Welcome to Gemara Markings System


Watch a video of testimonials.

Listen to an interview on Israel National Radio.

I have had the pleasure of working with Rav Yehonasan Berger in the years I spent with Yeshivas Aish HaTorah and witnessed the success of his marking system in opening Shas to many who were about to give up on Gemara study altogether. I see it as an effective means of attaining clarity in the structure of the daf in relatively little time, and would suggest it for those seeking independence in preparing the daf and retaining the basic shakla v'taria. Magidei shiur should certainly give it serious consideration as a valuable aid to their tzibbur. (view PDF)

- Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovitz, Dean of the Jerusalem Kollel and Linas Tzedek, and rav of Congregation Minyan Avreichim in Jerusalem

I have seen the diligent in his holy work, Rav Yehonasan Berger who serves the public with disemination of Torah... with a special system to teach the Gemara. This system is especially suited for youth who began learning at a later age, and through this they merit to a clear and complete understanding of the Gemara. Excceptional Torah students have testified that it empowered them and they succeeded in their learning only through this system. I analyzed the various markings which are the foundation of this system, and it reflects age-old wisdom that will appeal to all thinking individuals. I offer my blessings and encouragment... (view PDF)

- Rabbi Asher Weiss, dean of Machon Minchas Osher LíTorah VíHoraah in Jerusalem, and author of the Minchas Osher

We have students learning with the Gemara Marking System, and I can testify that every one of these kids is growing. Students who were never motivated in learning before, are now excited to be learning. In chinuch today, enthusiasm is the most important thing. If students find learning enjoyable, it will carry them through for a lifetime. The Gemara Marking System gives students a sense that they can take it all the way and finish Shas.

- Rabbi Tzvi Teichman, principal of Talmudical Academy of Baltimore

I attended shiurim given by great talmidei chachamim, where the standard approach was to prepare marei mikomos throughout Shas. I found this frustrating because I was seeing just a few isolated lines of a Gemara, not knowing the overall context, or even where the sugya begins and ends. I realized that to develop good svaras, fluent pshat has to come first. I started using the markings and was able to attain a foundation in Shas.

Over the past 20 years, I've used the markings to teach thousands of daf Gemara. I am able to teach many shiurim a day because I can refer to my marked Gemaras and give over a shiur with minimal preparation. My memory is below average, but with marked gemaras, I feel like I'm holding in all of Shas.

- Rav Yonasan Hakohen, maggid shiur, Jerusalem

I teach the Gemara Marking System to American high school students, and I am always thrilled at the feedback I get from parents. It's very difficult for a parent to see their son not learning effectively, without a sense of accomplishment ― and what that may lead to in terms of "risk." But after just a few weeks of learning with the Marking System, I've seen boys come home and spend Shabbos afternoon chazering 5, 6 or 7 daf. Or they go to shul to learn b'chevrusa because they enjoy it so much. It's a real breakthrough. And many parents tell me they'd never before seen their son open a Gemara in his free time!

- Shmuel Horowitz, maggid shiur, Talmudical Academy of Baltimore

I began learning Gemara as an adult, and for many years it was very frustrating. Then the marking system opened the door to the Shas. I made a siyum and now I teach using this method. One student was ready to leave yeshiva altogether, but when I showed him the marking system, he completely turned around and now loves learning Gemara!

- R' Yossi Tal, maggid shiur, Jerusalem

I knew how to learn Gemara before being exposed to the marking system, but now my level of understanding is much better. The daf is more concrete. I can put my finger on what the Gemara is doing at every step. And beyond this my level of retention has improved dramatically.

I've used this system in my teaching for six years, and I find that it enhances every aspect of the shiur. The students are more involved, more alert, and come away with a greater sense of satisfaction.

- R' Dov Bauman, businessman and maggid shiur, New York

The marking system is great for chazara. Pshat in Gemara/Rashi is always there, clearly laid out. And that allows me to use my charaza time to go deeper and see something new in the Rishonim.

I apply the marking system to all my learning. I add lines and geometric shapes to Mishnayos and even to Chumash. This especially helps in my teaching, where I can focus on key details while keeping track of the big picture.

- R' Michoel Waldman, maggid shiur, Jerusalem

I teach American yeshiva boys who spend their post-high school year in Israel. My goal is to give the boys a real love of learning. The markings are a key, because the talmidim gain much greater clarity in the Gemara. That makes their learning a lot more enjoyable, and they are motivated to spend more time with the Gemara. To me, that's success, and the markings play a big part in that.

- R' Leib Yaeger, maggid shiur, Jerusalem

I began learning Daf Yomi with few skills, small vocabulary and little background. But the marking system allowed me to keep track of the flow of the Gemara, the disputants, and arguments, and especially frequently recurring structure.

By filling in written comments, I was able to mark off passages which were difficult, and identify questions for further study. Most important, the marking system gave me license to include some of my own ideas in the margin, and have them available for later examination.

As my learning progressed, my vocabulary improved, and my questions got better. But most of my progress was due to always being able to stay on the page with the maggid shiur, and to be able to find my place so I could do effective chazara.

Now I teach Gemara, and learn independently in shiurim of all levels. I shudder to think of the backwards level that I would be at if it weren't for this indispensable marking system!

- Randy Lazarus

When I first started learning Gemara, pshat was elusive and vague. I tried out a number of different shiurim, and the result was always the same. Then a friend invited me to a shiur where the rav explained the Gemara with the marking system. Things clicked instantly. I finally had clarity in a sugya! I have now gone through the Shas using the marking system, and can't imagine being without it.

- R' Shraga Simmons, editor of Aish.com

The marking system gave me the capability and confidence to teach hundreds of daf Gemara. In my own learning, the system has given a big boost to my chazaras. I chazar between 2-4 daf each day, and with the markings my chazaras are much more effective and with deeper understanding.

- R' Tzadok Cable, maggid shiur, Jerusalem

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