About the Talmud Programs
|Amud Yomi Program||The Results|
|Amud Yomi Concept||Shas Review|
Turning Baalei Batim into Talmidei Chachamim :
The goal of this program is to master all of SHAS! You too are capable of relating the "Shaklah Vetaryah" ("Give and Take") of all of Shas fluidly, and, maybe even of retaining it entirely by heart. It is naturally a daunting task to master 5400+ pages of Talmud, but it is doable with discipline, a game plan and unwavering daily commitment. While most appropriate for advanced Talmud students, the program is still accessible for anyone with a basic understanding of the structure of the Gemara and 3 or more years of learning experience.
If you follow the Master Torah chazarah (review) program faithfully, you will gradually know, retain and master amudim, Masechtos, and eventually, the entire Talmud.
Our full Amud Yomi schedule involves a commitment of about 2 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will learn 5 new amudim every week, and review them until you have retained them fully. If you can’t find time, we also propose learning schedules for 1 hour, or even half an hour per day.
Amud Yomi – About 2:15 per day.
Half Amud per day, 68 minutes.
Quarter Amud per day, 34 minutes.
Master Torah already offers online shiurim and review tests on many Masechtos (tractates). Feel free to begin our program with any Masechta we offer, no matter what the online class schedule is currently up to. Our Gemara program offers both Amud Yomi shiurim and Shas Review shiurim. Please use the Amud Yomi shiurim for your initial learning of the Gemara, and the Shas Review shiurim as a review tool after you have mastered it.
“Amud Yomi” means study of one new side-of-a-page of Talmud per day. While the concept of continuous daily Talmud study is not new, what makes our program unique is the intensive Master Torah review schedule.
For many, a Daf Yomi program (which covers both sides of a page daily) serves as the chance to become familiar with the Talmud; although continuous learning without a break for review will not lead to real mastery, for all but a select few. Learning one amud per day allows for more time to focus on review, and facilitates mastery at a reasonable and retainable pace. In our program, 2 days per week are used solely for chazarah, as well as larger breaks for review of larger units.
Our innovative program is called SVT Shas (an acronym for Shakla Vetarya Shas), literally "the taking and giving" of discussions in the Gemara. The aim of the program is to learn Shas Gemara and master the Shaklah Vetaryah orally; this includes stating all opinions cited, the authors of those opinions, as well as mastery of the concepts of the tractate. This can be accomplished only through daily commitment and systematic and repeated review, inside the text, of each amud of Gemara learned.
Online participants can truly feel that the y are part of a classic learning environment. Rav Meir Pogrow, the founder of the Master Torah learning system, delivers the shiurim live at 5:30 AM to a group in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. The shiur is digitally recorded, and is available online a few hours later. For more on the live study group, see the articles on this website.
Rav Pogrow begins each half-hour shiur with a critical summary of the contents of that day's amud, even before presenting the text inside. After prefacing the information, the students are ready to absorb it effectively and efficiently. The shiur is a disciplined presentation of the Shaklah Vetaryah of the Gemara. Then, during chazarah (review), the students’ job is to clearly follow of the flow of the arguments of the Gemara, while practicing fluid reading and precise comprehension of the language.
Another distinguishing feature of the Master Torah Talmud program is the weekly test. Why is testing so important? Rav Pogrow once challenged the students to name the amounts of each ingredient of the k’tores (incense) of the Temple service. Despite the fact that this information is found in the daily tefillah, no one present could answer accurately. Rav Pogrow explained, “There are distinct types of learning: passive and active. Our mindset when reading text, such as the Siddur, is a mindset of passive learning; we do not expect the need to recall this information in the near future.” For many people, unfortunately, Daf Yomi-style learning does not lead to mastery of Gemara. Testing can help facilitate active learning; one’s memory banks are tapped and exercised.
Master Torah students assess their growth in Torah through weekly and periodic tests, available on the website. A typical question may ask for all positions in a particular debate and the names of their protagonists. A perek (chapter) test asks detailed information from along the length of the chapter, while also focusing on broader themes and positions covered numerous times in the Gemara. When one learns a page of Gemara using the Master Torah review system and tests, that page will be permanently absorbed using one’s entire intellectual capacity.
The mishna in Avot states “Yagati u’matzati, ta’amin,” hard work in Torah learning is guaranteed to yield results. Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz, Sh’lita, general editor of the Artscroll edition of the Talmud and Rav of the Beis Tefillah Shul in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, tested forty students publicly at the community-wide celebration of the completion of one of the masechtos (tractates). Mesmerized by their clear grasp of the entire tractate, he remarked: "This, b’ezrat Hashem, will be the start of a revolutionary program that many, many people will join."
As another student aptly said, "Knowing the Gemara well means that you think of the Gemara as your friend, instead of your enemy." It's a temptation that is hard to resist.
See the “Testimonials” page.
Shas at Your Fingertips:
As an additional service for the experienced learner, Rav Pogrow has started the Shas Review Program. As Rav Pogrow writes, "The difference between whether our students will become true talmidei chachamim or not, truly lies in their back chazarah." (All Master Torah schedules are capped off by half an hour of daily continuous cyclical review, to ensure long term retention of the entirety of one’s learning.)
As an aid towards this goal, Rav Pogrow is accumulating an archive of shiurim (running 30 minutes to an hour) that consist of quick and concise reviews of 3 to 5 amudim each. These shiurim are an excellent tool for chazarah of Masechtos that you have previously learned.