Prayer and Learning Torah: Each in Its Own Time (Part II)

  1. A person who has already davened and has remained in the
    synagogue in order to answer kadishim, etc., is permitted to learn
    while the community is saying the Shemoneh Esrai or reciting the Shma.
    He need not concern himself with the possibility that unlearned members of the
    congregation will learn from him to disregard the halachos which require
    attentive participation in the service.

  2. It is forbidden for a person to leave the synagogue hastily
    because it appears as though he dislikes being in the synagogue. Nevertheless,
    it is permitted to leave the synagogue in haste in order to go to learn in the
    beis midrash.

  3. A person who is learning in the synagogue is not required
    to stand if someone recites the Shemoneh Esrai standing next to him. A
    Rav who is learning with a student need not stand even when a minyan recites
    the Shmoneh Esrai. It would not even be considered midas chassidus to
    do so.

  4. It is a mitzvah dereisa (Torah obligation) to learn
    Torah. A person who learns by himself fulfils the mitzvah. Nevertheless, lechatchilah
    a person should try to learn with others, for the Glory of G-d is greatly
    enhanced when Torah is learned in public, as Chazal say, “The Glory of G-d
    appears in the assembly of a multitude of people.” When ten Jews learn
    together, the Shechina precedes them. According to Chazal, in order to
    internalize the Torah, it must be learned with others. (Brochos 63b). And we
    learn from Tana Devei Eliahu (Zuta 23) that when Jews learn Torah
    together G-d shows them favor. Midas hadin asked G-d why He shows favor
    to the Jewish People. G-d answered, “How can I not find favor with a people
    that learns Torah together?” It is clear that even according to the Mechaber,
    who holds that the mitzvah of learning Torah cannot be fulfilled by learning
    silently, a person can fulfill his obligation to learn Torah by attending
    Torah classes. When he hears the spoken words of Torah it is considered as if
    he were reciting them.

  5. The Jewish people will not be redeemed because of pain,
    because of servitude, because of wanderings, because of troubles, because of
    oppression or because they do not have adequate food, but because of ten Jews
    that sit and learn together, each one talking Torah with the other so that
    their voices are heard (Tana Devei Eliahu Zuta 14).