Friday, February 10, 2012

Happenings at the Yeshiva

This week, third and fourth year students finished studying hilkhot Niddah, focusing on the sensitive and highly important topic of the halakhot that surround the wedding night.  They also heard a presentation from Dr. David Ribner, an eminent couples sex therapist in Israel, and co-author with Dr. Jennie Rosenfeld of the new "The Newlywed Guide to Physical Intimacy".  Dr. Ribner talked about how a rabbi can help in preparing a bride and groom for their sexual life as a married couple, and also the critical role played by one's family of origin and the messages that one receives growing up.  This talk was followed, on the next day, by a presentation by Dr. Batsheva Marcus, director of the  Center for Female Sexuality.  Dr. Marcus discussed the types of sexual problems that couples - newly married or married for many years - may experience and the role that a rabbi can play in making sure that these issues are surfaced and that the couple gets the help that they need.   All in all, a powerful week on a very sensitive topic.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming Rabbi Yair Kahn, a longtime rav in Gush Etzion and a former chavruta of mine, to the yeshiva on Tuesday.  Rav Yair gave a shiur on the topic of Birkat HaMazon, and its emphasis on the Land of Israel and the agricultural produce of Israel.  The shiur was a wonderful lead-on to Tu BiShvat the following day, when students arrange a special Tu BiShvat seder in the afternoon. 

It was a very full week, and it is wonderful to be back.

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