Friday, July 02, 2004


Study Tips

In The Pirke Avos Treasury. Ethics of the Fathers. Chapters 1-2 by Rabbi Moshe Lieber, edited by Rabbi Nosson Scherman (Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, 1996), p. 44, there are some practical tips on Torah study by the 19th century Rabbi Yisrael Lifshitz of Danzig. They are really applicable to any type of study. Here is an abridgement:
  1. One should not study while lying down nor in a very warm place, for this induces drowsiness and disturbs concentration. Nor should one eat or involve oneself in any other activity while studying.
  2. One should avoid intellectual distraction. By studying out loud, one can concentrate and implant the ideas firmly in one's mind.
  3. A comfortable and quiet learning atmosphere provides the proper state of mind for learning. One should study in a well-lit airy room, using books printed on fine paper.
  4. Too much variety of subject matter tends to leave one's mind unfocused.
  5. One should make efforts to reach a firm and clear understanding of what he studies. Then, through careful review, he will remember what he learns. Young people especially should be encouraged to memorize their studies.

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