The Gemara Card
Many people who study Talmud are familiar with Rabbi Yitzhak Frank’s books Grammar for Gemara & Targum Onkelos: An Introduction To Aramaic and The Practical Talmud Dictionary. In addition to these books of Rabbi Frank we now have The Gemara Card, a laminated large-format pamphlet that includes some highlights from Rabbi Frank’s books: translations of important Talmudic terminology, explanations of acronyms, Aramaic verbal conjugation tables, etc. Samples of the Gemara Card’s pages can be viewed here.
The Gemara Card was developed by Dave Sachs in cooperation with Rabbi Frank. Many of my students have found that the Gemara Card has helped them in their study of Gemara. The Jewish Link of NJ has an article that describes the genesis of the Gemara Card.
Sach’s religious momentum took him afterward to Israel, where he joined a post-graduate Torah-learning program in Yeshivat Hamivtar. His background immediately caused him some difficulties in studying Gemara, as Talmudic Aramaic was not one of the subjects that was stressed in his Hebrew-school education. He would sit hours on end in the Beit Midrash, with a Gemara open on one side and a dictionary on the other, eventually deciding to start writing a “cheat sheet” of the most common terms. As this reference sheet, and his Gemara skills, continued to grow, many of Dave’s friends asked for copies as well, and he realized that this project, started as a crutch to compensate for missing Aramaic language skills, could be a useful aid to even the most practiced Gemara learner. Looking back on his years in Maryland, where most of the analysis-oriented engineering classes encouraged condensing reference information into one sheet to bring to an exam, Sachs realized that this same principle could be applied to the equally analytic study of Talmud; and, thus, the creation of the professional Gemara “cheat sheet” began.
I highly recommend this for anyone who studies Gemara. Gemar Hatimah Tovah.