Published by Targum Press and Distributed by Feldheim
Reviewed by Yated Ne'eman Staff
"A mediocre teacher tells; a good teacher explains; a
superior teacher demonstrates; a great teacher inspires."
This classical survey of teachers is cited by Rabbi Mendel
Weinbach, rosh hayeshiva Ohr Somayach, in his foreword
to Rabbi Dovid Kaplan's new book "The Ohr Somayach Gemara
Although it was intended as a tribute to Rabbi Kaplan's
unique ability as an inspiring teacher, this portrait of
education may well describe the book he has written, as he
states in his introduction, "to help beginners become self-
sufficient in their Gemara learning as quickly as
Based on the classes he has taught for many years in the Ohr
Somayach's Carla Schoen Introductory Program and his lectures
in Ohr Somayach's Ohr Lagolah Teachers Training and Kiruv
Leadership Program, this Gemara Companion tells, explains,
demonstrates and inspires. This is evident from a look at the
table of contents.
The Companion tells "What is Gemara"; explains the "Steps for
Figuring Out a Piece of Gemara" and "Strategies for Learning
Gemara"; demonstrates with a vocabulary list, charts and
other aids to learning; and inspires by instilling in the
reader a confidence that he can achieve the breakthrough in
mastering gemora study which he so desires.
Rabbi Kaplan's ability to tell, explain, demonstrate, and
inspire has had a powerful impact on hundreds of the products
of outstanding universities throughout the world. The methods
used to achieve this record of success are now available to
everyone else through the Gemara Companion.