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What is a Yeshiva?

by Rabbi Zalman Abraham

  

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Yeshiva (pl. Yeshivot) is an academy for the study of Torah, normally for higher level Judaic study. It is also referred to as a Beit Midrash (House of study).

There are references to Yeshivot in biblical times such as that of Shem and Ever.1 The more formal structure of the Yeshiva setting took place over 2000 years ago in Babylonia and Israel, where the sages of the Yeshivot of Sura and Pumpedita (and others) convened to discuss Talmudic matters. The Mishnah and Talmud are a collection of these discussions. (See What are the Mishnah and Talmud?)

Although, most Yeshivot primarily focus is on Talmudic and Rabbinic studies, today, there are Yeshivot that teach almost any subject within Judaism. There are Yeshivot for all ages and levels of comprehension. If you are looking for a Yeshiva that will best suite your needs contact your local Chabad rabbi.

Footnotes

  • 1. Bereshit Rabba 63:6.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Education
Torah » Mishnah and Talmud

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Yeshiva
(Pl.: Yeshivot) Religious school which teaches Jewish studies. Most Yeshivot offer secular studies too.
Mishnah
First written rendition of the Oral Law which G-d spoke to Moses. Rabbi Judah the Prince compiled the Mishna in the 2nd century lest the Oral law be forgotten due to the hardships of the Jewish exiles.