Curriculum - תכנית לימודים
At Mesivta Lev Tmimim the curriculum is built under the direct guidance of veteran Mechanchim and Mashpi’im with a goal of ensuring strict adherence to the Rebbe’s goals of Mesivta Chinuch. Specifically, the Rebbe has made it clear on numerous occasions that the goal of the Yeshiva nowadays is different than it was in previous generations. As such the the curriculum should be designed such that the goals of this generation’s Yeshiva Chinuch should be achieved.
[Whereas] in previous generations the main role of the Yeshivos was the learning of Torah and thriving in it, and the practical fulfillment of Mitzvos and observing of Minhagei Yisroel was a given for every Jewish boy and girl through the Chinuch provided in the home and the environment … Today the times have changed and among – the main – roles of the Yeshivos is to make the Talmid, first and foremost into a Yerei Shomayim, to an observant Jew, and then into a Lamdan, and – in the Yeshivos of Chabad – into a Chosid, as well…
…the Yeshivos must arrange their matters so as to achieve first of all the main goal – די תלמידים זאלן זיין פרומע ערליכע אידן, ווארימע אידן, חסידישע אידן – the students should be Frum, sincere, warm Jews, Chassidishe Jews…
(Igros Kodesh Vol. 4, pg. 214)
As such, our curriculum is carefully designed to address these directives of the Rebbe. Through our curriculum and programs, we aim to inculcate in the Talmid a love of learning, just as much as the skills of learning. The program of learning outlined below is geared to enhance and nourish the Bochurim’s Yiras Shomayim and practical observance of Halacha and Minhagei Chabad. Teachers are trained to truly listen to the questions of Talmidim and be aware of their internal questions on matters of Yiddishkeit and Yiras Shomayim. As such, we aim to create an atmosphere where the Talmid’s natural curiosity is given space to grow and he is encouraged to seek to understand – on his level – those matters of Torah and Yesodos Ha-Emunah that are unclear to him. We believe that with this approach, Bochurim will grow to love learning and feel ownership in their academic and Ruchniyus Avodah.
At the beginning of the year, each Bochur meets with the Hanhola to determine their “baseline” level of abilities in various areas. This is used throughout the year by the Talmid, together with his Mashpia, to assess his progress and accordingly modify his goals and efforts. Every Bochur is expected and encouraged to grow beyond his current level, at every stage of the year, each according to his abilities.
The סדר היום begins with Chassidus at 7:45am, followed by Shacharis, Seder Iyun from 10:45 until 1:45, Halacha after lunch, and then Limudei Chol for approximately two hours in the afternoon. After Dinner is Girsa and extra curricular programming, followed by Seder Sichos in the evening before Maariv. Between Sedarim, Bochurim have time for Chitas/Rambam, extra learning of Inyonei Geulah Umoshiach, and other Inyonim done independently, or organized by Bochurim, Shluchim, or Hanhola.
For גמרא לעיון the curriculum follows the general cycle of Chabad Yeshivos established by the Rebbe. For 5777 מסכת כתובות will be learned.
Classes are divided by academic level, not by grade level.
Matching Chavrusas appropriately, supportive Magidei Shiurim, and engaging lessons plans and use of technology allows us to reach Talmidim on three general levels
- Average-Advanced Gemara Shiur (גמרא, רש”י, תוספות, מפרשים)
- Basic Gemara level (Gemara and strengthening basic skills)
- Beginner Level (for those struggling or just starting out with Gemara).
שיעור גמרא לעיון focuses mostly on Gemara skills and the goal is very clearly the acquisition of those skills and not the coverage of more Blatt (although the higher level Shiur is pushed at a faster pace and with higher expectations, the goal is not the amount of learning but the quality). Progress through the Maseches is determined strictly by the ability of the Talmidim to grasp the content, and more importantly to learn the Gemara “inside”. Focus is placed on vocabulary, reading, and understanding of the logic of the Gemara followed by the ability to “Lein” the Gemara.
Regular weekly testing in every class is a requirement and Talmidim are held accountable to their progress. Parents can log in to their son’s online reports at any time to see where their son is holding and monitor his progress.
The Halacha curriculum focuses on the Rebbe’s guidelines that the learning should be geared to practical observance of Mitzvos. As such, the learning will be mostly in הלכה למעשה including among other topics:
- ברכות הנהנין
- הלכות שבת
- הלכות תפילה
- דיני ומנהגי יומים טובים
Girsa Seder is utilized to continue the goals of the Iyun Seder – namely to build the Talmid’s skills of learning the text “inside”.
However, in keeping with the Rebbe’s directives to raise Talmidim who are Yirei Shomayim, and Chassidishe, this specific Seder will not necessarily be in the same Maseches learned during Iyun Seder, but rather will be on selected Sugyos in various Masechtos such as various Agadeta sections.
In line with the Rebbe’s directive to Yeshivos to primarily raise Talmidim who are Yirei Shomayim, and Chassidishe, the Chassidus curriculum – which consists of two main parts, Chassidus Boker, before Shacharis, and Chassidus Erev – is carefully designed.
We are aware that many Bochurim these days are graduating from Yeshivos with very general familiarity of high and lofty Kabbalistic Inyonim, but often lack in application of basic Chassidic conduct in their day to day behavior. During these two Sedarim, the emphasis is placed on helping the Bochurim build their knowledge of concepts in Chassidus, starting from more basic and fundamental concepts, gradually moving to deeper and more complex. However, the underlying direction is that each Talmid should have a clear understanding of the basics and significance to their personal life, before moving on to the next level.
In order to achieve this, specific Ma’amorim, Sichos, and Sifrei Chassidus are selected relevant to each grade, age and Inyonei D’Yoma, based on guidance from Chassidishe Mashpi’im. The new Back to Basics curriculum of the Rebbe’s Sichos is utilized to maximize the learning during Seder Sichos.
The most important directive of the Rebbe for our times is to live with Geulah and prepare to greet Moshiach. The Rebbe made it clear that the most direct way to achieve this is through the learning of Inyonei Geulah and Moshiach, and the purpose of this is specifically to help our Talmidim and Rebbeim to open their eyes and see the Geulah unfolding before us. The Geulah U’Moshiach curriculum consists mainly of the Sichos of the Rebbe on these topics, as well as other sources that the Rebbe has instructed to learn.
Living with Moshiach is the underlying current in Mesivta Lev Tmimim Lubavitch and we strive to imbue all our activities with this Kavanah.
As a Lubavitcher Bochur, every Talmid is expected to be learning Chitas on a daily basis. We recognize that many Bochurim don’t necessarily have the skills to truly be able to learn Rashi and understand the content. Using various methods, Bochurim are encouraged to raise the level of their understanding of this most fundamental aspect of learning.
Additionally, some time is dedicated each week for general Chumash and Na”Ch knowledge to know the content and basic Midrashim.
Bochurim learn weekly Shiurim in Jewish History in general, pertaining to timely events, and specifically Chabad history in connection with Yomei D’Pagra.
In addition to the standard academic subjects, every Bochur is encouraged to grow in other areas of Chassidishkeit and his Avodas Hashem. To this end we incorporate a number of other sessions including
- קריאה – The opportunity to help boys directly work on their Lashon Hakodesh reading skills. This is fundamental for all matters of learning.
- Leining – Bochurim are encouraged to Lein whenever possible and we give the opportunity for boys who have not had the chance to learn Ta’amei Hamikra to learn this in an organized fashion.
- ניגונים – besides Sidrei Niggunim at regular occasions during the week, occasional Shiurim are given by Ba’alei Neginnah specifically to teach particular Niggunim and the Toichen behind them.
- Public speaking – Bochurim are guided on how to properly give over Divrei Torah and other matters that they learn when going on Mivztoyim, visiting at Balei Batim, etc.
- ידיעות כלליות – Once a week a Shiur on Yedios Klaliyos allows Talmidim to broaden their knowledge in matters that they may have forgotten or missed over their years in Cheder.