Leaving kollel usually brings about devastation to one’s learning. While in kollel, the day revolves around the sedorim, the chavrusah, going to kollel and keeping up with the oilam. But once you leave kollel, there is no longer that focus to keep you anchored to the gemara. It is too easy to get trapped by the demands of the work world and “forget” about sitting down and learning.
To counter this problem, it became the style for baalei batim to learn Daf Yomi. The reasoning is that if you have to learn a blatt every day just to keep up, that would keep one on track with his learning and he would be careful not to miss.
However, making daf yomi your exclusive learning is not a good idea. First of all, it’s much too fast to get any good comprehension of the gemara in the short time allotted to learning the daf. It doesn’t even go in at all, never mind that it doesn’t stay in. But even more troublesome is that it is so easy to fall behind, and once that happens, most people just give it up.
There are better ways. Here is what Rav Meir Stern, Rosh Yeshiva of Passaic suggested to a talmid of his who was entering the workforce. He instructed him to pay a kollel yungerman to be his chavrusa. That way, he’d be sure to show up (since he’s paying him) and they’d have a good seder together.
If you can’t afford to pay a chavrusa, you have to find a serious kollel where there is a ruach of learning that you can join. It’s very hard to do it on your own, but if there is a good ruach of learning you will find that learning is actually quite enjoyable.
You can succeed in your learning after kollel if you are determined. Don’t fall for daf yomi, that is the easy way out. It is also most likely to result in total failure. Establish for yourself clear goals and stick to them. By making a serious seder, your entire day becomes transformed, and you will feel very good about yourself.
(Editor’s note: There is a very good alternative to Daf Yomi for those who wish to finish shas. Sender Dolgin of Lakewood, himself a baal habayis, discovered a breakthrough way to learn vast quantities with a systematic method of learning and reviewing numerous times. You can break up the daily amount learned each day into whatever suits you best. He himself finishes Shas once a year using his system. It is called “Chaburas Shas” and you can call 732-364-6282 for more information and a free chart, or you can visit him in Beis Medrash Kol Shimshon on Squankum Rd. during most hours of the day.)Tweet