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Did Melchizedek have a yeshiva which he used to teach Torah to people, including Avraham?

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According to P'shat, No. According to Midrashic and Rabbinic sources, Yes. See answers below for details. –  Shmuel Dec 4 '11 at 9:29
@ShmuelL, what do you mean by "According to P'shat, No". Simply that there is no source to say yes? Or that the midrashim contradict the p'shat which specifically says that he did not have such a y'shiva? –  msh210 Dec 4 '11 at 17:03
@ msh210 I mean that Melchizedek is mentioned twice in Tanach, once in Genesis 14, and once in Psalms 110. In neither of these places do the verses mention or imply to Melchizedek studying Torah or starting a Yeshiva. The phrase כֹהֵן לְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן is a possible weak allusion, but there are too many shaky assumptions involved for this conclusion to be considered P'shat (simple reading of the text). The assumptions are as follows: –  Shmuel Dec 4 '11 at 22:14
1. The Avot knew the Torah. This idea is argued about at length by the Meforshim, and there is no consensus. 1b. This conclusion extends this controversial assumption even further by assuming that other, non-"Jewish" figures also learned Torah. 2. כֹהֵן basically means talmud chacham, for there is no better way to serve God than by studying his Torah (despite the fact that in the Torah, sacrifice seems to be the primary method). 3. Institutional Yeshivot existed. However, they not invented until over a thousand years later, making the entire concept of anachronistic. –  Shmuel Dec 4 '11 at 22:15
Hello N.Price, welcome to J.SE. Thanks for the question. Hope to see you around! –  Hacham Gabriel Apr 1 '12 at 2:53
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1 Answer

According to Rashi and Yonathan's translation (Breshit 14:18) Malchitzedek was Shem , the son of Noach. He indeed had a Yeshiva and we know that Ya'akov studied there for 14 years on his way to Charan and even Rivka asked his advice when she felt something unusual during her pregnancy.

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Yaakov learned in the yeshiva of Ever for 14 years, by that time Shem had already passed away. The Maskil Ledavid does the math for us and figures out that Shem passed away when Yaakov was 50. But Yaakov was 63 when he left to go to Charan. chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8223/showrashi/true#v9 hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=19148&pgnum=61 . Yaakov did, however, learn there in his youth (as per Rashi 25:27 chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/8220/showrashi/true#v27 ) –  Menachem Dec 4 '11 at 1:04
When speaking about Rivka, Rashi calls it the "Torah of Shem and Ever". Doesn't this mean that there was one Yeshiva? Do you think there were 2? –  rony Dec 4 '11 at 3:27
Rashi is explaining why it says Yaakov dwelt in tents (plural). He says the tents refer to the tents of shem and the tents of Ever. The Gur Aryeh quoted in this answer understands it to be two different places: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/11488/603 . On the other hand, the Midrash quoted in this answer lumps them together: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/11485/603 –  Menachem Dec 4 '11 at 3:53
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