Yeshiva overview

The Yeshiva: An Overview

Yeshivat Hahesder Yerucham was founded by Shmulik Ben-Shalom and Rabbi Eliyahu Blumenzweig as an institution for in-depth Torah learning and Avodat Hashem that strives to cultivate a student body that learns seriously, and views the Torah as the center of their lives, while remaining actively engaged with their local communities and the State of Israel.

In a primary sense, the yeshiva is focused on in-depth Talmud study.  The intensive learning experience that forms the heart and soul of our Beit Midrash, is rooted in our faith in the profound truth of the Divine Torah and our conviction that an encounter with God begins with profound spirituality. The climax of our Talmud study is Rabbi Eliyahu Blumenzweig's shiur klali, an extensive Talmudic lecture delivered weekly to the entire yeshiva.

Our approach to learning is applied to other areas of Torah too, from Jewish thought and philosophy to the way that we analyze current events.

Our Jewish thought curriculum coincides with Rav Kook's directive to teach various areas of Jewish thought in yeshiva: Aggadah, ethics, Jewish philosophy, and Chasidism. By studying these spiritual aspects of the Torah, we aim to revive an aspect of Torah learning that was often neglected during our long exile. The yeshiva dedicates a lot of time and resources to our extensive, systematic, and in-depth study of Jewish thought.

Beyond aspiring to excel academically, we are also committed to molding our inner spiritual world through prayer, also known as "the service of the heart." Prayer and Avodat Hashem are a primary focus area in the yeshiva during the holidays and other special occasions. We believe that accumulating Torah knowledge is not enough and we must also cultivate our students’ inner worlds and foster an atmosphere of spirituality in the yeshiva.

Recognizing that these years are critical for our students’ personal development, the yeshiva encourages students to be devoted to Klal Yisrael while maintaining an awareness of each student's unique spirit and approach to the Torah. Accordingly, students are offered personal mentoring and meetings to enable them to delve into these aspects of Avodat Hashem.

The older students and Kollel members are of central importance to the yeshiva. From their sixth year in yeshiva, students are integrated into advanced Halakhah and Jewish thought study programs. These programs are a meaningful addition to the curriculum studied during their earlier years at the yeshiva.

A Beit Midrash with Windows to the World

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Since its founding, the yeshiva has aspired toward truth and compassion. Truth leads our way when we work hard to fully understand the multi-faceted texts and Talmudic dilemmas we study, while compassion drives us to make the world a better place by giving to our local environment and larger social circles throughout our lives. We believe that truth and peace can be synthesized and that being engaged in deep dialogue with various aspects of truth yields a form of Torah study and observance that promotes unity and harmony, rather than division and distance. 

Recognizing the deep connection between Hashem, His Torah, and the Jewish People, the yeshiva teaches its students to assume responsibility for Am Yisrael, care about others, and take initiative. We strive to cultivate a form of Torah study and observance that is relevant to the needs of our time and age. This dream makes the yeshiva a hesder yeshiva, an institution that combines military service with Torah learning.

The yeshiva was founded in the town of Yerucham as an outgrowth of our deep belief that Torah must be connected to Am Yisrael, specifically in a time of kibbutz galiyot as the nation returns to its homeland and flourishes here. This is part of implementing what we study. Our students and alumni teach and disseminate Torah throughout the town of Yerucham, and many of them bring the yeshiva's spirit to their homes and communities around the country, some of which were founded as branches of the yeshiva's vision and way of life.

Yeshiva Faculty

The Yeshiva's Torah Study Programs

Jewish Thought

Just like the soul is the nucleus of the body, Jewish thought is essential to Torah study. We invest much thought and resources to the study of Jewish thought and give it a meaningful role in our learning experience. As one scholar eloquently noted: "In Yerucham, one's mind is immersed in Talmud, but one's heart is engrossed in Jewish thought."

We follow the footsteps of Rav Kook, who called for a renaissance in the study of  Jewish thought decades ago. During our long exile, this area of Torah was studied by few and the time has come to delve into it thoroughly by studying the various texts written by the giants of all schools of thought throughout the ages. We hope this study program will lead to the creation of original masterpieces in this area, so desperately needed by our generation. Rav Kook believed that this field of study forms the spiritual element of redemption.

Beyond studying Rav Kook's writings, we aspire to follow his methodology. For this reason, we diligently study the writings of the giants of Jewish thought: the writings of Maimonides and Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, the Ramchal and the Maharal, Chassidism and Mussar, as well as contemporary thinkers.

We study Jewish thought methodically throughout our years in yeshiva, from simpler and basic texts to more advanced and complex writings. The program includes classes, guided study, and independent learning. It exposes students to a rich and deep world of faith and shapes their minds and spirits. The Jewish thought program affects the yeshiva's general ambiance and leaves a deep impact on our alumni’s lives.

Kollel Iyun: Rabbi Ido Haber

The yeshiva's Kollel Iyun was founded in 2018 to advance Torah study in general and in-depth Talmud study among the yeshiva's senior students. Its members, students of shiur vav (year 6) and above, participate in two daily in-depth study sessions. The kollel program is predicated on our understanding that becoming a Talmud scholar requires deep spiritual roots and aptitude in learning. Spiritually, program participants deepen their connection to the Beit Midrash in which they study and grow, which impacts the nature of their learning and enables them to continue growing and teaching Torah to the entire nation. From an intellectual vantage point, establishing deep roots in learning requires commitment, investment of time, and arduous study that necessarily becomes more intense as one grows and develops.

Since we want program members to be actively involved in the Beit Midrash, kollel members study the same tractate studied during most of the year by the rest of the yeshiva. However, in order to learn the tractate in its entirety and dwell on its intricacies, kollel members continue learning this tractate throughout the entire year (even when the rest of the yeshiva switches to a different tractate). Furthermore, the pace at which they study and the subject matter they cover, are not subject to the yeshiva's schedule.

Studying the same tractate for the entire year allows kollel members to learn each Talmudic debate comprehensively, compare it to corresponding sources, and delve into all the commentators, from medieval to contemporary. This approach leads to a holistic view of the tractate.

The kollel also provides members with the necessary structure to encourage and support in-depth Torah study:

  1. Each kollel member is required to give a class on a Talmudic "sugya" as well as author a paper about this topic.
  2. Beyond this, kollel members are also tested at the end of each term.  These exams include questions that examine their grasp of the material they covered and a case study analysis based on the subjects studied during the term.
  3. We meet once or twice a year with Torah scholars who specialize in the field studied that year. During these visits, we not only benefit from these scholars' vast knowledge, but also from the experience of meeting them personally.

Halakhah Kollel: Rabbi Shmuel Glazer

The members of the Halakhah Kollel are senior students who have chosen to analyze practical halakhah comprehensively after studying Talmud for several years. While their curriculum is based on the Chief Rabbinate's exams, the kollel members’ primary goal is not merely to pass the test but to master this area of Torah.

Kollel members study the central sources, from the Talmud to primary halakhic texts to the most recent opinions and halakhic literature on these issues. The program has three goals:

  1. To give students a clear understanding of each halakhic debate, including the various opinions and discussions that derive from it.
  2. To expose the theoretical underpinnings of each opinion, though in a more abridged fashion than the Iyun Kollel.
  3. To reach definite practical halakhic conclusions that take into account all possible scenarios and details.

אביב הגיע פסח בא!

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