Matan Torah by HaRav Yaakov Weinberg zt”l
At Mount Sinai Hashem gave us: (1) Torah Shebichsav (written): Chumash, Neviim, Ketuvim. (2) Torah Shebeal peh(oral) : A specific body of Yedios/Knowledge to be discussed.
Moshe came down and taught both of them.
Discussing and explaining these two bodies of Torah(written and oral) is (3)Gemara.
Therefore Gemara is not what was given at Har Sinai, it was created by human beings.
As they discussed (1) and (2) they created (3)Gemara.
Torah consist of these 3 sections:
When we learn we should be able to differentiate between Torah Shebealpeh and Gemara because there is a Mitzwah in the Torah that says that we should learn all of(1) and (2), but not all of (3) .
The Rambam in his Hakdama of Mishneh Torah describes what the content of Torah Shebealpeh is.
The Mishneh Torah contains the entirety of what (2) is.
Some Rishonim desagree with the Rambam.
For our definition of (2) we would have to learn Shulchan Aruch with authoritative commentaries, but it isn’t so different than the Rambam.
Rambam holds that one should split ones daily learning in 3 : learning first(1) then (2) and then (3).
Rav Yosef Karo paskins (differently ) like Tosfos : That we shouls learn it all together at the same time. How ? With Talmud Bavli.
Hiowever : It is a double Torah obligation to learn Torah and Mishnah, how can we all our time to spend it on (3)Gemara , before (1) and (2) ?
We have discovered that without (3) , (1) and (2) are deficient !
The key for for understanding all of Torah is Gemara.
Therefore ONCE WE KNOW (1) and (2), we just review it but spend the rest of our life on (3).
Gemara is the full ability to use, understand and deal with (1) and (2).
It will help you derive from (1) and (2) how to react in every possible situation in everyone’s life.
Gemara is the key to unlock a Pasuk.
This way one can learn 10.000 times the same Pasuk and find new meanings.
The key to learn what Gemara is, is Talmud Bavli. It’s the key to everything.
(Talmud Bavli is not the entire Gemara, Gemara is infinite, but) Talmud Babli is where the Chachamim packed all the Yesodos(foundations).
It is through Talmud Babli that all other Seforim such as Chovos Halevavos,Mussar and Kabbala can come out.
*(1) Torah Shebichsav
*(2) Torah Shebealpeh
*(3) Gemara: does not mean the section of the Talmud that explains the Mishna ! But the TECHINICAL ASPECT of it is named GEMARA.
* In the Talmud (Baba Metziah) the 3 parts of Torah discussed here ae called differently:
(1) Is called Mikra
(2) Is called Mishnah