There's a Yeshiva in Washington Heights named after (and supposedly run in the spirit of) R' S. R. Hirsch.

All I could find is a Donation page there.

What kind of learning goes on there (or in other Yekkish Kehillos)? Do they learn Gemara full time or is it more in the model of the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary?

  • I would like to note that the Hildesheimer Yeshiva is not a Yekkisch institution, inasmuch as R' Esriel Hildesheimer was neither German, nor located within the classic Ashkenaz borders. I would also suggest looking into the derech halimud of the Chassam Saufer, as he was born and raised in Frankfurt. Appropriately enough, R' Salman Breuer, R' Hirsch's son-in-law, while not himself German, learned under the Ksav Saufer. Another reference might be the Aruch laNer, R' Yaakov Ettlinger – Noach MiFrankfurt Jun 22 '15 at 19:34
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    It's yeshivish and the rebbeim are typically from Lakewood (as of 20 yrs. ago anyway, though my sense is that things move to the right, not the left). They generally follow the derech of Rav Shimon Schwab, z"l, and are not particularly fond of secular education (or, e.g., institutions like Yeshiva University; I think at this point Torah im derech eretz is assumed to mean: Torah, and have respect for your rebbeim;) – Loewian Jun 22 '15 at 20:13
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azriel_Hildesheimer said that he was born in Prussia (note the P :) ) – Shmuel Brin Jun 22 '15 at 20:30
  • You might want to contact the modern reincarnation of the Hildesheimer Yeshiva and see if they use the old derech. FWIW, their r"y is R' Chanoch Ehrentreu, who was himself born in Frankfurt. rabbinerseminar.de/kontakt – Noach MiFrankfurt Jun 22 '15 at 20:48
  • @Loewian which is ironic, considering how worldly and secularly learned R'Hirsch was... – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 23 '15 at 16:01

In this blog from Treasures of Ashkenaz, the author brings a quote from a book from R' Lorch describing R' Josef Breuer's derech halimud:

“Rav Breuer followed the derech halimud of his father, Rav Shlomo Breuer, who had been a close talmid of the Ksav Sofer….Rav Shlomo Breuer belonged to the school of the Chasam Sofer in his derech halimud…striving primarily to understand thoroughly the text at hand….learned with his talmidim only ‘on the daf’. Never did the Gaon come with prepared solutions to the gemara. He never discussed only those parts of the daf where he had something to be mechadesh….he strove for clarity in the pshat of the Gemara…He would never turn to the other Rishonim until Rashi and Tosafos were clear: in particular, he would get annoyed if one went right away to the Rambam…he eschewed any attempt at pilpul, and stressed the careful understanding of an inyan rather than hasty coverage of subject matter.”

(Lorch 41-42)

In summary, the approach of the Chassam Saufer derech (which he likely learned from his rabbanim in Frankfurt) was to approach the Gemara with the aim of understanding, first with the text and then if necessary with Rashi and Tausefaus. If this was clear, he might continue by studying the other Rishonim presented in the back of the Gemara, although he would avoid pilpul.

My grandfather ז”ל, who grew up in the Frankfurt IRG recalled that in the yeshiva, they also stressed the learning of Tanach, including Nevi'im and Ketuvim, not only Torah itself.

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The Shamshon Raphael Hirsch Yeshiva known as Breuer's learns in the classic Lithuanian yeshiva model, IE. Not in the Scholarly "Chochmat Yisrael" method that was taught in the Hildesheimer Seminary (Rav Dovid Z. Hoffman, and Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg both Deans at the Seminary, taught in this method).

The Majority of their Rebbeim has studied in mainstream Lithuanian yeshivas such as Lakewood, Mir, and Brisk.

Furthermore, The Breuer's Shul K.A.J. history and leadership were students and family of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch, and follow his legacy. As opposed to the Hildeshimer Seminary, which was started by Rav Ezriel Hildesheimer. These two great men differed in approaches. Rav Berel Wein puts it like this:

Though closely associated with Rabbi Shimshon Rafoel Hirsch, Rabbi Hildesheimer's view of "Torah im derech eretz" differed slightly. He saw secular studies as necessary, but unlike Rabbi Hirsch, did not believe they were in any way spiritually uplifting. Yet at the same time, he was much less of a separatist than Rabbi Hirsch and worked alongside the Reform when the German government required it. Because of this, he met with opposition on both sides of the Jewish spectrum, yet his solutions to the challenge of modernity are echoed in the current solutions implemented in the Jewish world today.

So, knowing the history of both institutions, there would be no expectation that the Breuers yeshiva would have a similar approach to the Hildesheimer Seminary.

From my own exsposure to students from the Breuers yeshiva, they generally move on after highschool or a couple of years in the Beis Medrash program to other mainstream yeshivas such as Long Beach, Mir Jerusalem, Lakewood, Brisk, Passaic etc.

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