Alternative Models for Hevruta
1 א

(ט) טוֹבִ֥ים הַשְּׁנַ֖יִם מִן־הָאֶחָ֑ד אֲשֶׁ֧ר יֵשׁ־לָהֶ֛ם שָׂכָ֥ר ט֖וֹב בַּעֲמָלָֽם׃ (י) כִּ֣י אִם־יִפֹּ֔לוּ הָאֶחָ֖ד יָקִ֣ים אֶת־חֲבֵר֑וֹ וְאִ֣יל֗וֹ הָֽאֶחָד֙ שֶׁיִּפּ֔וֹל וְאֵ֥ין שֵׁנִ֖י לַהֲקִימֽוֹ׃

(9) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. (10) For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falls, and there isn't another to lift him up.

2 ב

מאי את אויבים בשער אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אפי' האב ובנו הרב ותלמידו שעוסקין בתורה בשער אחד נעשים אויבים זה את זה ואינם זזים משם עד שנעשים אוהבים זה את זה שנאמר (במדבר כא, יד) את והב בסופה אל תקרי בסופה אלא בסופה

The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase “enemies in the gate” with regard to Torah study? Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba says: Even a father and his son, or a rabbi and his student, who are engaged in Torah together in one gate become enemies with each other due to the intensity of their studies. But they do not leave there until they love each other, as it is stated: “Therefore it is said in the book of the Wars of the Lord, Vahev in Suphah [beSufa], and the valleys of Arnon” (Numbers 21:14). The word “vahev” is interpreted as related to the word for love, ahava. Additionally, do not read this as “in Suphah [beSufa]”; rather, read it as “at its end [besofa],” i.e., at the conclusion of their dispute they are beloved to each other.

3 ג

מעשה שאירע בר׳ יאשיה ובר׳ מתיא בן חרש שהיו שניהם יושבים ועוסקין בדברי תורה פירש ר׳ יאשיה לדרך ארץ א״ל ר׳ מתיא בן חרש רבי מה לך לעזוב דברי אלהים חיים ולשטוף בדרך ארץ (ואע״פ שאתה רבי ואני תלמידך אין טוב לעזוב דברי אלהים חיים ולשטוף בדרך ארץ) ואמרו כל זמן שיושבין ועוסקין בתורה היו עושין מקנאין זה לזה וכשנפטרין דומין כשהן אוהבים מנעוריהם׃

Once something happened with Rabbi Yosiah and Rabbi Mathia son of Heresh, that both of them were sitting, involved in the words of Torah . Rabbi Yosiah left to be involved in the outside world. Rabbi Mathia son of Heresh said to him: "Master, why would you leave the words of the Living God to immerse yourself in the way of the world? And even though you are my master and I, your pupil, it is not good to leave the words of the Living God to immerse in the way of the world." And the sages said: "whenever they sit, involved in the words of Torah, they would seem as though they are vengeful of one another. And when they part, they would seem as though they were lovers from their youth.

4 ד

מאי דכתיב (משלי כז, יז) ברזל בברזל יחד לומר לך מה ברזל זה אחד מחדד את חבירו אף שני תלמידי חכמים מחדדין זה את זה בהלכה

Why does the verse teach Iron sharpens iron, as a person sharpens the countenance of his fellow (Proverbs 27:17)? To say to you: “just as this iron [weapon] sharpens the other, so two students of the Wise sharpen one another in the Law”

5 ה

Aish Kodesh: the Sermons of the Piezeczner Rebbe (Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro 1889-1943) – 7th Day of Passover, 1941

And God gave to Moses, after He ceased to speak with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of witness – tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God: When Moses went up to the heavens, he began to recite the Torah after his Maker. After [the Torah] was fully memorized, [God] said to him, come now let us speak together, you and I. Thus we have the words: after He ceased to speak with him. (Midrash Rabbah on parashat Ki Tissa (Ex 41:5)

We learn that God was only in the role of “instructor” only when God was teaching Moses material that Moses did not already know. But regarding material that Moses already knew, God did not “instruct” Moses at all – rather, according to the opinion of the Midrash, God learned together with Moses, and not as an “instructor”. Thus, you must perforce acknowledge that God actually learns Torah with us.

6 ו

אמר ליה הקב"ה למשה עשה טובה ואמור לו לאהרן על המיתה שאני בוש לומר לו. אמר ר' הונא בשם רבי תנחום בר חייא מה עשה משה השכים בשחרית והלך לו אצל אהרן התחיל קורא אהרן אחי ירד אצלו, א"ל מה ראית להשכים ולבא כאן היום, א"ל משה דבר מן התורה הייתי מהרהר בלילה ומתקשה לי הרבה לכך השכמתי ובאתי אצלך, א"ל ומהו הדבר, א"ל איני יודע מה היה הדבר, אלא אני יודע שבספר בראשית הוא, הבא אותו ונקרא בו, נטלו ספר בראשית וקראו בו כל פרשה ופרשה ועל כל אחת ואחת אמר יפה עשה ויפה ברא הקב"ה, וכיון שהגיעו לבריאת אדם אמר משה מה אומר לאדם שהביא מות לעולם, א"ל אהרן משה אחי לא תאמר בדבר הזה אין אנו מקבלין גזרת אלקים וכו' היאך נבראו אדם וחוה והיאך זכו לי"ג חופות שנאמר בעדן גן אלקים היית והיאך אכל מן העץ ונאמר לו כי עפר אתה, א"ל לאחר כל השבח הזה כך וכך הגיעו, אמר ליה ואני ששלטתי במלאכי השרת ואתה שעצרת את המות לא סופנו לכך עוד כמה שנים יש לנו לחיות עוד כ' א"ל קטנות הן היה יורד ויורד עד שהזכיר לו יום המות מיד הרגישו עצמותיו של אהרן גועו א"ל שמא בשבילי הוא הדבר א"ל הן, מיד ראו אותו ישראל שגרעה קומתו שנאמר ויראו כל העדה, א"ל אהרן לבי חלל בקרבי ואימות מות נפלו עלי א"ל מקובל עליך למות א"ל הן

God said to Moses: "Do me a favor and tell Aaron about his death, for I am afraid to tell him."

Said R. Huna in the name of R.

Tanhum bar Hiyya: What did Moses do? He rose early in the morning and went over to Aaron's place. He began calling out "Aaron, my brother!" Aaron came down to him and asked "How is it that you have come here so early

today?" Moses answered, "There is a thing from the Torah that I was mulling over during the night, and it gave me great difficulty. That is why I have come to visit you so early in the morning." Aaron asked, "What is the problem?" Moses answered, "I don't know what it was--but I do know that it is in the book of Genesis. Bring it, and let us read in it."

The took the book of Genesis, and read in it, story by story, and at each one Aaron said, "God did well, God created well." But when they came to the creation of Adam, Moses said "What shall I say about Adam who brought death to the world?" Aaron replied, "My brother Moses, you would surely not say that in this we do not accept the decree of God?We have read how Adam and Eve were created and how they merited thirteen wedding canopies, as it said, 'You were in Eden, the garden of God' (Ezekiel 28:13), and how Adam ate of the Tree,and was told, 'For dust you are, and to dust you shall return' and after all this glory, that they should come to this..."

Then Moses said "What about me--who had control over the ministering angels? and what about you--who halted the spread of death? Is our end not the same? We have another few years to live--perhaps twenty years?"

Aaron said "That is only a few years."

Then Moses brought the number down more and more, until he spoke of the very day of death.

Immediately, Aaron's bones felt as if they were quaking. He said "Perhaps the thing was for me?" Moses answered, "Yes." Immediately the Israelites saw that his stature had shrunk, as it is said "The whole community saw that Aaron was about to die" [lit: had died]

Then Aaron said, "My heart is dead within me, and the terror of death has fallen upon me."

Moses asked him "Do you accept death?"

And he answered, "Yes..."​​​​​​​