Serving the Staff, Students and Community at Large
Vision and Accomplishment
Almost 40 years ago, Yeshivat Har Etzion began to develop a library as part of a commitment and educational directive towards excellence in Torah study. This library has become one of the important features of the educational experience of the students while studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion.
With great effort and devotion, the small staff of the library has succeeded in transforming a modest Yeshiva library into an outstanding and world-renowned, Torah and Judaica library.
Today, the library has amassed a collection of approximately 70,000 volumes, 650 unique periodical series, and 6,000 English-language volumes.
The library has received special collections of rare and antique books as part of the Yeshiva's educational message of incorporating modern and renewed Jewish life, in Eretz Israel and Gush Etzion with the deep-rooted and stable traditions of our nation's ancient Torah.
The library's resources provide for the combined use of printed and electronic resources. Our aggressive acquisitions policy has added many thousands of new titles to the library's stacks. At the same time we seized every opportunity to enhance our collection with many out-of-print titles which came our way as part of private collections passed on to the library for posterity. This has endowed our library with many books and periodicals not found in other libraries.
The motto adorning the entrance to the Yeshiva's Beit Midrash, "O how I love your Torah, It is my conversation all day long", guides us in our sacred endeavor of developing the library. This is not an average Yeshiva library, nor was our mission to create one. Even in comparison to the academic world, whose libraries hold many important and diverse volumes of Torah literature, the Yeshivat Har Etzion Library is a special and unique endeavor which was created by "Lovers of Your Torah" and radiates that love upon its surroundings.
The library is already well known. The Yeshiva's many alumni, who had the privilege of tasting the library's richness while studying at the Yeshiva, perceive it as an integral part of their experience at Yeshivat Har Etzion. Today it is impossible to describe the Yeshiva and its accomplishments without mentioning the library. Upon recruiting students, the educational staff refers to the library as an important factor which must be taken into account when a young man decides which program is best for him.
Our library has also found a venerable place among Judaica libraries in the academic world. An important by-product of the library's policy to aspire to academic level bibliographic rules and detail, is the high esteem that our catalogs have found in the eyes of librarians and bibliographers around the world. This has become even more pronounced with the appearance of our catalogs on the internet a few years ago.
Furthermore, the director of the library represents the library at forums of library directors and information systems developers, and his opinion is well respected. Our experience has attracted many smaller libraries to seek our advice and direction in building their own collections and services.
Annually, we receive many requests from around the world for information from the library's printed and electronic resources. We have been able to successfully fill most of the requests of a very diverse public.
The library provides an excellent service to all who enter through its doors. Our first responsibility is to our staff and students and to the staff and students of Herzog College. Next in line are our neighbors in the surrounding areas of Gush Etzion, among them many rabbis, teachers, Torah scholars, students, professors, and other "Lovers of Torah". All these come to learn and take advantage of the abundant resources available for them in the library.
The library welcomes many visitors every year, including parents of our students, alumni, IDF soldiers and tourists. All are amazed at the power of the spirit projected by what their eyes behold, and they leave the library with a feeling of excitement for having had the opportunity to step through this special place, a monument to the resilience of our Torah and the Jewish spirit.
Read more about the Har Etzion Library, including highlights of its collections and the accessibility to the library's catalogs.