My mother says she's never heard the name. However, my father insists that it's well-known and has been around forever.

I am wondering what type of guys go there, are they good learners, or is it as my sister says, that there is not one set of shas in the whole yeshiva.

Is it true about the rosh, that he's really old??!?!?

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  • 2
    related (curriculum, which might help assess the type of learners) judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/40438/… also, I heard a guy named Yaakov went there. Serious guy. Hard worker.
    – rosends
    Feb 19, 2018 at 13:40
  • 1
    @rosends Sure, but after yeshiva he went into agriculture and bred sheep. See my answer below. He's not really that great...
    – ezra
    Feb 19, 2018 at 18:39

5 Answers 5


Eh, you might want to avoid the yeshiva. I heard from a friend about a bochur who came from there named Yaakov who married two girls from Charan after graduating... His shver was just a really bad guy and he ended up moving to Mitzrayim, of all places. He had family problems throughout his life too. I'd search somewhere else.

  • 4
    The poor guy didn't sleep the whole 14 years he was learning there
    – b a
    Feb 19, 2018 at 17:02
  • 1
    @ba And I heard that when he finally did go to sleep, he did so on a mountain and had a strange dream.
    – ezra
    Feb 19, 2018 at 17:28
  • 2
    He married two sisters of all people!
    – Scimonster
    Feb 20, 2018 at 11:34
  • 1
    I heard he wasn't even shomer negiah. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/22432/yaakov-kissing-rachel
    – SAH
    Feb 20, 2018 at 13:22

There are two distinct parts of the Yeshiva, the Shem part and the Ever part. There has been an age-old rift because each side upholds a specific value as the goal of the Yeshiva and they cannot agree with each other.

The prophet Isaiah described this very well. The Ever folk promote athletic prowess as the ultimate goal. Thus, of Ever, Isaiah says in Chapter 40:

יַעֲלוּ אֵבֶר כַּנְּשָׁרִים יָרוּצוּ וְלֹא יִיגָעוּ יֵלְכוּ וְלֹא יִיעָפוּ

Ever rises up like eagles; they run but do not become worn out, they walk but do not tire.

The people of Shem, however, prioritize wisdom and displaying their beauty. Thus, of them, Isaiah states in Chapter 56:

וָשֵׁם טוֹב מִבָּנִים וּמִבָּנוֹת

And Shem is better than sons and daughters.

"Sons" is clearly a reference to what Isaiah told us in Chapter 54:

'וְכָל בָּנַיִךְ לִמּוּדֵי ה

And all your sons will be learned of the Lord.

"Daughters" is clearly a reference to what Isaiah said in Chapter 3:

גָבְהוּ בְּנוֹת צִיּוֹן וַתֵּלַכְנָה נטוות (נְטוּיוֹת) גָּרוֹן וּמְשַׂקְּרוֹת עֵינָיִם הָלוֹךְ וְטָפֹף תֵּלַכְנָה וּבְרַגְלֵיהֶם תְּעַכַּסְנָה

The daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched out necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.

The people of Shem, then, have surpassed the "sons" in knowledge and have surpassed the "daughters" in the haughty display of beauty.


I don't know about how old the Rashei Yeshiva are, however, I know that it has an excellent "name"...


Rashi to Bereishis 21:8 implies that it is an excellent Yeshiva, as he calls the Roshei Yeshiva "Gedolei Hador".

Ralbag to Bereishis 25:27 also shows approval of the Yeshivas policies, noting that they do not allow their Talmidim to "go out and deal with the real world":

ויעקב היה יושב אהלים ללמוד חכמה בבית מדרשו של שם ועבר, ולא היה שט בארץ לפנות בעסקי העולם

However, there is a significant problem with this Yeshiva, namely, that they provide learning opportunities for women, as Bereishis Rabbah 63:6 ('ותלך לדרוש את ה) notes that Rivkah attended Yeshivas Shem V'Ever. If so, I would strongly avoid any boys (or girls) that learn there, as we can only assume that Roshei Yeshiva that allow such things must be from a very modern background.

  • seriously even the talmidim are gedolei hador from what my father was telling me. and didn't the "best torah scholar ever" graduate from there?!?! agree it is modern tho
    – SAH
    Feb 20, 2018 at 13:20

The Yeshiva is named this way because it is geared not just for elderly people, but it is almost like a hospice. It's a special yeshiva for those who are terminaly ill and nearing death. There is a general rule that one must study Torah even until the last second before death.

To explain the name of the yeshiva - the שם part is after the notable verse in Kohellet (Eclessiastes) that says

ט֥וֹב שֵׁ֖ם מִשֶּׁ֣מֶן ט֑וֹב וְי֣וֹם הַמָּ֔וֶת מִיּ֖וֹם הִוָּלְדֽוֹ׃

A good name is better than fragrant oil, and the day of death than the day of birth.

So, we learn from here that only after someone dies, do we appreciate and laud his good name (reputation). And, there is no better way to improve one's reputation than via Torah study. (Aside, see Rabbeinu Yonah's explanation on Keter Shem Tov in 5th chapter of Pirkei Avot. He explains this concept better than I can.)

Ever means - "passed". Again, it's a reference to people who have died or "passed away".

The Rosh Yeshiva, incidentally, is not just significantly younger than the students, but, he's a late teenager. The reason is that a true Talmid Chacham is humble enough to admit what he has yet to learn. And, it is better to learn from the aged that from the young as they have more life experience.

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