Sunday mornings during the Westmont academic year
Founders Dining Room, Kerr Student Center
A yeshiva is a Jewish school of intense Talmudic training and learning. There Jewish leaders learned the traditions that kept their people together as a people chosen to bear God's mission in the world. In that spirit, and in an age when even evangelical Christians know less and less of their own scriptures and have only a hazy sense of their task within Jesus' mission, I welcome you to join an intensive weekly study of Scripture for Westmont students and others. (Here 'others' means 'anyone who wants to come', whether you are in junior high school or in retirement, and whatever you think of the Christian faith.)
Many of us have good opportunities to learn the Bible — at school, at church, and at home. But does it stick? Educational studies find that when people study material for less than a year, they tend to forget most of it over the next few years. However, lengthening such exposure to several years "locks in" the knowledge so that it persists for a lifetime. This yeshiva is meant to lock in, build on, and/or prepare for the gains of other biblical study curricula — especially Westmont's general education and upper division curricula and churches' catechetical programs.
Over several years we tour highlights of the Old and New Testaments to strengthen our learning in how to read whole books of the Bible for what they are, cover Scripture's literary genres, discover its details, learn its grand story, speak it with authority, and lay the groundwork for mature lives marked by the power of the Word of God. For gentle structural guidance you may want to draw on texts such as Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart's How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible.
|Plus, thanks to the generosity of the United Studios of Self Defense in Santa Barbara, every semester of Yeshiva you complete will earn you another rank and a new karate belt! Seven completed semesters earn you a black belt in Bible. Don't forget to wear your belts to yeshiva!|
Westmont students, staff and faculty, their spouses, children, parents, and any others are all welcome. You can expect weekly homework for you to do along with a partner in the yeshiva. You can also expect opportunities to share the insights you gather through the homework, to read our passage aloud, to raise questions and offer observations about other passages in the section of the book we are studying, to take turns choosing a psalm or canticle with which to open the next week's class. Bring
- a Bible,
- a commitment to really learning it, even if it means getting up early,
- caffeine, if you're not on the Westmont student meal plan, and
- your completed homework page (blanks are available here) with observations and questions on the Bible portion we're studying and the specific passage we're concentrating on.
If it is your first time with us, consider the completed homework page optional, and feel free either to speak up or stay quiet.