Monday, March 22, 2010

Lomdut, Pilpul, and the Brisker Method of Talmud Study

Question: Would you suggest some resources in English that would provide an introduction to the Talmudic study methodologies that are referred to as "lomdut", "pilpul", and (especially) the "Brisker derekh (method)"?

Answer: Here are some resources that might be of assistance:
- The Analytic Movement : Hayyim Soloveitchik and his circle / by Norman Solomon [Atlanta, Ga. : Scholars Press, c1993].
- Contemporary Halakhic Problems / by J. David Bleich [New York : Ktav, 1977- ]. In volume 5, Rabbi Bleich (p.xi-xxxvi) provides a lengthy introduction regarding the role “lomdut” plays in the halakhah.
- Iyun be-Lomdut / by Yitzchak Adler [New York : Y. Adler (182-11 Henley Rd., Jamaica Estates 11432), 1989]. This book is mostly in Hebrew but it has an English section that illustrates some of the methodology.
- Wikipedia article on the Brisker method: (there are links at the end of the article to articles on this topic found on other websites).
- Important article on the Brisker method:
- Discussion of the study methodology used in Yeshivat Telz and a comparison with other methodologies: and
- Article from the Jewish Encyclopedia on “pilpul”:
- Article from Wikipedia on "pilpul":


  1. The conceptual approach to Jewish learning, ed. Yosef Blau, New York : Michael Scharf Publication Trust of the Yeshiva University Press, c2006 ISBN 0881259071

  2. Thank you, so much. That is a great source.