Havruta: Learning in Pairs
By Rachael Gelfman Schultz
Don Yitzhak Abravanel, a 15th-century Spanish rabbinic commentator, discusses another benefit of havruta study. Abravanel interprets the saying “Make for yourself a rabbi and acquire for yourself a friend” (Mishnah Avot1:6) as meaning that one should learn both with a teacher and with another student. He explains that everyone has doubts at times or is confused regarding how to interpret the text. However, sometimes one is embarrassed to bring his questions to his rabbi. At these times, one can bring these questions to another student. Another student can clarify and sharpen one’s understanding of the text and can provide a different valuable perspective on that text.
Classifieds, February 2021
OFF THE DERECH & STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. Separated from our tradition in my teens, looking to explore it again in my late 20s. Seeking someone to relearn and reclaim our texts with, through virtual chevruta. Expect lefty politics, irreverent jokes about rabbis, and rusty Aramaic. Reply here.
By Lisa Schoneberg
CHAVRUTA: A DRUMMER'S BAT MITZVAH is a project with Alicia Jo Rabins. In a nutshell: Alicia taught me how to chant Torah and I taught her how to drum, I had a bat mitzvah in her yard, and we thought about what it means to be two 40-year-old feminist ladies who want to keep learning and growing our whole lives. The word chavruta refers to the traditional partner-style study of Jewish texts; over the course of one year, Alicia and I delved into a grassroots feminist course of study. We explored the intersections of Torah, performance, and the artist's path; we investigated the ancient Near Eastern roots of women's drumming, ancient goddess traditions, and the integration of environmentalism with religion.
Questions for Hevruta:
What are the different models of Chevruta being presented in this text?
Do you find your most successful chevrutas are as a student, teacher, or a different model (whether or not it is represented here)
When do you find yourself to be most successful as a teacher in chevruta?