The Theory

Science has taught us that memory is composed of two parts: 1) short term memory 2) long term memory. Short term memory lasts for a number of days or at most a few weeks.

Every bit of information is first "deposited" into short-term memory. It may become long-term memory but only if the impression made in our mind is strong enough. Though there are many different ways to create this impression, one very basic strategy is continual review.
The theory here is simple: The review does not cause a person to remember his learning, it just does not give him a chance to forget it.

Gedolim over the ages have extolled the virtues of chazorah -- often referring to it as the very essence of Torah learning. Chazal say, "Eino domeh shoneh pirko mei'ah pe'omim leshoneh pirko mei'ah ve'echod" -- one cannot compare the study of the one hundredth review to the study of the one hundredth-and-first review (Chagigah 9b), meaning that with each review one develops a more comprehensive understanding of the previously studied material.

However, Chazal also anticipated a common problem. The gemora says, "Migmar be'atika kashe mei'chadeto," the review of old [learning] is more difficult than new [learning] (Yoma 29a). The excitement of tackling something new often entices a person to commence studying. However, reviewing what was studied yesterday just doesn't seem to excite us all that much. In fact we sometimes have the feeling that it's boring (chas vesholom).

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. When we finish learning a blatt and turn the page, how well do we really know it? Will we remember it tomorrow? Next week? Next year? The only thing that can help to guarantee that the average person will retain what he has learned -- is chazorah. By maintaining a regular schedule of review, one has created a mechanism that allows for a deeper understanding of everything that was previously learned. Yesterday's learning has merely set the foundation for today's learning. We keep building to ultimately end up with a deep understanding of the sugya.

Many times the gemora will discuss a particular topic in one place, only to continue the topic many blatt later -- and then again in several other places in Shas. Without chazorah, how is one able to remember what the gemora said 10 blatt ago -- let alone in a different masechta?

Of course, chazorah cannot consume all of one's allotted learning time and new material must be learned on a daily basis. However, by reserving part of our time for chazorah we thereby follow a system that will allow us to gain this great and important gift of long-term memory.

The basis of the theory is built upon constantly amassing new material -- while maintaining a regular periodical review of the old.
Each day brings a new amud or blatt, along with regular chazorah. After a gemora is studied initially, a day must not go by before reviewing the gemora a second time. The third time is after a week. The fourth after a month. The fifth chazorah is done after three months and then, the gemora must be reviewed once a year (on the date that you saw it originally).

When a gemora is chazerred six times over the course of the first year -- how can one forget what he has learned? Of course, one must be disciplined to maintain this schedule, but it is well worth the effort.

Many people using this program have testified that each chazorah actually deepens their original understanding of the gemora, culminating in a comprehensive knowledge of the entire masechta. The joy and simchas haTorah that this brings is something that cannot be described -- it must be experienced.