Passing Phrase -

(Lilmod) Be'al Peh

Literally: (To Study) with (your) mouth
Idiomatically: By heart

Many of us are familiar with the idea that the Torah is divided into two parts: The written law ("Torah shebichtav") and the oral law ("Torah shebe'al peh"). This concept can be found in the Sifra Bechukotai (2:8), a halakhic midrash on the book of Leviticus also known as "Torat Hakohanim" written during the Talmudic era. Many people think that the first word of our phrase is pronounced "ba'al" as in master i.e. the "Ba'al Shem Tov." But in reality, the word should be read as "be'al peh" which would translate as with the mouth or orally (Talmud Gitin 60b). And who doesn’t remember this directive from 3rd or 4th grade:

אתם חייבים ללמוד בעל פה את לוח הכפל .

"Atem chayavim lilmod be'al peh et luach hakefel."

You need to learn the multiplication table by heart.

I still have trouble with the sevens…

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