Welcome to VHPs semicha requirements. What follows is a full outline and explanation about how the Semicha program works.
The requirements for one to achieve semicha include the עיון learning, tests and חזרה, which will all be covered within the schedule of the program. Additionally, we will be learning בקיעות the majority of the remainder of אורח חיים with a daily shiur.
The privilege and honour of achieving Semicha is no small fete, it brings with it new responsibility and prestige; besides the necessity of having a working competent knowledge of what one learnt, a ‘Rabbi’ must also be an exemplarily example of a Ben Torah. In this vein, we will also speak with your personal Rabbonim as well as yourselves over the course of the program, helping together to work towards this goal.
Below is a brief explanation of each aspect of the program.
The Semicha will be completed in two stages; first with הלכות שבת after two years, and after with הלכות ברכות and מועדים after another two years, combining to achieve a full אורח חיים Semicha.
For your convenience, on the next, page, we have set out the topics in a more detailed manner, in a way which can easily be kept track of.
שבת : All מלאכות will be covered, as well as מקצה and אמירה לעכו״ם.
ברכות : All הלכות pertaining to ברכה ראשונה and אחרונה, including קדימה עיקר וטפל, tasting foods, different categories of food, deserts, שנוי מקום and many more. Dressing for ברכות and ספק.
מועדים : ראש השנה, יום כיפור, בדיקת חמץ, ליל הסדר, חנוכה and פורים.
The בקיעות program is not custom built into the learning schedule. Nonetheless, the learning requirements end up approximating an עמוד a day 5 days a week. One may learn this with as much or little depth as he desires.
In order to assist your learning with בקיעות each week we will upload the 5 אמוד יומי shiurim recommended for that week, as well as a pdf of the משנה ברורה with הרב נבנצל commentary on it. There will also be recommended משנה ברורה. All this material will remain accessible, so feel free to work though the material at your own pace in your own way. Click here to follow a link to the Bekiyut page.
We will be staring from חלק א׳.
The topics to be covered are as follows:
חלק א׳ : השכמת הבוקר, ציצית, תפילין, פסוקי דזימרה, קריאת שמע, תפילה.
חלק ב׳ : קריאת התורה, בית הכנסת, נטילת ידים, בציאת הפת, ברכת המזון, ברכות (רט״ו – רל״א).
חלק ג׳ : שבת (ר״ס – ש׳)
חלק ה׳ : פסח (תס״ט – תצ״ט)
חלק ו׳ : סוכה (תרכ״ז – תרכ״ט, תרל״ה – תרל״ח, תרמ״א – תרמ״ד)
After the completion of every section of עיון there will be three to four weeks for חזרה (depending on the length and difficulty of the topic learnt). Thereafter a test will be released.
The test can be taken using the מקורות and ones personal notes only. They will not be timed, but we do recommend you do them in one sitting. After the test is taken, it will be marked and uploaded on your dashboard with personal feedback.
Every test must be passed, and each test can be attempted multiple times. We strongly recommended using the חזרהperiod to revise your own note and only take it after doing so.
The pass mark of the tests are 70%.
Please also note that in addition Rav Ami may call every few months to discuss the עיון, your test and ask other questions to ensure your continued working knowledge of the material.
To help consolidate the topics covered in bekiyut, a less formalised ‘worksheet’ will be given at the end of each section of limmud – each individual topic. This worksheet can be undertaken using whichever material one needs and is in order to help you see where you are holding regarding the material you have learnt.
It will not be marked, but instead after you have submitted it the answers will be released on your dashboard, where by you can fill out – for your personal use – points which need revision.
In addition, for those attempting semicha, you may be called up and asked simple questions about the limmud to ensure that you are attempting the bekiyut.
Upon completion of the Semicha material, subject to passing the tests, learning the material, and ensuring that this achievement is suitable.
After the אורח חיים Semicha, the program will continue with a new topic, most probably איסור והיתר but yet to be determined.