My Rebbe says it’s allowed to only recite Torah passages (not study) before berchat HaTorah, but Artscroll it’s forbidden. Which is it?
The question of reciting verses, not by way of Torah study but by way of prayer, before reciting the blessing over the Torah, is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (46:10), who quotes two opinions. Rema writes that the custom follows the second opinion, which means that it is permitted to recite verses, provided this is done by way of prayer and not as study. However, several authorities mention that Rambam (responsum 104) prohibits the practice, and lean towards stringency on this issue (see Daas Torah 46:9; Birkei Yosef 46:14), although Mishnah Berurah quotes the lenient opinion (47:17).
Therefore, it can be said that both are right!