Havruta: What Do We Know and What Can We Hope to Learn from Studying in Havruta?

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Abstract

Havruta learning or paired study is a traditional mode of Jewish text study. The term itself captures two simultaneous learning activities in which the Havruta partners engage: the study of a text and learning with a partner. Confined in the past to traditional yeshivot and limited to the study of Talmud, Havruta learning has recently made its way into a variety of professional and lay learning contexts that reflect new social realities in the world of Jewish learning. However, despite its long history and its recent growing popularity, Havruta learning has received little scholarly attention. This chapter begins by mapping out the current state of Havruta learning in relation to variables such as its structural, situational, and organizational elements. It then presents a review of the research on Havruta learning, and concludes with a suggested research agenda.