Havruta Texts

Havruta

A form of Jewish study in which 2 people study a text together. The pair sit and read the text together discuss its meaning and, perhaps, explore broader questions about life that the text raises. (Kent, 2010)

“A several hundred year old Jewish practice where two people are reading a book together, usually it’s the Talmud and the idea is that two people together can learn everything they need to learn if they are willing to have an open and rigorous discussion amongst themselves about the book.” (Harry Potter and the Sacred Text Podcast)

A havruta is a friend: Havruta shares the same root as “haver” (which means friend). Havruta has also been interpreted as companionship or fellowship. A havruta, in its truest sense, is someone who not only supports us, but who also challenges us. The term conveys that a friend, on the highest level, is primarily a learning partner, a partner in life.

A havruta is a partner who helps you to sharpen your ideas: “Two scholars sharpen one another” (BT Ta’anit 7a)

“The interaction between the Torah of my life and the Torah of tradition is the essence of my Judaism.” – Rabbi Laura Geller

Feminist Pedagogy (pedagogy = style of teaching):

  • Co-construction of knowledge among teacher and students; disrupts teacher/student binary
  • Egalitarian, community-based
  • Discussion or workshop format
  • Attentive to the learning process
  • Respects each person’s experiences and expertise

(Hitt, 2012)

Discussion questions:

  • When, if at all, have you experienced a havruta partner or a feminist style of teaching?
  • What’s your personal learning style?
  • How could someone challenge your ideas in a way that makes you feel heard and respected?
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