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Section:  Avodah   Category: 48 Kinyanei Torah
Kinyan 13 Mikra & Mishna - What Would Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky Say Today?

Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky was known to say that there was time when it was standard that a Ben Torah knew Shas.  When the generations became weaker, knowing Shas was considered a great accomplishment.  Nowadays, said Rav Yaakov, nor only do people not go through the whole Shas, but someone who does, is considered a person who does not know how to "really" learn.  What would Rav Yaakov say if he were alive today when people considered to be learned, don't even know Mishnayos or have good command in Chumash with Rashi?

Mikra & Mishna says the mishna are the foundations of being able to learn gemara.    By learning these with depth and knowing them well gemara becomes a well paved highway rather than a jungle path as we get stuck on every pasuk or mishna brought down.  The challenge of the gemara becomes unraveling its lamdus and we won't get worn out trying to make heads and tails out of the page.

This is not a new phenomenon however.  The gemara in Bava Metzia (33b) says that in the days of Rebbi he taught that while toiling chumash was good, and mishnayos even better, there is nothing compared to gemara.  What happened next?  Everyone stopped learning mishnayos until the chachomim had to declare, "L'Olam Havi Ratz L'Mishneh Yoseir Min HaGemara."  The more things change the more they stay the same.  One day we will get it right and all be koneh torah.  Then we will be zocheh to see firsthand the words of the Rambam, "They will all be great chachomim knowing the hidden and deep words of Hashem... as the pasuk says, UMala Ha'Aretz Dei'a Es Hashem KaMayim LaYam Michasim! 

RELATED ARTICLES:48 kinyanei torah  Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky

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Anonymous, 2010-04-12 04:43:49
I once asked Rav Dov Shwartzman (son in law of Rav Aharon Kotler zt'l) if knowing alot of bekius helps in learning a sugya (b'iyun).

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