Yeshiva Etzion!

Yeshiva Etzion is a yeshiva located in Queens, NY. The yeshiva was established in 2003 by Rabbi Avraham Gaon. Like many yeshivot, Yeshiva Etzion is a center of talmud, halacha and other Jewish studies and is open to students of all backgrounds. We have many photos from our yeshiva so feel free to browse through them.  You can access them by clicking on  ‘Photos‘ which is  located on the right hand side of this page.

Importance of Asking (and answering) Questions

The explicit aim of Yeshiva Etzion is to answer practical questions from an authentically Jewish perspective. This represents an ancient philosophical approach described in the Talmud as Torah Lema’aseh – practical Torah learning. Of course, all topics of the Torah are equally important, even the ones that do not have any practical use. However, many proponents of Torah Lishmah – Torah for its own sake (which was the approach of Maimonides) – feel that to mix Torah with anything from the outside world is blasphemy (which was not the approach of Maimonides, in other words, this was not how Maimonides viewed Torah Lishmah, as is obvious from even a cursory glance at The Guide for the Perplexed). Now, this does not mean that the Torah Lishmah proponents who do not use Maimonides’ approach do not conduct their lives according to the Torah. Of course they do, because all Orthodox Jews keep the Halakha in every aspect of their lives – both Torah study and business activities and other wordly matters. The mistake, therefore, is as follows: by not believing that other topics of study have any truth in and of themselves (see above), they confine the Torah to a very small sphere. Yeshiva Etzion’s philosophy, and Maimonides’ philosophy (in this regard) is the opposite, that through finding truth in many various fields, one’s understanding of God, and therefore one’s understanding of God’s Torah, is enlightened. So the approach of Yeshiva Etzion is threefold: to study “impractical” aspects of the Torah, to study “practical” aspects of the Torah and to incorporate these in your life, and finally to study the world as per Maimonides and incorporate that knowledge into your understanding of God and God’s Torah. As such the subject matter dealt with in the Yeshiva lectures range from “impractical” Jewish law to “practical” Jewish law to important philosophical matters that affect the students of the Yeshiva directly and help the students in their understanding of the Torah. As in all Yeshivot, the strong tradition of Jewish textual scholarship figures prominently in discussions on these topics and it is not uncommon for tens, perhaps hundreds of sources to be consulted over the course of the lectures on the topic– which may sometimes take weeks to bring to full closure.

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