In the book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus, we talk about the Jewish tradition of studying the Scriptures and Jewish commentaries as haverim. Pairs or small groups grapple together aloud over a text, earnest in their desire to dig deeper. This tradition is ancient — a rabbinic comment was made before Jesus’ time that you should “get yourself a haver,” a study partner.
Below is a delightful video of haverim studying together in a modern Orthodox Jewish yeshiva, (seminary) in Jerusalem. It shows how they stand face to face with their books in hands and argue back and forth, discussing the text together. Everything is very animated – people are davening (swaying) and waving their hands, and very passionate about everything they do.
They also talk about the name of the yeshiva — Bircas HaTorah which means “the blessing of the Torah.” You hear the Jewish idea that it is a joy and a privilege to study and obey God’s torah, what we call “law.”
(The link above has been updated and works as of 7/18/12)