Bircas HaTorah


Bircas HaTorah

Yeshivas Bircas HaTorah is an orthodox yeshiva for Talmud professionals located in the Jewish Quarter of the [Old City (Jerusalem)|Old City] of Jerusalem. Founded by Rabbi Shimon Green in 1989.

History

The yeshiva was founded in 1989 with two goals: To make high-level talmudic skills more widely accessible, and to allow students of all ages to study in an intensive yeshiva atmosphere.

The yeshiva started in the remnant of the original Eitz Chaim Yeshiva, located in front of the Old City's Hurva Synagogue, with no more than a quorum of men. The yeshiva originally attracted mainly mature professionals who did not have a strong talmudic background, and who wished to benefit from the yeshiva’s methodology.

Since then, the Yeshiva’s student body grew greatly, and many more young and pre-trained Talmudists come to the yeshiva to benefit from its unique methodology.

In 2000 the Yeshiva moved to a new building on Or Hachayim street on the way to the Cardo.

Methodology of Talmudic Analysis

The Yeshiva is well known for its use of logical and rhetorical methodology developed by Rabbi Green that makes precision-Talmudic learning accessible to anyone who follows it diligently.

The methodology of Talmudic analysis used by the yeshiva is based on a combination of the teachings found in the works “The Ways of the Gemara” by medieval Spanish scholar Rabbi Yitzchak Kanfanton, and "The Way of Understanding" and “The Book of Logic” by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto.

Rabbi Green was introduced to the idea of methodology by Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein of Jerusalem, who was in turn introduced to the idea by Rabbi Davis of New York. Rabbi Goldstein felt that there was an urgent need for a systematic approach to the teaching of Talmud, and he urged Rabbi Green to invest great effort into its development.

The Yeshiva Today

Today, well-established in its new building, Bircas HaTorah is a Talmudic center with students of all ages and backgrounds.

The programs are rigorous, with exams mandatory at all levels, and it is certainly not a place for people who do not want to work hard. Nevertheless, students agree that it a very warm place where kindness and mutual help and support abound.

A very interesting thing takes place each Wednesday: Instead of learning with their usual partner, each student spends the day preparing a section of Talmud with a partner from a different group, sometimes someone more advanced than them and sometimes someone less advanced. By 5:30, the beis midrash is at a fever pitch, and Rabbi Green presents a lesson to the entire yeshiva. The total focus and mutual involvement create a super-charged atmosphere where intellectual and spiritual heights meet.

Many of the yeshiva's students have become teachers and rabbis. Some have become part of the Bircas HaTorah staff, while others haver taken positions in other communities.

Although, the yeshiva does not have a school for women, it runs intensive one-week seminars for women every two months.

References / Press

* [http://www.bircas.org/_assets/pdf/bircasmish.pdf Learning How to Learn at Yeshivas Bircas HaTorah] - From: Mishpacha Magazine - Date: December 1, 2004 - Author: Batya Channah Shevach
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=TgWx1fR_kd8C&pg=PA115&dq=Bircas+Hatorah&ei=_DqdR6DrDpT8iwGe8JSvCg&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=cWD9uz2iJHHhHT5-HWV0vY34tyE#PPA6,M1 Get the Ring: How to Find and Keep the Right One for Life] By Rosie Einhorn, Shimon Green, Dov Heller, Tziporah Heller, Lawrence Kelemen, Mordecai Rottman, Sherry Zimmerman
* [http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=137489 JAFAH Torah Study Scholarship at Yeshivas Bircas HaTorah--Jerusalem]
* [http://jewishuniverse.israelnationalnews.com/torah/yeshivas/yeshivas.php Jewish Universe/Torah/Yeshivas]
* [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-52941044.html A global body of learners with its heart in Jerusalem] - From: Jerusalem Post - Date: May 3, 2002 - Author: Simon Rosenzweig
* [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-2767486.html Head, Heart, Soul and Pocket] - From: Jerusalem Post - Date: September 13, 1996 - Author: Yeshara Gold
* [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BG&p_theme=bg&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=1118B290731D4038&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM WEBSITE BRINGS PRAYERS TO JERUSALEM] - Boston Globe - Published on April 15, 2006 - Author(s): Thanassis Cambanis, Globe Staff
* [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-1402504101.html Hillel, Shammai And Burning Candles At Both Ends] - The New York Jewish Week - Date: December 7, 2007 - Author: Gewirtz, Shlomo

External links

[http://www.bircas.org Official site of the yeshiva]


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