This morning I began my studies at Matan, an institute for Torah studies, founded by Rabbanit Malka Bina in 1988. Rabbanit Bina is one of the pioneers of learning and teaching Torah to women, breaking ground by learning Talmud and teaching women to learn. Matan has a rich and varied schedule for both full time serious advanced students as well as part time students like Batya and me. There are dozens of classes given four days a week, both in English and Hebrew.
Today I went to two classes. The first class I chose is a class in Talmud. tractate 'Brachot'. I have attended classes in Talmud before which were informal and we worked as a group along with the teacher to understand the materiel. So, it isn't like I've never see a page before. But in this class we are expected to do a bit more on our own in pairs. I was fortunate to be sitting next a very nice woman and we were able to figure out the work. Then our teacher, a relatively young (everything is relative) man, Rav Yitzhak Bazak, pulled it all together and we had an interesting discussion which included some practical conclusions and left me with as we say in Hebrew 'a taste for more'. I am so fortunate to be able to do this!
The second class is a comparison of several of the prophets and an exploration of the types of prophecy in Judaism given by a really gifted teacher Yael Schlossberg. I heard several of her lectures in the two weeks in September when Matan held lectures by their scholars as well as others in preparation for the High Holidays and I was sold. She managed to create an intimate learning atmosphere, encourage participation and say everything she wanted in her allotted time in a packed auditorium with what I would estimate was about 150 women.
I am looking forward to a fruitful and interesting year of learning.
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