Learning continued apace, as year 1-2 students, and the Beit Midrash students, delved deeper into their respective mesekhtot - Pesachim for years 1 and 2, and Kesuvos for Beit Midrash. The year 3 and 4 students who are in the Educators track continued their learning of the first chapter of Baba Metzia, and their reflection - to a smaller extent in shiur with Rabbi Katz and to a much larger extent in a pedagogy class on Wednesday evening with Ruth Fagen - on the pedagogy of teaching Gemara. The integration of the morning learning with the evening pedagogy is unique to Jewish educator training programs, and is already proving to be a highly effective and anchored method of teaching these critical skills.
Students from years 3 and 4 who are learning Hilkhot Niddah moved this week from the sugya of chumrah di'Rebbe Zeira, and the requirement of 7 days post-bleeding, to the other requirements around the period of shiva ni'kiyyim, the seven "clean" or "white" days. All year 3 and 4 students continued learning aspects of Brit Milah - perfectly timed for this week's parsha - in the afternoons, from its halakhot, to aspects of officiating, and to pastoral issues. Students also took classes in more general pastoral aspects around early childhood. Second year students continued their chaplaincy internship on Monday afternoons, and heard another wonderful class on Wednesday given - via Skype - by our musmach Rabbi Jason Weiner (YCT 2006), Senior Rabbi at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, LA on the topic of Jewish Chaplaincy and Bikkur Cholim. Rabbi Weiner's erudition, experience and wisdom were a tremendous gift to the students, and we look forward to hearing another class from him again next week.
A couple of Mazal Tovs are in order. First, Mazal Tov to Rabbi Zev (YCT 2006) and Chani Farber on the birth of a baby girl last week. Geffen Farber was named this week, and we wish Abba and Ima and the whole family much joy and nachas. She'tizku li'gadlah li'Torah li'Chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!
And a big Mazal Tov to Gabe Greenberg (class of 2012) and Abby Streusand who were married in Baltimore this last Sunday. The wedding took place on the grounds of a farmhouse near the Pearlstone center, where - as participants and leaders in Pearstone's Kayyam Farm - Gabe and Abby first met. The setting was beautiful and so fitting, and Rabbi Weiss, Rabbi Katz and I, together with a group of YCT students, were thrilled to be there and to be able to dance at the wedding and to rejoice with the couple. It was also true nachas to see Rabbi Aaron Finkelstein (YCT 2010) co-officiate the wedding together with Gabe's Grandfather. Gabe and Abby returned to New York this week, and on Thursday the students of the yeshiva held a beautiful sheva brakhot for them, with words from Aaron Lerner, and with an exquisite presentation arranged by Allison Batalion. We are thrilled to welcome Abby into our family! Shetizku livnot bayit ne'eman bi'Yisrael!