Choose Your Sugya

For the 2022 Elul Chevruta Lovefest, SVARA is offering learning materials for three sugyot from the Eighth Chapter of Masechet Yoma—the tractate about how the Rabbis re-imagined Yom Kippur in a world without the Temple. You can choose to learn one, two, or all three. You’ll find Hint Sheets, Kra Sheets, and other goodies for each sugya on that sugya’s page.

Sugya 1: Teshuva Mekhaperet (Yoma 85b)

Length: 3-5 sessions

The first sugya, Teshuva Mekhaperet, is drawn from the very last mishnah in Masechet Yoma. Witness how the Rabbis invent “teshuva” (relational repair) out of a sacrificial system. Track this journey and explore their understanding of who the Jewish tradition wants us to be and who we want to be.

This sugya might be a good fit for you if: you are hoping to deepen your experience learning mishnah, work through a kra proof, and explore how the Rabbis bring a new spiritual technology into practice. This sugya is in Hebrew only.

Sugya 2: Gedola Teshuva (Yoma 86a/b)

Length: 1–2 sessions or 8–10 sessions (two options for learning this sugya)

The second sugya, Gedola Teshuva, asks the question “What makes teshuva so great?” Seven sages weigh in with their answers in an epic Rabbinic drash-a-thon. We’re suggesting two options for how to learn this text: one shorter option (1-2 sessions) and one longer option (8-10 sessions). Learn how the Rabbis dealt with the messy reality of human relationships and the complexity of repair.

This sugya might be a good fit for you if: you are dreaming of new ways to understand the power of teshuva, and are interested in learning how the Rabbis use their tradition by reaching for Torah concepts and verses to deepen the practice they’re creating.

Sugya 3: Rabbinic Rebuke (Yoma 87a)

Length: 1-2 sections or 3-4 sections (two options for learning this sugya)

The third sugya, Rabbinic Rebuke, is a deep-dive into “tochecha,” or compassionate critique. ”Tochecha” is the act of inviting others to do teshuva for harm they’ve caused you, and is a practice that asks us to, at times, engage in direct communication when we’ve been hurt. In this text you’ll find two tales of Rabbis who exemplify what to do (or what not to do!) after experiencing harm.

This sugya might be a good fit for you if: you want to dive into some Aramaic and learn about tochecha and its relation to teshuva.