Artificial Intelligence – Part 2 | Rabbi Dovid Abenson

Rav Aharon Leib Steinman zt”l also noted a few years before he was niftar, that bochurim entering Yeshiva Gedola from Yeshiva Ketana do not know how to learn. If this happens in Eretz Yisroel when they are supposed to know the language efficiently, even more so should we not be concerned in chutz l’aretz?

When a talmid comes to a yeshiva to be tested, whether it is to enter the yeshiva or go up to the next shiur, talmidim are usually asked to say over the Gemara, inside and outside, perhaps with mefarshim. Unfortunately, this is not a helpful test for yeshiva readiness. All this information can be memorized. I know of numerous talmidim who have been accepted into yeshiva after a farher, even though their basic skills are lacking. A better test would be to ask the talmid to read and translate some unfamiliar pesukim given by the Rav who is testing him, read the Rashi, and try to explain what question is bothering Rashi and how his explanation elucidates the posuk.

As I have said numerous times, many talmidim struggle with basic skills. The accepted wisdom – that if you stay long enough in learning you will just pick up the skills – only works for a minority of talmidim and the rest continue faking it.

But the problem goes much deeper than just the problem of “artificial learning”. As a result of the emptiness of living a Torah life without being able to connect to the Torah, kids may lose interest in their studies and may look elsewhere to fill the void.

Rather than take responsibility for poor education, rebbeim will blame the internet or ADHD for students’ poor performance. Banning technology or medicating students is simply a band-aid solution. The real solution is to teach the missing skills. When a talmid is learning well, he will feel satisfied with his learning achievements. The need to look elsewhere for stimulation will lessen. He will feel motivated and not rely on medications to help him “focus” during the mind-numbing boredom of sitting through a shiur that makes no sense to him.

I can explain a method that I have personally used successfully with thousands of students. It is a method that allows me to accurately pinpoint which specific learning issue or missing skill holds them back from learning well and then remedy the situation to get them back on track and learning with geshmak!

I can give practical techniques and tools to help anyone, at any level, upgrade their learning with a step-by-step guide to tackling a page of Chumash, Mishna, or Gemara.

I can give you more stories to inspire you and give chizuk to you or anyone in your life who feels learning is just not for them. I can show you how to transform yourself from acting like an “artificial Torah learning bot” to being a neshama connecting with Hashem through His beautiful Torah.

But I cannot do it here in this article. It would take many pages to give a comprehensive explanation of how to remedy the problem. A whole book in fact! The good news is that I have already written the book. It is called “I Can’t Learn” (Feldheim). Now all you have to do is buy it and read it and let me know what you think.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Just received this email

Dear Rabbi Abenson

I am emailing you regarding my talmid who I referred to you a month ago. You assessed him and diagnosed him with a lack of confidence.

I just want to let you know that he has gained tremendous confidence. Thanks to your time with him, he’s doing much better in Reading cause he believes in himself now, and I cannot under-emphasise the fact that he spent time with you is what was the catalyst to his self-belief.

Thank you! You’ve changed this kid’s life with one session!

אשרי חלקך

Warmest regards,



“I Can’t Learn” is available for purchase at all Jewish bookstores or online at

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Rabbi Abenson is the founder and director of ShaarHatalmud, a unique yeshivah-based online program, which incorporates learning all Kodesh subjects, from Kriah up to learning Gemara, Rishonim, and Shulchan Aruch. He also conducts evaluations, remediation, and training, and consults with school principals to improve students’ underdeveloped skills.

“Unlocking the Legacy: Insights from My Journey with my Rebbe, HaRav Mattisyahu Chaim Salomon זצ״ל ” – Soon to be published.

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