This week learning continued at a good, steady pace, with Yoreh Deah students moving from nat bar nat - what happens if I cook my spaghetti in a clean fleishig pot, can I eat it with milk - to the topic of davar charif - whether sharp tasting foods, such as radishes and onions, will transfer taste even from a cold knife that has not been used within the last 24 hours. The Shabbat students are wrapping up Bishul and will soon be moving on to Boneh and its related toldot. They are also devoting the entire day Monday, including the first half of the afternoon, to covering additional melakhot in the Mishne Brurah, with key Arukh HaShulkhans, Rav Shlomo Zalmans, Rav Moshes, and Rav Ovadya Yosefs.
We had two esteemed visitors this last week. Last Friday, Rav Yuval Cherlow, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Petach Tikvah, and a close friend of the yeshiva, visited our Beit Midrash and spoke to the students about the failure of the Israelis rabbis to even begin to shape a vision about what a religious Zionist state should really look like. Instead, he said, their concerns are narrow, immediate, and serve just the interests of the dati community. He spoke powerfully about the need to begin to develop such a vision, not only for the future, but to inform the present, and to begin to think more creatively about what a halakha, and a halakhic process, would look like that is meant to serve a nation, and not just individuals.
And, at the end of this week, on Thursday, we welcomed Rabbi Dr. Daniel Sperber to our Beit Midrash. Rabbi Sperber was in NY for a Yeshiva University conference, and he spoke in our Beit Midrash on the topic of Minhag - its scope and its weight. There then followed a lovely question and answer period with the students. We were truly blessed to have such distinguished guests this week.
Finally, we all share in the deep sorrow of the Perla family. Our beloved student, and past president of the HIR, Dan Perla, lost his father, Robert Perla, alav ha'shalom, after a protracted illness this last Monday night. The funeral was held on Wednesday morning in Long Island, and almost the entire yeshiva - students, rebbeim, and staff - attended. Dan and his family are sitting shiva at 69 Birch Hill, Searington, NY 11507. We wish Dan and his family a true nechama for their loss. HaMakom yenachem etchem bi'tokh sha'arei Tziyon vi'Yerushalayim.