Photo Credit: Jewish Press

“So, where did you learn?”

An innocent question to ask me, particularly as I’m a mechanech (teacher). Still, it’s a question that hits hard every time it’s asked, as I didn’t get seriously into learning until I was in my twenties, and have no yeshiva that serves as my home base.

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While there is something to be said for being an eclectic learner, who in many ways pieced together my own derech, I deeply wish that I had started learning seriously earlier in my life, and that I had a derech in learning, particularly when it comes to Gemara. I sometimes play the not-so-healthy game of wondering which yeshiva I would choose if I could do it all over again. As much as I take learning seriously, a yeshiva is more than a place where Torah learning happens. It becomes a person’s link to Har Sinai, and a place to which you can literally or symbolically return throughout your life.

I am particularly appreciative of yeshivas which not only provide a derech in learning but also a hashkafas hachayim (outlook for life).

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