Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

Guided Visit of the Yeshiva School


Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa, 28 November 2016
Vladimir Plasek, SDB

Today the STS offered to its students a wonderful occasion to visit the Yeshiva school situated in the Kibbutz called Ma’ale Gilboa in southern Galilee. Dr. Marcie Lenk facilitated the visit. It was a unique and rare meeting between Catholic Students and Yeshiva students. This particular Yeshiva school is unique in that it combines the 1-3 years of Torah study with 3 years of army service. Mt. Gilboa is mentioned in the second book of Samuel: “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa; and there was Saul leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him.” (2Sam 1,6). The Kibbutz Ma’ale Gilboa compounds around 150 families. The Yeshiva school is on a small hill inside the Kibbutz. There are around 150, mostly post high- school students, modern orthodox Jews, coming here to dedicate their time to the study of Torah and to grow in their faith. Around 20 of them were from North America, the rest from Israel. They are free to include in their study plan subjects connected to philosophy or other areas. The basic study of Torah is common to all.

After the reception and coffee, we started with the first part of our visit. We gathered, around 50 STS students with those 20 American students from Yeshiva school and started an interactive lecture led by Rabbi Yossef Slotnik. He read a verse from the book of Ecclesiastes 11:6 followed by three stories by different Rabbis. The discussion on each of those stories brought new insights on the topic of lecture: “Charity, the Impact of intention on actions” and enriched all participants. Then the STS students continued with clarifications and questions guided by Dr. Marcie Lenk. We tackled a variety of topics: the way of study wherein by asking questions we reveal the answers; comparing the modern critical study with the traditional interpretation in Judaism; the origin of Kibbutz; the concept of salvation in Judaism; and the Yeshiva seminary life. After the lunch with students, the next part of our program was the Havruta text study on the theme: “Studying Torah as a Religious Experience”. We spent 45 minutes reading and analysing the texts from the Old Testament in small groups consisting of STS students together with the Yeshiva students. Finally, we made a short walk around the kibbutz, seeing the local hospital, milk production and wind power plant. After the words of thanks, we set on the way back to the STS full of new friendships, new discoveries and new insights in the dialogue between Jews and Christians.



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