Semicha Curriculum

Semicha Year Curriculum (tentative):

Each course will involve a midterm and final examination.

 

1.   Halachah Methodology – Rabbi Dovid Fink

An in-depth study of 5-6 halachic sugyot, with a focus on the methodology of psak from the Gemara through contemporary Poskim. Here the focus is on method as much as on the practical halachah. Over the course of the year there will be an opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of Rishonim, Achronim, and Poskim, in order to master the array of essential halachic works and learn their approach to the mechanism of determining halachah le-maaseh.

The following topics will be selected to round out new areas not previously covered:

  • Parameters of ‘bediavad’ and ‘lechatchila’ in halachah (stringencies and leniencies in decision making).
  • Safek, s’fek sfeika and uncertainty as a halachic category.
  • Birth control.

(We will offer the customary weekly Preparation/Review sessions with Rabbi Brovender for this course.)

 

2.   Hilchot Shabbat Intensive – R. Yehoshua Geller

A review of essential topics in Hilchot Shabbat – both topics previously covered, but now in greater depth, as well as material not yet studied. The curriculum for this course will largely overlap with the Hilchot Shabbat exam administered for semicha by **Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlit”a (see below) and will include some other topics in Orach Chaim, as the schedule allows.

(We will offer the customary weekly Preparation/Review sessions with Rabbi Brovender for this course.)

** The Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlit”a semicha exam is a Hebrew written open book test completely independent and unconnected to WebYeshiva.org. While WebYeshiva cannot guarantee acceptance to any external examination, mastery of the material in our course and exam should prepare a student with the proper tools to prepare for it. When necessary we will provide qualified students with the letters of recommendation needed to take that exam. For students simply learning in our program for personal achievement there is no need to take that test. However, if someone wants an extra qualification for professional reasons (often 2 private semichot are needed to be considered equal to an institutional one, such as from YU) then Rabbi Geller’s course/exam should give the level of confidence needed to complete the Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg shlit”a test.

 

3.   Independent Study

Students will undertake an independent study (individually, or with chavruta) of the classical text Shemirat Shabbat KeHilkhata, vol. 2, by Rabbi Yehoshua Yeshaya Neuwirth zt”l (which is available in English). Some of the topics included in this volume are: Aveilut on Shabbat and Yom Tov, Havdala and end of Shabbat topics, and Chol HaMoed, and involves a variety of subjects not covered in the years 1-3 curriculum, as well as an opportunity to review some of the material previously studied. A bekiut exam will be administered toward the end of the year.  

 

Students who complete all materials, course exams, and bekiut test (as described in #3) will receive semicha issued from WebYeshiva and signed by Rabbi Brovender.