I chose to become a student in the Halacha Mastery Program because I did not start keeping mitzvot until adulthood, and now that my wife and I have two little sons to instruct, I want to get a more thorough education in the things I need to know so that I can teach them. For aforementioned reasons, it’s also really hard to schedule learning in traditional settings because life is really unpredictable right now, so a web format was very appealing to me.I have to say that having WebYeshiva over the last year has been truly wonderful. I learn well by listening, and I have been able to get through a great deal of material in a short time just by hearing many shiurim via audio, on my own time while I am commuting or putting an infant to sleep or whenever else. I appreciate about the core shiurim how thorough and clearly organized they are; one really gets the sense that one is getting exposed to the whole evolutionary history of the halacha and understanding what makes the poskim tick. I especially appreciate that the material is taught in such a way where one doesn’t feel like the instructors are trying to hide all of the complexities so as to ensure obedience to a uniform code; on the contrary, I think the instructors go out of their way to tell you everything you would need to know to make your own best arguments *against* the mainstream halacha if that’s what you wanted to do, even though that wouldn’t be the course they themselves would recommend. I am really grateful for this. Additionally, there is a huge amount of other material besides the main series of shiurim that is really interesting and easily accessible. I am learning so much more than I had ever imagined I could during the busiest years of my life to date, and I’m very glad for the opportunity.Dr. Jeremy EnglandBoston
WebYeshiva provided me with the convenience that I was looking for in a supplemental learning program. The flexibility of choosing to learn live with the faculty and interact with classmates or listen to the archived version gave me a real incentive to sign up for as many classes as I could handle. The quality of the shiurim are excellent, and the faculty are all engaging presenters, thus keeping the interest level on a high frequency. For anyone looking to add to their personal growth through an independent learning program, I highly recommend WebYeshiva.
Dr. Bernie Kastner
I chose the program because I had been learning gemara in Rabbi Brovender’s shiur since the beginning of web yeshiva, and when it was announced, it looked like a really interesting program. I was already very familiar with web yeshiva, so I was comfortable with the setup. The setup is (or at least was initially) unique among onlne programs in that it effectively simulates a live classroom. It’s possible to ask the teacher questions either by voice or through chat, and to interact with the other students through chat. It even has an advantage over the live classroom, in that one can go back to the archives to review what happened in class, or to catch up on a missed class. My routine was generally to attend the live class, listening and asking questions, then sometime during the week, to go back and listen to the archived class, taking notes. This was a very effective way of reviewing for me. The other advantage is that one can attend class from any location in the world, as long as one has internet, so that one is not geographically constrained. Also, I discovered that I really like learning halacha
Biking beside the NYC Hudson river, my commute to work is generally accompanied by a lecture on switching on an incandescent bulb on shabbat. While some bikers ride to the music of Adele, I ride to the responsa of the Noda B’Yehuda. Thank you WebYeshiva for carrying our tradition into the 21st century, where the internet is my bread, headphones my clothing, and lack-of-free-time (to sit and study) my economic reality.
Zachary Aryeh Amsel
It’s been great having the opportunity to be kovei’a itim (have set times) for learning halakha in the spare moments of my busy professional schedule. I am tremendously grateful to webyeshiva for making this opportunity available to me and so many others.
Dr. Stu Halpern
It’s a very convenient program because you can do it whenever you want from the comforts of your own home and there’s a lot of advantages to that. I try to be online during the live shiur because you want to participate in the chat and interactions but if there’s a case where I can’t be there live, it’s easy to access the archives.
I enrolled in the Halacha Mastery Program because I wanted to gain a stronger foundation in my halachic thinking and it was very successful in helping me achieve that. The teachers were very engaging and I learned a lot of halachot I did not know before. More importantly, I learned how halacha is built up from the chumash, through the Gemara, into the Rishonim and down to today. I now have a grasp on the halachic mind and how it works regarding every day questions and activities.
The combination of the specific teachers and the flexibility of the technological platform was an unbeatable choice. Even though I had no experience with long distance learning I loved the idea that I could participate in shiurim in real time and see people and interact with the teachers and the students. If I couldn’t attend a particular week I could make it up the next day through the archives. This program is in the halachic mainstream, yet encourages one to develop a personal ideology and application of those rules.
Professor Adam Cohen
While I have spent a lot of time learning things like Gemara and Chassidut this program gave me the opportunity to study halacha in a more formal setting. Learning interactively online has been a good experience and the two biggest advantages are the convenience of being able to do it from wherever you are located, and the archives. If you are unable to attend you can watch or listen to a class the next day and if so desired, go over the material again and again.
What really attracted me to the Halacha Mastery Program was learning with a goal in mind. It wasn’t about learning the halachot to become a Rav but learning what you need to know to run a house. I have a family and we have questions that come up all the time about Shabbos or kashrut. Unfortunately, coming from a day school background you don’t really get such in-depth understanding. Among other things, the topics being covered in this program were very much related to things you needed to know as a parent in the home. Yes, you should have a Rav to call when you need but it’s also nice to answer your own questions.
Avi Noam Taub