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Learning Program, Ben Niddah

Baruch HaShem for many years I was zoche to learn in yeshiva, and baruch HaShem I have began to work. However, I am often very sad not to be a real talmid chacham. I am wondering, when one is working and his available time for learning is significantly less, what should one focus his learn on to become an accomplished talmid chacham? Should it be mishnah with mefarshim along with Tur Beis Yosef, Rambam, Gemara? Can the Rav shlita provide a recommended learning regimen?

Also, I am very concerned being a ben niddah and often feel inhibited in avodas HaShem because of what the Zohar HaKadosh rights in parshas Shemos. How can one purify and sanctify himself from being a ben niddah and other forms of tunah, in addition to learning Torah? Does the Rav recommend fasting?

There is no one program that suits everyone for limud Torah. You should certainly have a seder learning Gemara and learning Halacha. The halacha should be Shulchan Aruch or other form of Halacha Lmaaseh [Mishna Brura, Aruch Hashulchan etc.] Whether the two should be connected [halacha on the Gemara you are learning] would depend on various factors. Could you get a chavrusa interested in this, could you find a good shiur to attend etc.. Another important guide should be what interests you, and what you enjoy them most.

Learning Rambam and Tur usually has less gain when not being done in the context of learning the relevant sugya biyun from the source in the gemara. Unless it is a form of review of something you already learnt.

Your main nisayon of being a ben niddah is not to worry or feel bad or concerned about it. Rav Moshe Feinstein writes in Igros Moshe [see Y:D 4:17:19, E:H 4:14, 4:23:3] that ben niddah is in fact not a najor concern, and rules that one who had good middos may assume they are not a ben niddah and that their mother was in a state of purity when he was conceived. The Steipler Gaon [kiddushin, end of sefer] also writes for various reasons that one should not be concerned with being a ben niddah. Both of these great Gedolim understood the Zohar and it’s implications and still ruled as they did.

There is no greater purification than learning Torah. One who wishes to do something in the realm of kedusha should accept some form of being careful in Shemiras Einayim, refrain from some indulgences he is used to [something small] or the like. Fasting is not recommended as this usually detractd from a person’s Avodas Hashem. One who wishes to fast for a specific sin should do so with the guidance of a Rav/Rebbe who knows him well.

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