Yeshiva (pl. Yeshivot)
YESHIVA (pl. yeshivot)
A school for the study of Jewish sacred texts. A fundamental element of the Jewish religious world, these schools were basic religious institutions of Palestine and Babylonia, where clarification and compilation of ancient texts led to the creation of the Talmud. Modern yeshivot are intended for all Jews who wish to increase their knowledge of Judaism as well as those preparing to be ordained as rabbis. Although they were once only for males, many now admit women. Some, which are often called day schools in North America, offer secular studies in addition to intensive religious study.
In Israel, yeshivot are of two types: those that embrace Zionism, whose students combine military service with study, and those that do not, whose students are exempt from military service. Some of the former have played a significant role in promulgating annexationist or messianic ideologies at the expense of the Palestinians in Jerusalem or the territories.
SEE ALSO Talmud.