Striving to Learn Patiently
David Goldberg is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship/Davidson Scholars Program and a fourth year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He is presently on a leave of absence as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar. David can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a very patient person: when I eat, when I wait in lines, and also when I am in school. Before I began my studies in rabbinical school, my goal was always to complete the assignment, the course, and degree as quickly as possible, so that I could move on to the next step. I was looking forward to learning at JTS, where my goals, and the community’s goals would be different. We would come together in a life-long enterprise of learning.
When I did not find this more patient and dedicated Torah learning within the institution, I had a difficult decision to make: do I race through JTS, finish my degree, and move on with my life, learning and career? Or should I slow down, not worry about completing requirements at JTS, and spend time learning Torah lishma?
Taking this year “off” to learn at Yeshivat Hadar is one of the best decisions I have made while studying to be a rabbi. Like other places of serious Torah learning, we seek to constantly learn new texts. But what I find unique about Hadar is that we seek to read the texts incredibly closely, in a patient quest to derive as much understanding and meaning as possible from every piece of our sacred tradition. What could be more worthwhile in a person’s life as a student?