Students continued learning away this week, with years 1 and 2 deep into Baba Kama, perek Merubeh, and with years 3 and 4 continuing their learning of hilkhot Aveilut.
In my Modern Orthodoxy class, we began this week hearing student presentations on various topics in Modern Orthodoxy that particularly interest them. This week presentations included: the relevance of manuscript variants and newly found commentaries to the Halakhic process; the appropriateness of bringing our Torah values and halakhic positions into the public political arena, with a focus on gay marriage; different approaches to gender separation or integration in Israeli poskim, and postmodernism and Jewish practice and theology. The presentations were all of high quality, reflecting serious thought and research, and raising critical issues for us as a community. We look forward next week to hearing the three concluding presentations.
Finally, last week's Happenings failed to mention two important events. First, on May 4-5, we had a fabulous Shabbaton for all students, rebbeim, staff, and their families at the HIR, which took place on May 4-5. The Shabbaton was a great opportunity for all of us to spend relaxed time together, eating, schmoozing, sharing Torah, and connecting. A thanks to all the students who worked so hard to make it happen, and a special thanks to Bradley Hercman (YCT 2014), who really was the driving force and pulled it all together.
Also from last week: On Wednesday, May 9, five YCT students went down to Washington with a large delegation o participate in NORPAC's Mission to Washington. Students met with US Representatives and their aids, encouraging them to be and remain supportive of Israel. It was a great opportunity for our students - not just to participate in the goals of this important mission, but also to help train them how to best be politically involved in their rabbinate in their support of Israel.