Tertiary Program - Introduction

Our Mission

"To attract, refine and train those individuals who aspire for greatness in Torah scholarship and to provide the Jewish communities in Australia and abroad with those individuals most qualified to assume the mantle of rabbinic leadership as Rabbis, Judges, Talmud Teachers and Torah Educators."

(Kollel Memorandum of of Asscociation, 1981)

Our Goals

  • Conferral of Bachelor of Talmud/Bachelor of Rabbinic Thought

  • Development of Torah scholars with mastery in all areas of Talmudic Law and Rabbinic Thought

  • Fostering an outlook on Torah Study as a lifelong ambition and purpose, and providing the skills to allow the serious scholar such opportunity

  • Providing extensive training in intellectual and analytical thought and perspective as a means of preparation for entry into today’s business and employment world

  • Development of highly qualified Rabbis, Judges, Talmud Teachers, Educators, Counselors, Religious Lecturers and Torah Inspired Lay Leaders and Businessmen

  • Providing classes, workshops and lectures in Talmudic and Rabbinic Thought to all sectors of the community, for all ages and genders.

  • Imbuing Torah Ethics, Morals and respect for all people, their property and their sensitivities.

  • Provide Torah structured marital and family counseling

     

Background

The concepts of classical Jewish scholarship and their pattern of study have been formed, tested and enriched over the centuries, originating in the days of antiquity when the colleges and universities of the Western world were yet unborn. They have emerged from the Talmudic academies of Sura and Pumpeditha that flourished in Babylon 2,500 to 1,500 years ago; from the Jewish schools of the Islamic world during the Middle Ages; from the major European centres of Jewish scholarship in Italy, Spain, France and Germany; as well as those in the Ottoman Empire, and most recently from the great centres of Jewish learning in Poland, Lithuania and Western Europe.

As a classical school of higher Jewish learning, the Kollel follows the long established methods of a tradition dating back to the era of the First Commonwealth of Israel and its unique pattern of scholarship. From the Talmud as the central core, an immense scholarly literature radiates, encompassing vast areas of acquired knowledge, including – but not limited to – Halacha (Jewish Law), philosophy, ethics, history, educational methodology and even the social sciences.
 

General Objectives

Personal growth, understanding, belief and piety are all integral goals of the Kollel curriculum. To advance one’s development in these areas, the student will devote daily periods of study to the fields of Jewish philosophy and ethics.

To speak of the Ben Torah (Talmudic student, literally “son of Torah”) and budding Talmid Chochom (Torah scholar) as a student preparing for the Rabbinate, even for a career in academic or communal life, is to leave very much about him unsaid. The Ben Torah is a young man who has given himself to a regimen of total immersion in ‘the sea of Jewish learning,’ to the exclusion of all but his basic physical needs and his family and communal obligations. He is devoted to mastering Torah in its broadest sense, encompassing every aspect of Jewish learning from the Torah and the Talmud to the widest range of available commentaries.

In the final analysis, whatever level he may attain when he leaves the Kollel, the student will have gained for himself, not only a vast body of knowledge – and its hand-maiden, a life-long love of learning – but a wide range of intellectual skills and a way of life and service as well. Beyond that, he will have acquired the approach, sensitivity, balance, perception, and Da’as Torah (Torah wisdom, judgment and decisiveness) that are the hallmarks of a genuine Torah scholar.
 

Entrance Requirements

Before one is admitted to the course of study offered at Kollel Beth HaTalmud Yehuda Fishman Institute, one must:

  • Master the elementary and intermediate basic texts and languages

  • Express a willingness to devote the required number of years to intensive study

  • Be committed to strive for academic excellence and personal growth

  • Demonstrate that he has the strength of character and the intellectual capacity to cope with a program that makes little allowance for diversion from his scholarly objectives

  • Above all, set his scholarly and spiritual goals at no less than Gadlus (greatness) itself.

    For more information about applying and being accepted into our course of study, please click here and here

     

Method of Study

The study of Talmud is a vigorous discipline. In addition to careful study, tradition places a high value on “Chiddush,” the flow of creative insight which exposes unseen dimensions and meanings in the Talmudic text. In the course of his learning sessions, the scholar has recourse to many ancient, medieval and modern source materials and reference works. He uses critical judgment and lucid analysis in understanding, evaluating and organizing the wide range of traditional and historical data, where the initial assumptions as well as the conclusion, have validity. He makes use of his skills of independent research and logical and precise thinking. He develops the art of acceptance, modification and rejection of logical structures, and of clear and decisive exposition, justification and defense. Above all, he becomes master of the art of reading a complex, precise, and difficult text closely and perceptively and of the extrapolation of newer applications from traditional sources.

These learning sessions are supported and supplemented by lectures and discourses, in related studies. The student spends additional time studying and reading independently, so that, in addition to the mastery of the basic areas in depth, he will acquire the broad knowledge in the areas that are essential to the truly competent Talmudic scholar.

Studying with a small group of peers in an intimate working relationship, challenges each other, provides the student with a strong stimulus to realize his full potential, as attested to by the level of their scholarly publications.

The inter-disciplinary core unit consists of:

  • An integrated study of relevant Torah passages and their interpretations by the original codifiers of the Mishnah and the elaboration thereon in the Gemara (Babylonian Talmud) as its point of departure.

  • Reference to parallel passages in the Jerusalem Talmud, Tosefta, Mechilta, Sifra, Sifre, and Midrashic literature.

  • Exploration of the manner in which these authoritative works were understood by the early codifiers and commentators: e.g. Alfasi, Rashi, Rambam (Maimonides), Ramban (Nachmanides) and the host of other early luminaries from the North African, Spanish, French, German and Italian academies of the early Middle Ages.

  • Careful study of the resolution and classification of Halacha in the earlier, later and contemporary codes, from Maimonides and Rabbi Joseph Caro, author of the Shulchan Oruch, to the Mishneh Brura (Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan) of this past century.

  • Extensive research into the implications and consequences of the aforementioned basic texts, as they appear in the Responsa literature, as each generation confronts its time and its particular problems and applies Talmudic principles towards their solution; making for a living, vibrant, relevant and authentic Jewish Torah life.

As the scholar analyzes this system of law and ethics and follows its origin to its timely application today, he gains a genuine Torah perspective and insight into the dynamic application of these fundamentals. Equally important, he comes to understand the manner in which Halacha affected and affects the life-style, philosophy and value system of the Jewish people.