The week began with a wonderful simcha- the marriage of Rabbi Steven Exler (YCT '09) to Shira Billet. The wedding brought together not only Steven and Shira, but also the many worlds that they are a part of - YCT, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, YU and the Young Israel of Woodmere. There were over 1500 people at the wedding, and the chuppah was a true achdus event, with the joyous participation of a wide range of family, friends, and rabbonim, people and the inclusion of different minhagim from all these worlds. The dancing was leibadich, and there were so many YCT students and musmachim present, that it felt like our annual reunion! Steven and Shira make such a beautiful couple, and we wish the two of them much joy and love, and that they should be zokehboneh bayit ne'eman bi'Yisrael ad meah vi'esrim shana! to be
Continuing in the simcha department, there were two YCT births this week. Avi and Rachel Rosenfeld had a baby girl this Tuesday here in Riverdale. Avi is a fourth year student, and Rachel and his new daughter are doing well, and we expect the baby naming on Monday, with a simchat bat to follow sometime soon. And then this Thursday, Rabbi Chai (YCT '10) and Rachel Posner had a baby boy. Mommy and baby are doing well, and we look forward to this bris at Beth Tfillah in Baltimore this coming Thursday. Both babies were born the old fashioned way - natural childbirth with a midwife and a doula. We could not be happier for them.
In the yeshiva itself, we had a guest speaker for our Parsha shiur this week- Rabbi Rachel Cowan, the executive director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Cowan talked about the parsha and then opened up a larger conversation on how we can connect to God and how we can develop our own inner spiritual selves to help us be better spiritual leaders for our communities.
As the Fall zman wraps up, most morning shiurim have ended and students are in the midst of serious chazara for their bechinot. For Yoreh Deah, we are beginning the final with a research and presentation section, and students are researching "new" topics (copepods, gelatin, etc.) and also analyzing real-world cases, and will be presenting their findings and psakim this coming week. It promises to be an intense week of learning, chazara, and exercising of their paskening skills.