Friday, September 23, 2011

Happenings at the Yeshiva

The learning continues strongly, and the kol Torah is filling the Beit Midrash and the halls. 

My shiur had the first round of student-led chaburot given on Monday and Tuesday on the topics of Shmita and annulment of loans nowadays, the way in which Shmita annuls loans, and the strength or Rabbinic enactments and what type of court is need to reverse them.   I gave shiur on further details relating to the annulment of loans on Shmita, and on the mechanics of pruzbol.  We have now progressed to the topic of slaves in halakha, and will hear today a chaburah on the two aspects of slavery - the ownership of a slave as property, and the personal status of the slave.  After Rosh HaShana we will continue this topic, and look at the ways in which a slave is compared to land, and deal with some of the religious/theological aspects and challenges around slavery in the context of the mitzvah - as understood by the Rabbis - not to free one's slaves.

In preparation for Rosh HaShana, we had two special events this week.  Lisa Goldstein from the Institute of Jewish Spirituality was in on Tuesday and led an optional meditation session in the afternoon.  Then, on Wednesday, Rabbi Blanchard taught a shiur to the whole yeshiva on the aggadata of Yoma, and approaches to teshuva.    We are all looking forward to our Spirituality / Hakhana LiYamim Noraim two-day retreat coming up this Monday-Tuesday, which will be taking place at Baker Camp at Lake Sebago, which will be led by Rabbi Moshe Silver, and which will also consist of students and rebbeim sharing their own Torah and approaches towards developing a deeper connection and preparing for the Yamim Noraim.

On a sad note, we mourn the passing of Ida Hilsenrad, mother of our beloved Toby Weiss.   Rabbi Weiss, spoke beautifully about his mother-in-law at the funeral on Shomrei Hadas Chapel, in Boro Park.  Toby is sitting shiva at her home on Sunday and Monday and will be getting up this coming Tuesday morning.  We also mourn the passing of Gertrude Levine, sister of Yitz Greenberg.   May God console them amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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