Monthly Archives: November 2016

Some methods for studying the Torah you need to know

Some methods for studying the Torah you need to know

The Torah is considered the most important text for Jewish. It is practically the one that guides Jewish in their religion and life. This word meaning is “instruction” and it contains five of the most important texts of Judaism, which are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These books describe since the creation of the world by God, passing through the history of Moses and the laws given to him by God, until his death and the designation of Joshua as his successor.

Currently, the study of the Torah is vital for any Jew, because, through this, they can know and understand in a better way what Judaism is and offers. Besides, this religious text establishes and symbolize a way of life for Jewish people, giving to them the guidelines and commandments to follow their teachings for applying them in life. In addition, the study of the Torah is considered a directive for Jews.

Study methods

Before talking about the existing methods for study the Torah, it is important to understand why this is significant for Jews.

For Jewish people is very important to know what the Torah says and propose, because understanding this is the unique and better way to teach to others the guidelines given by it. In other words, studying the Torah is not only important for Jews to know and understand what these sacred texts say, but also because it is the only way to communicate and explain to other persons all the instructions and traditions specified by it.

The study of the Torah is supported by 613 commandments and there are a lot of methods for its study. All these approaches tend to give to those who study these sacred writings the enough knowledge to answer anything about their teachings and lessons. Put differently, the main purpose of all these study methodologies is that all those directives that the Torah proposes be so clear that any Jew at any time can talk about them with no doubt or hesitation.

The Luzzatto method

Moshe Chaim Luzzatto was a dedicated Jewish Rabbi and philosopher who let to humanity a lot of literature works, especially for Jews. Among his work are The Story of Samson, The Zohar to the Book of Ecclesiastes, The Well of Jacob, The Book of Daniel, A Discourse on Homilies, and much more. But one of his most important legacies was the Luzzatto method for studying the Torah.

The Luzzatto methodology is perfect to understand the Torah consciously because is the unique technique that gives to those who are using it a systematic and well-organized process to understand all the concepts that the sacred text shows. In other words, this method lets learners comprehend the Torah lessons through the integration of learner thinking and what the text raises.

The Brisker method

This study technique was designed and implemented by Chaim Soloveitchik, an influential Rabbi who dedicated great part of his life to studying the Torah. His methodology is one of the most important due to the analytical and deep process it implicates, centering it in the exact definitions and explanations given by the Torah.

This methodology has a reductionistic focus to understand in a simpler way all the concepts and meanings that the Torah proposes. Put differently, the Brisker method makes special emphasis in the understanding of all those commandments raised by the Torah through the comprehension of the notions established in it.

The Zilberman method

Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman was a very important rabbi and teacher who dedicated his life to the study and teach about the Torah notions. His technique was focused in the ages and moments that the sacred texts should be studied, that is to say, the Zilberman method approach is to teach children to read the Torah according to their ages.

The Zilberman system is divided by phases, so children in a specific age know what scriptures should learn. This technique offers also particular moments for studying the Torah and some ways according to the oldness of the student, which include only reading, or reading and writing or explanation to others about what they read.

Image courtesy of roberto volterra at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of roberto volterra at Flickr.com

This methodology is very focused in schools, so children can know how, when and what they should be studying from the Torah and other sacred texts.

Besides these mentioned methods, there are particular study cycles. For example, the Torah could be studied in some portions of the week, that is to say, that Jewish can dedicate some time per week to study the sacred text. Another recognized study moment is that one page of the Torah is read each day.

The study of the Torah is a very important thing for Jewish, because it is how they can know about Judaism in an excellent way, understanding their roots and mandates, helping them to establish their life path.

Related: Know one of the most important Jewish writings: The Torah by Yosef Meystel

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