of the Case\Rule Mishnah. Their codes of law decided the chosen precedents which Torah observant Jewry should attempt to self-actualize in their daily lives.

    But by reducing the Gemarah precedents, they made it much easier to understand how the Gemarah logically compares outside halachic cases to any given specific Case\Rule Mishna. To learn these classic codes require comparing the halachic rulings which the Codes decide to the language of the Mishna; to thereby make a depth analysis of the language of the specific Case\Rule Mishna. That’s why these code always include the specified Mishna to the designated halachot, drastically reduced in number, and removal of all difficulty\answer debates. The Great codes, their scholarship compares something like an editor cuts and pastes & reduces news copy. Its the discipline of comparing halachic rulings to a specific Case\Rule Mishna which permits scholars to more easily discern the depth parameters which the language of that specific Case\Rule Mishna communicates. These Great halachic codifications permitted, so to speak, a student to more easily ‘see the forest through the trees’.

    However just as a garment woven on a loom has a warp\weft opposing threads, even though these tremendous tohor halachic codes did not bring any Aggaditah, students properly instructed understand Aggaditah, its relationship with the T’NaCH, as the most essential requirement whereby to understand the Case\Rule Mishna. Aggaditah learns T’NaCH prophetic mussar, it most essentially defines the “substance” of k’vanna, the tohor spirits of middot, which the Aggadic stories within the Sha’s {breath} into the Halachic”forms” of ritualized Jewish halachic law.

    Aggaditah makes comparisons to the sugiot\sub chapters/ of the T’NaCH, like what the sages of the Gemarah brings outside halachot, wherein the Amoraim scholars made legal comparisons to the Case\Rule Mishna. Consequently the Talmud, in my limited experience, by far the most complex text ever penned. The warp\woof relationship in the Talmud … the Aggadic\Halachic threads which make up the Sha’s Bavli and Sha’s Yerushalmi, they weave T’NaCH and Talmud into a unified fabric of faith.

    Then struck the defining disaster experienced by g’lut Jewry across Europe and the Middle East. The Rambam published his halachic code of Jewish law. Thereafter g’lut Jewry confused the priority rule of logic over law. This most basic priority rule, the B’hag, Rif, Rosh codes emphatically obeyed. Alas the Rambam halachic code, like a whore in church, it cast this most emphatic priority ie logic primary, and law secondary … that tumah code, it cast this absolute, most essential priority, unto the dumpster. Jews, almost overnight, lost the wisdom, how to correctly learn the Talmud.

    This terrible disaster, publication of the Rambam halachic code, which prioritized halachic law as supreme, it prioritized\supplanted/substituted\ assimilated Greek Aristotelian logic over Rabbi Akiva’s פרדס explanation of the Oral Torah logic format – first revealed to Moshe the prophet at Horev on Yom Kippur!

    A huge Civil War erupted, all the Gemarahs of France burned; Jewish exile communities in Britain, France, across the Germanic kingdoms, Spain, Portugal — basically all Western European Jewry — expelled from those countries. This Civil War terminated the period of Reshon scholarship upon the T’NaCH and Talmud. The Goyim, especially in the Germanic kingdoms imposed crushing taxation without representation upon Jewish refugee populations. After these feudal lords sponged virtually all Jewish wealth – these now totally destitute refugee populations – the German kingdoms expelled those despised Jewish paupers – from off their lands.

    The Church jumped upon the nigger pile, Rome decreed that any Jewish refugee living in Western Europe, that these despised Christ killers must consent to live within locked Ghetto prison walls. These illegal and unjust decrees, did not collapse till American revolutionaries told king George where he could put his taxation without representation, and Napoleon conquered those despicable Western European countries. Napoleon freed imprisoned Jewry from the 300 year wicked, unjust, and utterly insane unilateral imprisonment of Jewish refugees; never permitted to stand trial; nor permitted to challenge the evil slander made by their accusers. Why do English cars drive on the other side of the road? Alas, Napoleon did not conquer Britain like he did Western Europe.

    Faced with the choice of Ghetto imprisonment without a trial or fleeing to Eastern European countries like Poland and the Ukraine, millions of Jewish stateless refugees fled unto Eastern Europe. The ירידות הדורות curse, expressed itself thereafter, through the many and famous commentaries made upon the Shulchan Aruch; Yidden in the Pale of Russia had lost their ability, our wisdom, to correctly learn the Talmud. The Czars of Russia, even attempted to replace the Talmud with the Rambam code, as the basis for the education of Jewish youth. Then came the two European Civil Wars in the 20th Century, and those Europeans revealed the true worth of 2000+ years of Church morality.

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