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Is Thinking Torah Considered Learning?

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#1 achasshoalti



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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

I have seen the shulchan aruch harav quoted as saying that one does not fulfill the mitzva of talmud torah without dibbur e.g. if one learns the gemara mentally he is not yotze. Is this:
  • the halacha
  • something to be choshesh for

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

It is a Machlokes in the Achronim whether you fulfill Talmud Torah in thought without speaking. The Rav Shulchan Aruch and Maharsham hold you're not; the GRA (OH 44) holds you are.

L'Maaseh you should do whatever helps you learn better. The Rav Shulchan Aruch himself writes that besides the Mitzvah to say words of Torah there is also a Mitzvah of knowing Torah, and who says you should sacrifice the latter for the former? (In fact, see Tanya ch. 5 where he writes that the Mtzvah of Yedias HaTorah is infinitely greater than the Mitzvah of speaking Torah.)

Note that even if you hold you do not fulfill the Mitzvah of learning בהרהור, you would still fulfill it by listening to a Shiur, because of שומע כעונה. (This however, would only apply to a live Shiur. There would not be שומע כעונה on a tape or MP3.)