Dealing with Problems



Throughout the world, many hundreds of bochurim are leaving school or Yeshiva Ketana to continue on to Yeshiva Gedola. The nachas we get from that should not stop us from wondering how we can help even more people achieve their dream of becoming true talmidei chachamim.

There are many ways to introduce the study of Gemora, depending upon, for example, the character and background of the rebbi and the talmid. However, sometimes the talmid does not achieve the success that others do achieve. It is then necessary to try to analyze the situation and try to find ways to help the talmid.

The purpose of this fifth book in the "BREAKTHROUGH" Series is to help the mechanech home-in to possible problems which might contribute to a talmid's lack of success. All the problems listed are real problems which have actually been encountered in intelligent and often highly-gifted talmidim who have not been enjoying the success in their studies which they should have been achieving.

Often, simply directing the attention of the student to the problem and guiding and supporting him has sufficed to enable the talmid to deal with it and to progress on to new, heightened levels of proficiency. Sometimes, it has been necessary to develop new techniques to help the student deal with the situation - though I must point out that invariably when a "new" technique has been developed it is only a matter of time until someone finds a clear reference to the technique in CHAZAL.

Indeed, many, if not all, of the successful new "leading-edge" educational techniques developed by the secular world in the past few decades were familiar to CHAZAL. Unfortunately, in our wanderings through Golus, some of us have been tending to forget the sensitive, personalized attitude of CHAZAL and have been replacing it with attitudes absorbed from our surroundings.

The truth is that no other educational body has been so preoccupied with imparting the highest-level of education to the widest range of the populace as our own CHAZAL. Our classic literature contains the the collected wisdom of the greatest geniuses that the world has ever seen whose highest priority in life was to impart as much as possible of their own wisdom to as many talmidim as possible.

The educator should meet the challenge of a "learning disability" with at least the same spirit as a difficult Tosefus. He should enter into the "havei amina" of the talmid. He should not belittle his own ability to analyze, develop a "sevora" to explain the behaviour of the talmid and propose a remedial course of action.

Of course, the mechanech will sometimes need to consult with experts in Special Education, Therapy and other fields of specialist knowledge, but his first reactions should be for sensitivity, understanding and analysis.


Meir Wikler, D.S.W., B.C.D.
Individual, Marital and Family Therapy
4713 17th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11204
Tel. (718) 438-6529

It is indeed an honor to be able to write a letter on behalf of Rabbi Zvi Zobin's latest addition to his immensely popular "Breakthrough" series, Breakthrough to Looking for Problems.

Rabbi Zobin is a world-renowned educator, author and mechanaich who has specialized in educational remediation for learning gemora. For over twenty-five years he has been engaged in direct instruction, remediation and guidance as well as being consulted by other mechanchim from around the globe. Hundreds of students have grown immeasurably fro his personal attention and perhaps thousands from the skills their mentors have gained by reading Rabbi Zobin's "Breakthrough" series.

In Breakthrough to Looking for Problems, Rabbi Zobin carefully and thoroughly analyzes all possible learning problems a student of gemora may encounter. With each, he includes clear examples from his vast experience as well as step-by-step solutions to enable the student to overcome these problems. Work sheets, graphs and samples are all provided to walk the pupil through the remediation process.

This book will prove to be a valuable addition to the resource library of both the experienced mechanaich as well as the beginner. It will also prove helpful to any parent who wishes to take a serious look at any learning problems of his child.\

As learning problems can destroy an individual's self-esteem, they can also create tension and conflict in any home between parents and children as well as between parent an parent. When this happens, R"L, shalom bayis can be irreparably shattered. For these reasons, I am delighted that Rabbi Zobin's talent and insights will be available to the public.

Meir Wikler, DSW, BCD