Thanks for a wonderful resource. In regards to one’s own mitzvah of learning kol haTorah. What is the “Shiur” of the mitzvah. In this link (https://dinonline.org/2012/04/23/talmud-torah/) Rabbi Rosenthal mentions that the mitzvah of teaching a son kol haTorah was “This includes: Torah, Nevi’im, Kesuvim, all of the halachos based on the pesukim, the explanations and reasons of the Taryag mitzvos, all of the Agadaic drashos of the pesukim, the Mishnayos and Braisos and the Gemaros that explain them.” However the obligation today is only Chumash, “and to see to it that the child becomes self-proficient in learning Gemara and halacha. Since both Torah she’bichsav and Torah she’baal peh are readily accessible, a child can be expected to learn them on his own once he has the basic tools for learning and comprehension (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Hilchos Talmud Torah, chapter 1).”

This seems to imply that this leniency is only in regards to what needs to be taught to the son. However the obligation of each person remains the same at “Torah, Nevi’im, Kesuvim, all of the halachos based on the pessukim, the explanations and reasons of the Taryag mitzvos, all of the Agadaic drashos of the pessukim, the Mishnayos and Braisos and the Gemaros that explain them.”

Is my understanding correct?

L’Maasheh what level of “knowing” is required:

re: Tanach- do you have to know every passuk, it’s targum, and every midrash on it?

re: Halachah- he said “halachos based on pesukim” – does that mean only the mitzvos d’oraysah? Asmachtah?

re: Mishnayos,beraysos, Gemara – do you need to know every mishnah,beraysah, gemara by heart?

Or has this changed b’zman hazeh that things are written down? Is it sufficient to know where to look to find answers to questions, or must one know it by heart? (this Q applies to all learning above)

Lastly, how is it possible to fulfill this Mitzvah. The Rambam seems to imply that you have not fulfilled this mitzvah until you’ve completed this. However this would seem to be something that very few if any individuals can achieve.

thanks so much,
Chaim

Answer:

Chazal, and poskim in general, do not speak about the obligation to know the Torah, but rather the obligation to study the Torah. The obligation to know the Torah is mentioned as the purpose of the obligation to study the Torah, but not as an “independent” obligation.

The Rambam, for instance, writes that a person must study the Torah until the day of his death, for fear of forgetting his knowledge.

In terms of the obligation to study the Torah, Chazal write that one should divide his time between Scripture, Mishnah, and Gemara. Please see our article here where we discuss how these divisions apply today. The article also discusses the obligation of knowing the Torah by comparison with the obligation of study.

The most basic purpose of the Torah is to teach us how to act, and therefore preference is given to practical matters.

Rabbi Rosental’s statement whereby there is a mitzvah of teaching one’s son the entire Torah, including “Torah, Nevi’im, Kesuvim, all of the halachos based on the pesukim, the explanations and reasons of the Taryag mitzvos, all of the Agadaic drashos of the pesukim, the Mishnayos and Braisos and the Gemaros that explain them,” only means that until one knows everything, there is no exemption from the study of Torah. In fact, even after one knows everything, there is no exemption, as noted above, for if you don’t study, you forget.

However, even if one doesn’t finish everything, there is no transgression, and the only transgression is for those who fail to meet the obligation to study Torah.

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