This last Sunday, YCT and SAR High School sponsored a Yom Iyyun on Talmud and Torah She'bi'Al Peh. It was held at the SAR High School and approximately 100 people attended. Rebbeim from the yeshiva, YCT musmachim, rabbis and teachers from SAR, and community scholars, all gave shiurim on a wide-variety of topics, ranging from the use of Smartboards and pedagogical strategies to a comparison between Talmudic and Sassanian legal analysis. I gave a class on "Ownership or Partnership: A Source-Critical and Conceptual Analysis of the First Sugya of Kiddushin," which explored this question of the nature of the institution of kiddushin in the context of two parallel, but complementary, darkhei ha'limud, methodologies of study, of Gemara. It was wonderful to see so many people turn out on a Sunday to devote the entire day to the study of Gemara through nuanced and sophisticated perspectives.
Also on Sunday, we received the sad news of the passing of the mother of our musmach Yonah Berman. Yonah's mother, Bonnie Laks Berman, had been diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, and she passed away this last Shabbat in the Berman home in Teaneck. Rabbi Weiss was present at the funeral, as was a significant number of our musmachim and current students. Yonah has shared with me his gratitude for the support this week of YCT, it's students, rebbeim, and staff who have all turned out for the shiva. May he and his family have nechama - HaMakom Yenachem Otam b'toch Sha'arei Tzion vi'Yerushalayim.
On Tuesday, Rabbi Chaim Jachter visited the yeshiva. Rabbi Jachter is the author of the multi-volume Grey Matter series on contemporary halakha, head of the Halakha department of the Torah Academy of Bergen County, and a dayan of the Beth Din of Elizabeth. Rabbi Jachter gave a class on siddur ha'get, the procedure of the granting of the get, covering all the issues that are key for a community rabbi to know, as well as addressing some of the issues around the agunah crisis. It was wonderful to have Rabbi Jachter at the yeshiva, and he was kind enough to meet with students over lunch discussing his own experiences as a community rabbi and sharing the lessons that he has learned over the years.
Finally, this coming Monday, we will be having a Leil Iyyun at the yeshiva on the Agunah crisis. Presentations will cover the halakhic issues, as well as agunah advocacy, how to navigate the beth din system, and proper communal response. Please inform your friends and community about this important event.