- I would like some advice on a learning plan. I feel like in the last couple of months/years my learning on my own has gotten worse. I attempted to start Mishna Yomi with Seder Moed. However, due to being very busy, I ended up being many Perakim behind. Should I try to catch up? I feel like the correct course of action might to be to just start again from Seder Zeraim and learn on my own pace. What do you advise?
- Next, I would like to also start learning Kitzur Shulchan Aruch more often.
- Additionally, I would like to restart doing Shnayim Mikra viechad targum (Onkelos? Or Rashi?). However, doing all this while managing a lot of work daily is very hard. I would like some advice and perhaps a schedule on how I should precede. Thanks in advance.
It is great that you are reaching out to us, as this shows that you take your learning seriously. It would be best for you to speak to your Rov who knows you and your situation, nevertheless I can give you some tips.
- If you are very behind, and you don’t see yourself catching up too quickly, I agree with you that it is better to have a fresh start. It doesn’t have to be from the beginning of Zeraim, you can join the Mishna Yomi, wherever they are at this point. There is a certain incentive to being part of an organized group, because it gives you a feeling of being a part of something, and it is organized.
There are a couple of things that can help you keep your seder. First of all, find a specific time of the day that is when you will be learning the mishnayos, or whatever else it will be. Usually it is best to attach this time to something else, i.e. right after mincha, maariv, the first five minutes of your lunch break, on the train, in the car before you start your trip. The benefit of this is that it is now organized, and it is harder for the yetzer hora to get you to push it off for later.
Secondly, try to get yourself a chavrusa, if you can, one at work, on the phone, zoom etc., whatever works for you. Having a chavrusa is an additional way to make an atmosphere, that the seder won’t get pushed off (although sometimes, if the chavrusa itself isn’t steady, it can hinder things).
A third idea is that you can make up that until you do your seder, you won’t do a certain thing during the day. For example, no computer, newspaper, snack, going to sleep until after you have already learnt your mishnayos.
- Learning Kiztur Shulchan Aruch is very important, because it goes through a lot of halachos that we don’t really know. I once heard in the name of R’ Vozner zt”l, that for 70% of the questions that he is asked, the answer is in the Kitzur! If you can handle it, that is great, but make sure to do it in an organized fashion, so that the seder keeps up.
- Shayim Mikra, is required as written in Orach Chaim siman 285 (the siman is רפה, which can also mean weak, as unfortunately, many people are not careful about this). You might want to save this for Shabbos, when you have more time. Alternatively, if you have a few minutes each day, you can do until sheini on Sunday, shelishi on Monday. Understandably it is better to do it with both targum and Rashi, however you may not have the time to do both. In that case do targum before Rashi. (See sources)
- א) תרה”ד (לקט יושר עמ’ נ”ד) – “והיה מעביר הסדרא שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום ופירש”י, ואמר שתרגום עיקר להעביר יותר מפרש”י. וכן שמעתי בשם מהר”ר יעקב ווילא זצ”ל שטוב להעביר התרגום יותר מפרש”י. וכן מצאתי בהקדמה דסמ”ק, ובא”ח בסי’ רפ”ה וז”ל: ואם לימד הפרשה בפירש”י חשוב כמו תרגום כו’, נ”ל משמע תרגום עדיף כיון שאמר כמו תרגום”.
- ב) ברכי יוסף (ס”ק ב’) – “לפי מ”ש חכמי האמת יש קפידא בתרגום, ולכן אם אין לו שהות ללמוד שניהם ילמוד תרגום”.
- ג) שע”ת (ס”ק ב’) – “וכתב בברכי יוסף … לפי מ”ש חכמי האמת יש קפידא בתרגום ולכן אם אין שהות ללמוד שניהם ילמוד תרגום ע”ש”.
- ד) בה”ל (סעי’ ב’ ד”ה תרגום) – “היוצא מדברינו דאין לנו פוסק מפורש שיסבור דהתרגום חשוב טפי מפירש”י ומ”מ נראה לדינא לנהוג כהב”י דאף שפירש”י מפרש את הענין יותר מתרגום אבל מפני שיש כמה תיבות וגם כמה פסוקים שאין עליהם פירושו של רש”י וא”כ לא נשאר לו שם כ”א מקרא לבד והתרגום מפרש כל פסוק וכל תיבה”.