Some gems from the transcripts of R’ Avraham Shapira shlit”a’s shiurim on the Merkaz haRav website:
When asked if interrupting a woman's study of Torah is an issur of bittul Torah, R’ Shapira did not see why it should not be – a woman’s Torah study is no less significant than that of a man.
In response to a question of how to balance the study of gemara with that of hashkafa, R' Shapira retorted that “ain etzleinu hashkafa – yesh emunah” – we do not study hashkafa [outlook], we study emunah [belief]. Citing R’ Kook, he explained that emunah can be studied, developed, and reflected upon – it is not just simple faith that you inherit from your grandparents.
This story was offered in response to advice on choosing a yeshiva: In Volozhin, even though the Roshei Yeshiva were the gedolei hador, the Netzi”v and R’ Chaim, there were students of true geniuses who chose to spend the day in independent study rather than attend any lecture. One of these brilliant students was R’ Shimon Shkop, who went on to become a great Rosh Yeshiva in his own right. On one occasion, as the Netziv emerged from his room, R’ Shimon asked him about a Rashbam in Baba Basra which he could not understand. The Netziv replied that he too many times had struggled with this same Rashbam and had already twice gone to the grave of R’ Chaim Volozhiner to daven for Hashem’s help in understanding it, but he too was still stuck R’ Shimon said: the next day I chose to enter the Netziv’s shiur.
The moral of the story is that a teacher is not someone who has answers, but someone who is engaged in the struggle with questions. When I told the story to my wife Ariella she noted that people daven for refuah, for parnasa, for shidduchim, but how rare is the Netziv’s type of tefilah, a prayer for Hashem’s help in understanding Torah. That is true gadlus.