Ameilus

Ameilus B’Torah refers to the requirement that one not study the Torah in a superficial manner but rather  try and comprehend it to the very best of one’s ability. One must try to understand the reasons and logic behind every law or dispute.

 

To accomplish this, one should use all the possible help he can get. We certainly need a good rebbi to guide and direct us. We also need to study the many commentaries, such as Rashi, Tosefos, etc. in order to get a better insight into understanding  the give-and take of the Talmudic discussion.

 

It was for this very reason that ArtScroll elucidated the Talmud from the Aramaic/Hebrew into the English language. This enabled the masses who were unable to study the original text to access the life-sustaining wellsprings of Torah.

 

Paradoxically, some claim that this makes learning far too simple and therefore one now lacks true ameilus.  Following this logic, perhaps one should not study from a rebbi or use any of the commentaries since they, too, help make learning easier.

 

Others claim that by using ArtScroll, students will never learn to read or comprehend the original text. Yet, these claims have proven to be false as thousands who were unable to comprehend the original text and therefore studied it from the ArtScroll English version now find themselves proficient enough to learn it from the original Hebrew/Aramaic text. It was the English elucidation that helped them master the original Hebrew/Aramaic version.

 

This now allows them far more time to dwell into the depth of the Talmud’s reasoning itself. Instead of spending their valuable time trying to figure out the translation or the meaning of unfamiliar concepts, they are now able to properly focus on better comprehending the actual material.

 

One must also realize that even after studying the Talmud using ArtScroll, lots of ameilus is still necessary in order to  properly understand all the pros and cons and arguments that appear on each and every page of its nearly 5,422 pages (a daf is two pages). The ameilus doesn’t end after studying the ArtScroll; in fact, that’s when it actually starts.

 

Even those that have already mastered the original text will find the ArtScroll notes printed at the bottom of each page extremely insightful and enlightening. ArtScroll is truly responsible for making a revolution in Torah study by making it accessible to nearly everyone who is willing to make the effort.

 

One must note that the first one to translate the Torah into all seventy languages was none other than Moshe Rabbeinu himself, as it says in the Torah ( Parashas Ki Savo 27: 8 ) . Perhaps one day, archeologists will find the original stones upon which Moshe Rabbeinu etched these holy words!

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