A Yeshiva (Hebrew, pl. Yeshivos) is an institution of Torah Study and the study of Talmud. As covered here it refers to institutions based on the model developed by Jews in Lithuania).

The largest yeshivos currently include Beis Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, NJ, The Mirrer Yeshiva of Jerusalem, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanon Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, and The Pononvezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

Table of contents
1 Types of Yeshivas
2 Typical schedule
3 Method of Study

Types of Yeshivas

There are three types of Yeshivos:

Typical schedule

They following is a typical daily schedule for Beis Medrash students

  • 7:00 am - Optional Seder (Study Session)
  • 7:30 am - morning prayers
  • 8:30 am - Session on study of Jewish law
  • 9:00 am - Breakfast
  • 9:30 am - Morning Talmud study (first seder)
  • 12:30 pm - Lecture - Advanced students sometimes dispense with this lecture
  • 1:30 pm - Lunch
  • 2:45 pm - Mincha - afternoon prayers
  • 3:00 pm - Mussar seder - Jewish ethics
  • 3:30 pm - Talmud study (second seder)
  • 7:00 pm - Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - Night Seder - Review of lecture, or study of choice.
  • 9:25 pm - Mussar Seder - Study of Jewish Ethics
  • 9:45 pm - Maariv - Evening Prayers
  • 10:00 pm - Optional Seder

This schedule is generally maintained Sunday through Thursday. Fridays afternoons are free and Saturdays have a special
Sabbath schedule.

The year is divided into three periods called zmanim. Elul zman starts from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul and extends until the end of Yom Kippur. This is the shortest (approx. six weeks), but most intense semester as it comes before the high holydays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Winter zman starts after Sukkot (the festival of booths) and lasts until just before Passover, a duration of six months (seven on a Jewish leap year).

Summer semester starts after Passover and lasts until either the middle of the month of Tamuz or the beginning of the Jewish month of Av, a duration of three months.

Method of Study

Studying is usually done together with a partner called a chavrusa.

Jewish law

Among Lithuanian Orthodox Jews, the most common text studied is the Mishna Berura written by the Chofetz Chaim. The Mishna Berura is a compilation of all Halachic opinions rendered after the time of the writing of the Shulchan Aruch.

Talmud study

A week is typically taken to study one page) of Talmud. Study partners read a few lines together with the commentary of Rashi and of the Tosfos). Various other Meforshim (commentators) are used as well. A typical variation on the schedule might be that the morning seder to study one page in-depth, while afternoon seder is taken to get a larger bredth.


The preeminent Mussar text studied in Yeshivos is the Mesilas Yesharim ("Path of the Just"). It was written by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. Other works studied include:

  • Orchos Tzaddikim (The paths of the Righteous) Its authorship and time of writing is uncertain, but as it quotes Maimonides, it was written some time after his works were disseminated.
  • Duties of the Heart Written by Bahya ibn Paquda.
  • Maalos Hamidos (The benefit of good character traits.)
  • Mishnas R' Aharon Musser Lectures on many topics by Rabbi Aharon Kotler.

The weekly Torah portion

The weekly Torah portion is usually read together with Rashi and an Aramaic translation by Onkelos.