Along with my Gemara study, does the Yeshiva foster growth in other areas of Torah? While the intense study of Gemara is the central focus of the learning in Yeshivat Har Etzion, other areas of Torah knowledge such as Tanach, Machshevet Yisrael, and Halakha LeMaaseh are integral as well. Revava: The Riva Koschitzky zl Torah Enrichment Program hosts daily shiurim or chugim given to strengthen areas of learning and spiritual development crucial to the development of a Ben Torah.
From there are two learning tracts: Tanach and Halacha. The Tanach tract is a program run by Rabbi Menachem Leibtag of guided study and tiyulim. Rabbi Leibtag provides an analytical approach which focuses on teaching students how to study Tanach, and what better way to study Tanach then by literally following in the footsteps of the Avot. The English language Halacha track is under the direction of Rav Doniel Schreiber and provides a structure for the advancement of this central area of Talmud Torah fundamental to a life as a complete, Halachik Jew.
The Revava Program continues from — with Machshevet Yisrael. What requirements and obligations do talmidim have? Talmidim are expected to fulfill their obligations relating to their davening and learning both in shiur and in seder. On a personal level, they are to conduct themselves in accordance with the standards of a Ben Torah. The educational philosophy of Yeshivat Har Etzion is that, insofar as reasonably possible, each bochur should be honored and trusted to work to the utmost of his capacity. In order that a talmid remain a dedicated Ben Torah after leaving the Beit Midrash, he must come to Ahavat Torah and Avodat Hashem through self-motivation and personal responsibility.
How much contact will I have with the Roshei Yeshiva?
A year at Yeshivat Har Etzion, above all, offers students the opportunity to be inspired by these prestigious personalities. All are eminent Talmidei Chachamim and dynamic educators. They are entrenched in the Beit Midrash, yet sensitively and perceptively attuned to the concerns of the broader Jewish community. Whether through a lively question-and-answer session, a sicha, or a spirited tisch, the Roshei HaYeshiva meet with all the bachurim on a regular basis. They are present in the Beit Midrash every day to answer questions in Torah study, or discuss any issue. Talmidim at the Yeshiva consider it a great privilege to have these gedolim so readily accessible to them.
What other sources of guidance will be available to me? The Rebbeim and Mashgichim help each talmid maximize their unique talents, assist them in arranging chevrutot, and are available for guidance on any issue. Madrichim provide a further source of direction: a high level of motivation and a serious commitment to Talmud Torah.
There are talmidim who stay for a second or third year, talmidim who return during or after college, and talmidim who study in the kollel for several years. Many alumni also return to learn in the Yeshiva for shorter time periods, whether during Zman Elul, winter break or summer vacation. They, too, are an invaluable asset for their younger peers.
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Married alumni who return to learn in the kollel often provide a "home away from home" for the younger students. This helps each student feel comfortable in what is likely his first encounter with extended learning away from home. What is Shabbat like? The sichot after Kabbalat Shabbat highlight elements in the parsha or attitudes on a current compelling issue.
After dinner, talmidim attend tischim in the homes of a Ram or learn in the Beit Midrash. Kiddush on Shabbat morning is followed by a shiur in Parshat HaShavua and during the day, the Rosh Yeshiva or one of the Ramim will deliver a shiur on a halakhic topic.
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The culmination of Shabbat at the Yeshiva, Seudah Shelishit, features a second sicha on the parsha. Talmidim are often invited to the homes of rebbeim, kollel families, or to families in Alon Shevut for a Shabbat meal. The Yeshiva and Alon Shevut communities join to learn together, to run joint chessed projects and to share events. Will I learn with Israeli students? This means that overseas talmidim learn in a Beit Midrash where the predominant language is Hebrew, and also have the opportunity to learn with Israeli chavrutot.
Overseas talmidim live in a dormitory with Israeli talmidim, and when overseas talmidim reach an appropriate level, they are placed in Israeli shiurim. Will I see the country while in Yeshiva? There are numerous tiyulim including afternoon tiyulim every few weeks and Shabbatonim over the course of the year. Talmidim will find their shiurim in Tanach echoing in the hills as they walk in the footsteps of the Avot and stand in the battlefield where David slew Goliath.
What better way to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut then a tiyul for the entire Yeshiva! The Yeshiva honors Yom Yerushalayim by davening at the Kotel and walking through its holy alleyways! Do talmidim volunteer while they are in Yeshiva? However, it is also a preparation for what lies beyond — a life of service to Klal Yisrael, in either professional or lay capacity. The Yeshiva is committed not only to molding individuals, but to developing communal leadership by stimulating both the ability and desire to serve.
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Yeshivat Har Etzion is proud to be the home of Yeshivat Darkaynu. Yeshivat Darkaynu is a new and innovative program developed for religious young men with special needs who want to continue their learning, develop vocational skills, build independence, improve self-esteem and expand their love of Israel and the Jewish people. Though Yeshivat Darkaynu is a unique, "side streaming" program, chavruta learning is an integral part of study and students are paired with talmidim from Yeshivat Har Etzion for joint study.
The Yeshiva offers a wide range of chessed opportunities so that each talmid can choose a project that resonates with him. Talmidim also work with the needy, the elderly, families of victims of terror and new olim. The Yeshiva has a long-standing relationship with Beit Blumenthal a foster home for children in Geula, and overseas talmidim organize annual Chanuka and Purim mesibot for the children who are housed there. Suddenly, the baby woke and began to cry.
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The Tzemach Tzedek continued studying. He picked up the baby and comforted it. In every generation, a baby cries: some obvious, some hidden. It is our job, in Yeshiva, to hear even the hidden cries of our generation. What is the typical Seder HaYom? What is the Yeshiva's approach to learning? The primary goal of Gemara learning in Yeshivat Har Etzion is to refine talmidim's Gemara learning skills while instilling a passion for talmud Torah.
To truly love Torah, a talmid must be equipped with the tools and skills to master its learning. The Yeshiva stresses that talmud Torah is a vital and indispensable instrument for a relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu. The study of Gemara in the Gush Beit Midrash trains talmidim to analyze, explore and evaluate differing opinions in the hope that they will grow to be discerning individuals, sophisticated thinkers and great leaders. Yeshivat Har Etzion has a staff of over 25 rabbeim who serve as teachers and mentors. Through their shiurim, a talmid has the opportunity to explore Gemara conceptually in the structured manner known as the Brisker derech.
What are the shiurim like? What if I am not fluent in Hebrew? An hour and a half shiur yomi is given during morning seder. A talmid will spend an intense three to four hours a day preparing for this shiur bechavruta delving through parallel sugyot and the rishonim on the daf.
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Almost all of the shiurim are given in Hebrew. The ramim are more than happy to clarify points after shiur, and there are also English speakers in the Beit Midrash willing to help with translation. All students attend shiur klali, the weekly shuir given to the entire Yeshiva by the Roshei HaYeshiva. This shiur deals with a major topic in the massechet being studied. Review shiurim of shiur klali are given in both Hebrew and in English.
The Yeshiva offers Ulpan classes for talmidim who wish to refine their Hebrew skills. How are talmidim placed in a shiur? In Elul, talmidim are placed in a shiur for overseas students. These shiurim offer a supportive environment that fosters progress over the course of the year and encourage the unfolding of a Torah personality crucial to the Yeshiva experience.