I just have to make something absolutely clear: me and my new chevruta, the ever-so-brilliant Jacob Feinman, are just that – chevrutas. There’s no funny business going on whatsoever. Just two bros shteiging Shmuel Aleph. And sure, we just started perek 18 last Shabbos and we’re already up to perek 21, but that shouldn’t be any reason for people to care about it.
I think it says a lot about society today that two guys can’t learn the ins and outs of Messechet Kiddushin without wayward glances from onlookers in the Beit Midrash. Like, yeah, he makes me feel valued and can make me laugh harder than anyone I’ve ever met, but that doesn’t mean anything is going on after night seder. Maybe they’re just jealous that we got so close as chevrutas so fast. Jacob and I just got really into learning with each other, that’s all. Who cares if that means we spend all of lunch, dinner, and night seder learning?
We’re just chevrutas. There, I said it. Nothing more, nothing less. Okay, yes, we did share a sleeping bag on a tiul to the Negev one time, but it was strictly for warmth.
Yes, I did one time refer to him as my life partner, but that’s just because, um, Torah is life, and he’s obviously my Torah partner. No need to read into that any further. We were made for each other, but like, in terms of learning. That’s it. I really just don’t get why everyone made such a big deal out of it! Some of the guys have started saying that Jacob and I shouldn’t be allowed to ‘learn’ in a room alone together, so now we have to sneak off. It’s the only way we can truly be alone with each other, our thoughts, and Hashem.
It doesn’t bother me when people whisper, because I still have Jacob. Like, just the other day, we were studying the story of David and Yonatan in the book of Shmuel, and Jacob goes, “they remind me of us.” My heart simply melted. But not in a romantic way! We’re just chevrutas.
Image via Terageorge, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons