The "Fundamentals of Talmud" Program

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The "Fundamentals of Talmud" program is designed to give you the necessary tools to become a serious student of the wonderful world of Talmud!

This program is one-of-a-kind. It is a complete Gemara learning system, created to imbue the student with a feeling of success in his learning, and to teach the necessary learning skills in a clear and systematic manner.

To the beginner, a regular page of Gemara is foreboding and imposing. It has no vowels, no punctuation, and it is written in a foreign language. Conceptually, the classic 'Talmudic logic' is a challenge all by itself, even without the reading and language barriers. To many, trying to learn Gemara is akin to learning Algebra II in Japanese. Most give up trying even before they start! It is like a huge mountain that is virtually impossible to scale.

This is why "Fundamentals of Talmud" was created- to give a systematic method by which even a beginner can access essential Talmudic skills, enabling him to learn the text of a millennia of Jewish wisdom.

There are 3 components in the "Fundamentals of Talmud" Program:

  • The 'Formatted Gemara'
  • comprehensive workbooks
  • the audio shiur series
We will explain each one separately, and how they all work together.

The backbone of the Fundamentals program is the uniquely created "Formatted Gemara".

The "Formatted Gemara" is "user friendly", and has many different features geared to easing the student into Gemara learning. These features include:

  1. Double spacing, to enable the student to write directly on the page, allowing ease of reading;
  2. Punctuation and vowelization, for even greater reading ease.
  3. The "key words" ('indicator words', which indicate a step in the logic progression of the Gemara, such as a question, answer or proof) are in bold and are color-coded for improved recognition (red is for a question; blue is an answer; green is for a proof; black is a statement).
  4. Each step of the Gemara is on a different line, thus emphasizing the shakla v'tarya (the back and forth discussion of the Gemara) easier and clearer.
  5. Perhaps the most important feature is that each larger sugya, or topic, is subdivided into smaller sugyos, (e.g. Sugya 1.1, 1.2, etc.) each being a self-contained thought of the Gemara. This makes the Gemara more usable and not as overwhelming. It also enables the student to concentrate on one concept at a time.

The comprehensive workbooks are designed to reinforce the material in a number of different ways, and are a valuable method of review. They also give the student the opportunity to start learning the Gemara on their own, as we will see. Each Sugya comes with a small introduction to explain basic concepts of the upcoming Sugya, followed by a comprehensive word translation list. This is then followed by an array of different exercises, each of which is intended to reinforce a certain aspect of the Gemara and the skills to be learned. These include translation skills, outlining skills (recognition of the steps of the shakla v'tarya), reading, punctuating, and comprehension.

The audio shiur series is a valuable tool that can be used in numerous ways. Every Sugya is beautifully explained, word for word, detail for detail, in a clear and understandable manner. In effect, it is a "Rebbe" 24/7, whenever the student has time to learn. It can be used to learn the Gemara, review, or check to verify correct understanding.

When used all together, these materials form a complete learning system, which will enable the student to enter the amazing world of Talmud study faster than he ever thought possible.

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