Re: Yeshiva Shem V'Ever
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 11:49:31 -0500 (EST)

Dear Esteemed Colleagues of Torah Forum:
Biblical personalities Shem and Ever formed a Yeshiva called Yeshiva Shem
V'Ever. Our forefather Yaacov learned there for 14 years. This was all prior
to the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
My son, Yehuda Meir, who is 6.5 years old and a first grader at Yeshiva Rav
Isacsohn - Toras Emes Academy in Los Angeles, stumped me with the following
analysis and question(s):

"Aba, what did they learn at this Yeshiva? What Seforim (books) did they read

"Did they learn the Written Law - Torah Shebechsav "- if so, Yaacov probably
read the sections dealing with him and his family, and knew what was going to
happen to him - and to them.

"Did they learn the Oral Law - Torah Shebaal Peh "- if so, wouldn't it have
been more interesting and relevant for the codifiers of the Gemoroh (Talmud)
to quote the disputes of Shem & Ever on a given topic, over quoting
Babylonian scholars such as Bais Shamai & Bais Hillel?

"Did they learn about the 613 laws in general - Mitzvos "- if so, did Yaacov
wear Tzitzis and Tefillin (as we wear them today)?

"Did they learn portions of Torah that are not included in today's Torah? Who
else learned in this Yeshiva? Was this the only Yeshiva in the neighborhood?
Where was this Yeshiva located? How come they did not write down and record
any of their Torah that was discussed so that we could benefit from it?"

I was stumped. All I could do was speculate. I candidly told my son that I
did not know the answers.

Suffice it to say, it is a humbling experience to be stumped by one's first
grader, but at the same time it is gratifying to know that one's child is
thinking about Torah concepts and ponders them to formulate these thorough
questions. I assured Yehuda Meir that I will investigate his questions and
hopefully provide him with some meaningful answers.

I welcome your feedback.

Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA