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Where Is My Hevruta?

February 07, 2020
By Adam Tilove

Kirk Douglas died this week at the age of 103.

Now, I admit that I am more familiar with the work of his son Michael Douglas, but there is no doubt that in his time, Kirk Douglas was as big a movie star as they come. He was the star of Spartacus, which is described as, “A motion picture unequal in the entire history of film-making, unlikely ever to be surpassed!” But of course, I’m not writing to tout the movie version of Spartacus.

What interests me about Kirk Douglas is this: until his death, he studied Torah regularly. His hevruta, or study partner, was Rabbi David Wolpe, who wrote an article about their relationship in today’s New York Times. The article brought back many memories:

of the long and intimate conversations I had with my hevrutot while studying Torah;

about the struggles and frustrations I felt trying to understand the mindset of our G-d in the ancient texts we study;

about that feeling of connection I felt to the hundreds of generations before me and the hundreds to come; and

about the shared experiences I had with every Jew who has read these stories and shared my experience.

I never met Kirk Douglas, but I met the same texts he’s met. He is, in my mind, a friend of a friend, just one step away.

It made me wonder- where is my hevruta? The truth is, I don’t have one - and I should. I don’t want to look back and the age of 103 (G-d willing!) and wonder why I didn’t make more room for learning. In the words of Hillel the Elder from Pirkei Avot, “Do not say you will study when you are free. Perhaps you will never be free!” 

If you are interested in learning together, there are so many opportunities: learn from your children, learn from MeltonKC, or send me a note so we can learn together as HBHA parents. I would love to learn with you! 

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