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Beth Hatalmud Rabbinical College
|Location 40.6052°N 73.9927°W|
|Country United States|
|City New York City|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 40.60523,-73.99268|
There are two yeshivas with the name Beth Hatalmud. For the article that deals with Beth Hatalmud in Jerusalem, see Bais Hatalmud.
Beth Hatalmud Rabbinical College, also known as Bais Hatalmud, is a small and selective Rabbinical college located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York.
Founding and mission
Bais Hatalmud was founded in 1950 by students of the Mir Yeshiva in Belarus, which survived the Holocaust by escaping to Japan and ultimately found refuge in Shanghai where the yeshiva spent the war years. One of the deans of the Mir Yeshiva in Poland, Rabbi Avraham Kalmanowitz, managed to escape to America in 1940 and established a yeshiva in Brooklyn in 1946 that he called the Mir yeshiva. However when the Mir student body arrived in the U.S. from Shanghai, they did not join the yeshiva founded by Rabbi Kalemanowitz. Some of the most distinguished students of the yeshiva held that although the yeshiva that Rabbi Kalmanowitz established was called the Mir Yeshiva, that yeshiva was not at all the same yeshiva that existed in Poland, and that the actual Mir Yeshiva was the one that went to Shanghai and arrived in America after World War II. They held that the Mir Yeshiva was more than just a name. In their view, a yeshiva, was a world unto itself with its own culture and values, and it was these things that made a yeshiva what it was. In fact this was one of the main points that was stressed in the original Mir yeshiva in Poland. It was therefore decided by those students to establish a new institution in America that would serve as the continuation of the original Mir yeshiva. The Mir yeshiva was the only yeshiva in Europe to survive the Nazi destruction of European Jewry, and the founders of this new yeshiva wanted to re-establish in post-war America a yeshiva in the mold of the great Lithuanian yeshivas. They called this new yeshiva Bais Hatalmud, which means The House of the Talmud.
The mission of this yeshiva was to have it be to be just as the Mir yeshiva was in Poland, to keep on what was established and built there and to preserve and uphold the way that things were in the original yeshiva. A very important aspect of the original yeshiva was a concept that was called living within the "walls" of the yeshiva. The idea of the proverbial "walls" of a yeshiva is that a yeshiva is its own world and culture. What is held to be important and what is respected and strived for within the yeshiva, is completely different than that of the outside world. Thus the proverbial "walls" of the yeshiva separate the world of the yeshiva, and those within it, from the world outside.
Bais Hatalmud was established to be a continuation of the Mir Yeshiva in Poland. Unlike other yeshivas in America which were shaped and formed to fit the American mentality of its students, Bais Hatalmud stressed the fact that the yeshiva's roots were the Mir Yeshiva in pre-war Europe and placed an emphasis on maintaining the spirit and values of that yeshiva.