Yeshiva of Newark Podcast


Rischa D'Araisa -Season 2 Episode 8 -Is learning Bichavrusa an impediment to individual growth?

Season 2, Ep. 8

Unlike a teacher-student relationship, in which the student memorizes and repeats the material back in tests, chavrusa-style learning puts each student in the position of analyzing the text, organizing his thoughts into logical arguments, explaining his reasoning to his partner, hearing out his partner's reasoning, and questioning and sharpening each other's ideas, often arriving at entirely new insights into the meaning of the text.

Rabbi Kivelevitz challenges Rabbi Bechhofer on whether his individual learning and growth might have suffered by the necessary abandonment of intense multi hour chavrusa learning that is the general case of Rabbinic scholars as they advance from late adulthood to old-age.

Bechhofer feels that when a mature scholar has their focus, the time and energy expended on mutual exploration and argument detracts from important projects that are incumbent on Talmidei Chachamim. He further opines that the "chovos Adam Biolomo"

points to more teaching of younger or less experienced persons.

Kivelevitz is skeptical if his friend would embrace that idea so strongly if the remuneration that Bechhofer receives from his study partners would be withdrawn. He invokes a contra version of fulfilling God's will by charging all senior members of the Talmudic fraternity to follow the examples of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum Zt'l and Rav Yaakov Jofen Zt"l in re-examining familiar material fresh with a perspective of measured more sophisticated daas to truly bond with God through Torah study.

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