Rav Breuer’s Derech Halimud: The Way of Old Ashkenaz – דרך הלימוד של הרב יוסף ברייער ז”ל

The article on Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer, הרב לוי יוסף ברייער זצ”ל, that we have been writing about in recent postings, by Rabbi Yaakov Lorch שליט”א, also discusses his derech haLimud. Here are some excerpts from pages 41-42 to give you an idea of how Rav Breuer learned gemara and other parts of תורה שבעל פה.

“Rav Breuer followed the derech halimud of his father, Rav Shlomo Breuer, who had been a close talmid of the Ksav Sofer….Rav Shlomo Breuer belonged to the school of the Chasam Sofer in his derech halimud…striving primarily to understand thoroughly the text at hand….learned with his talmidim only ‘on the daf’. Never did the Gaon come with prepared solutions to the gemara. He never discussed only those parts of the daf where he had something to be mechadesh….he strove for clarity in the pshat of the Gemara…He would never turn to the other Rishonim until Rashi and Tosafos were clear: in particular, he would get annoyed if one went right away to the Rambam…he eschewed any attempt at pilpul, and stressed the careful understanding of an inyan rather than hasty coverage of subject matter.”

In recent times some have replaced the above with different approaches. But the old way still has much going for it, even without invoking tradition, even if it seems simple and modest and lacking the fireworks and pizzazz of some newer approaches.  If more people today would follow such a derech, we would be the better for it, as a people. כנלענ”ד.

8 Responses to “Rav Breuer’s Derech Halimud: The Way of Old Ashkenaz – דרך הלימוד של הרב יוסף ברייער ז”ל”

  1. BZ Says:

    Admittedly I have very limited experience with the yeshivah system, to the extent that I do (I went to a day school), this is the normal approach, unless of course you need other mefarshim to understand Rashi and Tosafos in the first place.

    I wish I had time to learn like that now, but, what with not knowing the language well enough and having a day job, it would take weeks to understand the sugya this way. It’s different when you spend 3 hours in class and 2 hours at home on it per day vs. 1 hour if you’re lucky. So, yes, Rabbi Artscroll often makes an appearance.

  2. Yisroel Says:

    “The article on Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer, הרב לוי יוסף ברייער זצ”ל, that we have been writing about in recent postings, by Rabbi Yaakov Lorch שליט”א, also discusses his derech haLimud. Here are some excerpts from pages 41-42 to give you an idea of how Rav Breuer learned gemara and other parts of תורה שבעל פה.”

    Where can I find this article in full? I read Rabbi Breuer: The Man, by Rabbi Lorch, but it didn’t get into any details about his derech halimud.

  3. Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

    It is a long article, of over seventy amudim. If you can find a copy of the last volume of Yerushoseinu you can see it there.

    • Yisroel Says:

      Are you referring to Yerushaseinu: Book Six, Iyar 5772? I didn’t see it listed in the Table of Contents of the sefer, which is online. Is there any way of getting just this article from the sefer?

  4. Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

    It is in the table of contents, but you may have missed it, as it is in the small English section, which is at the other end of things from the main לשון הקודש section.

    You could try to write to Yerushoseinu.

    If not, maybe someone could send you a photo or scan of part(s), or main parts re derech halimud. However, if you want to see the whole article, it is lengthy and that would be more difficult.

  5. Yisroel Says:

    I received the whole article. It is the full article, of Rav Breuer: The Man which is 77 pages. There isn’t that much more about his derech halimud.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      Okay, enjoy it. It covers many things.

      The derech halimud part is only the driving instructions/directions. Then you have to hit the road and put them into action.🙂

      • Yisroel Says:

        Does Yeshiva RSRH still follow his derech halimud? The Satmar Rav’s also followed the derech halimud of Hungarian yeshivos and learned a sugya halacha le’maaseh. It is also called the sugya or Chasam Sofer or the Poilishe derech halimud.

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