Haverim Who are Passionate about Study

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.”

Haverim at Yeshiva Bircas HaTorah

(The link above has been updated and works as of 7/18/12)


7 Responses to “Haverim Who are Passionate about Study”

  1. 1
    darrin|August 3, 2009

    I love the comment at the end- it is a blessing to take on the yoke of Torah! It’s all in your perception and perspective. Awesome!

  2. 2
    Miss Jocelyn|August 4, 2009

    That last part you said “it is a joy and a privilege to study and obey God’s torah, what we call “law.”” is what got me in the book. We see it has bondage, instead of a blessing. Even if it was bondage, does He not tell us that blessed are those who have trials and are persecuted??

  3. 3
    Katherine Russell|August 4, 2009

    I loved the comment that when studying the Torah, we actually get to see what God is thinking. Also, I loved that this man saw the study of Torah not as a burden but as a blessing!
    The hand on the shoulder of the one he was studying with spoke to my heart of the fellowship of the Word of God.

  4. 4
    Tim Grandstaff|August 4, 2009

    Dear Lois

    Thank you so much for this video. I have 4 friends who we meet with me every week on Monday at 9:00 thru video conference. They are helping me start a church in Orlando, FL and have not yet moved here with me.

    We are going thru your book chapter by chapter and filing our notes on a shared online account. We are learning so much and it is spurring each of us to a better understanding of Jesus, the text, and how we are to live in the world God has placed us in. Chapter 5 has by far been my favorite, one in which I had to stop and read several times. This video is significant in putting a visual picture to that chapter. Thank you for your heart, study, and service to share these insights with us.

  5. 5
    Jacque Dixon|October 27, 2009

    This is so wonderful! It IS about HIM. Torah is about learning who he is. One thing I have loved, in reading Rabbi Jesus and discovering Torah and Scripture in this context, is that this is not about me-us. The Torah truly is about learning more about Yehovah. It really is a peek into who HE is, not about setting up a bunch of laws and binding rules for us.
    I have also noticed that the Jewish people who study Torah are a joyful people in it. They are not downtrodden and burdened and sorrowful that they have been put into this place of Torah “Law”.
    It is astonishing what we assume without verification based on doctrine. And, IMO, to our shame.

    Thank you for sharing this. Really loved it

  6. 6
    Stephanie Bateman|October 27, 2009

    I love in the video where one of the gentlemen talks about how he is a willing servant. It is an exciting thing to see others so joyful over G-d’s words!
    Great video, thank you for sharing.

  7. 7
    sandra lackey|October 28, 2009

    Oh Let the glory of Adonai endure forever!!! I,too want to thank you for sharing this!

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