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Rabbi Launches Online Smicha

Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, recently launched an online smicha program for future Rabbis. Full Story, Video

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(#11) Smicha Bochur
October 26, 2010 12:16 pm

To # 26: My point is that learning the material online is merely a way of using technology for the good and it doesn’t make the learning any less real (Like recordings of Shiurim). as a matter of fact, I found it easier to learn online because there where less people around to distract me. I feel that the online Smicha program will in fact be more thorough than most others because it is regulated quite well based on the description of rules shown on their website. I hope people wake up and realize that nowadays we have the technology… Read more »

October 25, 2010 4:33 pm

There is already a fully functional smicha on line program that has been operationg for a few years called “Pirkeu Shoshanim”. For more info:

October 24, 2010 3:14 pm

SOMEONE is up with the times

October 23, 2010 10:41 pm

e-smicha i like it!

All over the place
October 23, 2010 4:05 pm

How many references to gra will this course have?

Hard on the ears

seems good
October 22, 2010 7:40 pm

A lot of ppl make the false assumption that because something is online therefore it is “easy” or less rigorous in some kind of way. In my experience secular online academics, science and in my case specifically chemistry, is as or even more strict in time limits for completion and thoroughness. There are other online simcha programs. I know ppl who have gone through one of them. They say it is very “rigorous” and obviously they worked very hard to finish. Another false assumption is that Smicha is related to accomplishment with Gemorah etc. Smicha programs are a way of… Read more »

October 22, 2010 5:36 pm

most smicha recepiants would be better off learning kittzer shulchon orech (at least first)

October 22, 2010 3:34 pm

Well, I have to say I understand what #1 is saying, #4, Women getting Smicha? this isnt reform you know, to #3, Smicha, useless?????? can you explain that? to #16-The online school for shluchims kids is a different idea, without online school you know how many 6-13-year-olds would be out of town? to #11, that is something else entirely, because that wasnt the way you learnt the entire time was it? to #14- at first i thought so too, but now im not so sure. And Hatzlacha Raba!

October 22, 2010 2:16 pm

this is fantastic!
the all idea is to give the opportunuty to many Ydn to learn Torah! It is an accomplishment to finish the program,therefore it is going to be an incentive for many ppl to put some extra effort in learning
it is fantastic!

To # 18
October 22, 2010 11:03 am

You would be a wise person if you looked before you leaped with an opinion. From what I’ve seen, the intake proccess for the smicha on line is vigorous and includes a review of the individual’s yiras shomayim.

October 22, 2010 3:06 am

I need the knowledge of smicha mostly to deal with practical situations that arise in my day to day life, and I am older and have no time for a traditional program. No interest in calling myself Rabbi or paskening for anyone else, so this is perfect for me!

Almost like BinahOnline!
October 22, 2010 12:12 am

Boys now have an online seminary

Just like the old days
October 21, 2010 11:52 pm

Learning with a sayfer and a beer side by side. same faces

former hachayal 5769 staff member
October 21, 2010 11:13 pm

great idea! good luck!

Smicha Bochur
October 21, 2010 9:45 pm

well put #16.

post smicha bochur
October 21, 2010 9:42 pm

Smicha isnt just about knowing tha halochos. Its being ordained as a RABBI, i understand how he will test for knowledge online, but how will he see that this person is living a lifestyle suitable to be called RABBI?? i think it cheapens the title rabbi. It is now possible for a complete non frum jew to recieve the title as RABBI bc he will never be seen or actually met. he can claim to be a lubav but at the same time eat trief etc, how can they give someone title rabbi without viewing his lifestyle?? and eventhough some… Read more »

i support u rabbi wilhelm!
October 21, 2010 8:14 pm

i support u what ever u do. u got a worldly mind thats not so often u find in lubavitch! u have done wonders from the START your yeshiva- and im sure this will be wonderfull as well.

online is the way to go
October 21, 2010 8:04 pm

people we’re in 2010. there’s an entire school for shluchims children being run online – and very professionally too. so this is just a higher form of the same thing.

October 21, 2010 7:03 pm

After receiving smicha I had the opportunity to earn a degree from a known university. I am now pursuing an advanced degree from the same university, though this time online, as I live elsewhere. To be honest, the online degree is more rigorous and difficult for many reasons. This is besides the fact that it takes a very committed person to both earn a living and get a degree which is mostly done at night after a full day amid the requirement not to fall below a B- or be expelled from the program

slight issue
October 21, 2010 6:42 pm

a lot of smicha programs in lubavitch have alreay become a “go to florida/california/europe for a year have a great time and also do smicha”, which works out great for the vilder/veltesher bochurim to do their thing and also keep the status quo of getting smicha. I think this will expand that because you can be doing whatever you want ect. but be “learning smicha” for the year . i dont think this does well for the “chassiddishkiet”of our bochurimz but then again it doesnt sound like this program is really for bochurim but rather for balie battim who cant… Read more »

all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina
October 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Hatzlocho Raba Rabbi Wilhelm
It is a great idea to help many people learn Torah wherever they may be living

To #9
October 21, 2010 6:26 pm

I don’t know what you’re comparing this to, but there are some smicha programs that are 100% sponsored i.e. free. Kind of hard to beat that price.

Smicha Bochur
October 21, 2010 6:25 pm

To #1: If a person learns the material what’s the difference how it’s achieved? learning is learning! When I wasn’t feeling well for a full week I learned with my Chavrusa from the comfort if my own home on a web-cam. Should it say on MY papers that I received my Smicha degree online? Instead of criticizing without thinking, think, and you won’t feel the need to criticize. To #3: Have you ever looked into the cost of most Smicha programs? I’m willing to bet that you haven’t. In general, they are extremely costly. The internet Smicha program is probably… Read more »

to # 7
October 21, 2010 6:24 pm

Actualy Rabbi Chazanow in Manalapan was the first to have a smicha program

To #3 and #4
October 21, 2010 5:58 pm

#3: This program is much more affordable than regular smicha programs and more accessible to people who don’t have the time, the money or the locale to learn on-site. Obviously you have a bone to pick in general. Whatever happened to being ‘dan le kaf zchus”?

To #4: In a sense, a woman could listen in on her husband’s shiurim, and learn as well. But earn smicha? Am I missing something here?

rabbi wlhelm
October 21, 2010 5:38 pm

rabbi nachman wilhelm is a talmid chochom,lamdan and a yirei shamayim, yet understands the needs of day to day boys and incorporates what is necessary-his mix is a rare find today and chabad is lucky to have him as one of ours! hatzlacha raba rabbi! may you go fromm strength to strength!

Rabbi wilhelm was the first.....
October 21, 2010 5:25 pm

He was the first to start a yeshiva for shavchere bachurim, now it is being done everywhere.

He was the first to have asmichah program, now its being done everywhere.

He is the first to start online smichah, the rest is just a matter of time.

to #3
October 21, 2010 5:20 pm

why is it “a useless degree”?

to #1
October 21, 2010 5:12 pm

Why do you say that about online semicha? If someone studies the material and passes the tests, that’s what it’s about, is it not?

can women enroll?
October 21, 2010 4:15 pm

if it’s online women should be able to take advantage

October 21, 2010 4:04 pm

Like many other online degrees, this seems like a cash cow for the individuals running the program with little real world prestige for the students. Then again, smicha is a useless degree anyhow.

October 21, 2010 3:56 pm

This is a really cool ideal. I am a Balabus that started doing smicha but never managed to complete it. Just a thought, an additional great incentive to join, would be to offer college credits.

Yagdil torah v'yadir
October 21, 2010 3:48 pm

Great – as long as the Smicha says that it was received online