Monday started out with the staff all breathing a deep sigh of relief, having put their enormous efforts into the dinner, and now being able to kvell in the amazingly successful evening that it was. So many people remarked that this was the best dinner of a Jewish institution that they had ever been at and that being there made them feel inspired, and that they needed to be a part of YCT. It was so wonderful, and we were all on a high.
To top it off, our Chairman of the Board, Steven Lieberman, who had come in for the dinner, spoke to the yeshiva on Monday morning. Mr. Lieberman explained to the students his role and the role of the board and the direction and activities of the board, and they stayed to answer any questions that they had. It was a great moment of information sharing and transparency, and students left feeling not only more greatly informed, but also as partners and collaborators in the yeshiva and its direction.
In the learning, students continued to shteig away, continuing to learn laws of bishul for Shabbat, and a range of technical details regarding sticking a milkhig spoon into a fleishig pot. We also started reviewing the review questions that students had done when they completed each section, and this is turning into a wonderful opportunity to review and reinforce the earlier learning.
Also, as it now is the month of Adar haSheni, we followed our minhag of picking a student's name out of hat after mincha each day to appoint him to be the student to give a 5 minute shpeil / Purim Torah the following day after Mincha. We began this this Tuesday, with a hilarious shpeil that Aaron Finkelstein (YCT 2011) and Gabe Greenberg (YCT 2012) created, of the Shpeiling Hat - a take on the Harry Potter Sorting Hat. With a tremendous rhyme and English accent, courtesy of the talents of Dan Milner (YCT 2014). The following day Aaron Potek (YCT 2014) did a "Top Ten Slogans rejected for the YCT water bottle" and on Thursday Mikey Stein (YCT 2013) did a series of faux-announcements. We look forward to next week's shpeils!
In the area of semachot and, li'havdil, tzarrot and nichumim, our hearts go out to the hundreds who have been killed and the thousands upon thousands who are suffering from the most powerful recorded quake and tsunami in Japan which happened just today. May those who died find everlasting peace, and may those who survived and are suffering have the strength to recover from their injuries and to rebuild their lives.
In particular we pray for the family of Abbie Yamamoto, wife of Aaron Shub (YCT 2013), who lives in that region. Abbie has not yet been able to reach them and find out about their welfare. We pray that her family is well, and that as many people as possible have escaped the devastation of this quake.
This week was, in fact, one of great simcha for Aaron Shub and Abbie Yamamoto, as Abbie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Sunday night. There was great dancing and singing on Tuesday when Aaron came to the yeshiva. We look forward to a baby naming in the new future. She'tizku li'gadlah li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!
Mazel Tov to Rabbi Aaron Levy (YCT 2004) and Ms. Miriam Kraemer on the birth of a baby boy last Shabbat. Bris will be this Shabbat at the historic Kiever Synagogue in Toronto. She'tizku li'gadlo li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz (Class of 2010) on his engagement to Shoshana Stein.