Waking up early to learn something different


Alyssa Wallack

YERUSHALMI: Sophomore Josh Glettner was one of three studying Masechet Brachot of Talmud Yerushalmi with Rabbi Lieberman, learning a different kind of Talmud.

From the start of the school year all the way until the end, every weekday at 7.a.m., three students met with Rabbi Abraham Lieberman to explore a piece of Gemara they might otherwise never have learned.

The students — sophomore Josh Glettner and juniors Joseph Klores and Abraham Czuker — finished Perek Aleph of Talmud Yerushalmi’s Masechet Brachot before Pesach and were well into the second chapter — page 25 — by Shavuot.  Rabbi Lieberman said that he never believed this would be the outcome.

“I thought I’d be going maybe one daf” — page “of the Yerushalmi a month,” said Rabbi Lieberman, who last fall on Schoology invited anyone at school to join. “But we finished an entire chapter.”

Neima Fax
EARLY: Rabbi Abraham Lieberman held a daily Talmud shiur this year that met at 7 a.m.


Although Shalhevet students develop skills in Talmud Bavli from the LaHav curriculum, the Talmud Yerushalmi is a bit different in both text set-up and language. For example, both are in Aramaic but one uses a Babylonian and the other a Palestinian dialect.

Students said Yerushalmi also exposed them to a different type of discussion from what they’re normally introduced to at school.

“The big thing with the Talmud Yerushalmi is it has less editing,” said Josh, “… just quotes and quotes, whereas the Talmud Bavli will explain things. So it’s a bit more difficult because since it doesn’t explain itself it causes a variety of meaning.”

The learning was set in an open environment every morning, available to any boys or girls interested in joining whenever they could come.

Joseph said that even though waking up earlier can be difficult, it’s worth it.

“It’s annoying waking up a half an hour earlier but I enjoy learning in the morning, and even though I’m tired and sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed, I think — while I’m there I enjoy it and if I could go back I would do the same thing over again.”