How does one become a true גדול בתורה, truly great in learning Torah?
Well, you’re asking the wrong person. I cannot tell you. How should I know? But I can give you some suggestions that should help you. First of all, if you’re a man who is learning גמרא, make it your business to review it constantly. Not only to review it – but get accustomed to saying every half amud בעל פה. Every half amud by heart, aloud. The whole שקלא ותריא aloud. Go over it once and twice and three times and four times. Each half amud, talk out the whole discussion aloud four times. And then the next half amud. And so on. Until you finish the פרק. And then go over the פרק four times, the same way. Aloud, slowly, say over the back and forth discussion.
Do this and I promise you, you might not become the Vilna Gaon, but you’ll become somebody. You’ll become somebody.
The trouble is that you learn superficially. You feel satisfied. But you never even understood it לכתחילה, in the first place. And you forget it right away too. It’s a tragedy. We have to invest our efforts in the most useful way. And the way to do it right is to learn carefully and slowly and to review it untill you understand it well – again and again and again.
Whatever it is that you are learning, has to enter into here (the Rav pointed at his head). Just to say words and they remain vague ideas that don’t become a part of your being, that’s not how you learn Hashem’s words. You have to review and review untill you’ve acquired it. And that is going to lead you to success. I guarantee you, that if you learn properly, if you follow these directions, you will be a success.
TAPE # 613