Is there a Dor Deah yeshiva to train rabbis in Dor Deah hashkafa, the Dor Deah approach to Torah and halakha?
It is definitely our desire that such a yeshiva be established, with HaShem’s help. However, such a yeshiva does not currently exist. To achieve that desire, we must first establish synagogues and communities that can support the formation of such yeshivas. The establishment of synagogues and communities is our immediate goal. When the funding will be available, we will then, b-ezrath Shadai, make the formation of our first yeshiva an immediate goal and take the practical steps necessary to attain it.
The unique characteristics of this yeshiva will be:
1) Centrality of the Written Torah;
2) Memorization of the Written Torah;
3) Recognition of the sole legislative authority of the ancient Great Sanhedrin;
4) Learning of practical halakha according to the systematic layout of Mishneh Torah;
5) Each student’s development of a systematic theology centered on Torah and reason;
6) Emphasis on how Torah observance can and should have a positive impact on the world around us.
7) Full acceptance of anyone who wants to uphold Torah according to the clarifications of the Talmudic Sages, whether they be of Jewish or non-Jewish background.
8) Training of students to fill leadership roles in the establishment of communities around the world that will share our principles and vision.
The above characteristics are in contrast to the following widespread practices of virtually all other yeshivoth:
* The modern doctrine of ‘daas Torah,’ which encourages belief in the infallibility of modern rabbis, is instilled in new or young students;
* Irrational mystical teachings are established as the foundational principles of Torah observance as opposed to logical reasons. Use of reason is belittled as being anti-Torah and as having originated in non-Jewish philosophy.
* Learning to follow Talmudic disputes before acquiring thorough knowledge of the Torah’s commands, even on a basic level, and before having a thorough knowledge of the Mishna.
* Immersing oneself in Talmudic disputation without first learning the pesaq halakha, the actual law that the dispute leads up to.
* Devoting nearly the entirety of every day to familiarization with Talmudic disputation without devoting at least half the same amount of time to mastering halakha l-ma’aseh, the practical application of Jewish law.
* Mastering the legal terminology of the Babylonian Talmud’s Aramaic without studying its grammar and before mastering the Hebrew language.
* During the small amount of time allotted to learning practical Jewish law, the laws are learned in an impractical manner. Students are taught to delve into the most minute nuances of various post-Talmudic opinions before ever acquiring a holistic knowledge of practical Jewish law in general, according to any one shita (methodology).
R’ Yosef Eliyah
* DorDeah.com is an independent organization. DorDeah.com is not affiliated with www.mechon-mamre.org, the “Torath Moshe Society,” nor Chabad-Lubavitch. Though we are grateful for the contributions of these organizations in providing Mishne Torah resources, we do not endorse all the views espoused by these organizations.