Friday, November 9, 2012

Happenings at the Yeshiva

Learning continued in full force this week, with years 1 and 2 continuing through all the various aspects of she'hiyah and chazara, leaving food on, and returning food to, the fire, and with years 3 and 4 delving into the things which, because of their importance, do not become batel, annulled in a mixture.  This latter topic connects directly to the issue of bugs in vegetables, a topic which we will explore in detail next week.

On Monday, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a tremendous yom iyyun and rabbinical get-together which was the brainchild of Rabbi Uri Topolosky (YCT '05) of Beth Israel Congregation in New Orleans and his colleague, Rabbi Ethan Linden, of the Shir Chadash, a Conservative synagogue in New Orleans.  Rabbi Topolosky and Rabbi Linden brought together a group of their colleagues to spend a day and half in learning, connecting, and community building.   There was wonderful peer teaching that took place both Sunday night and Tuesday morning, and I had the privilege of leading the learning on Monday - a day-long marathon on the topic of dina di'malkhuta dina, the law of the kingdom is the law, an appropriate topic for the day before election day.    It was wonderful to be a part of this event, and I left with a real high, energized by the power of rabbis getting together, across the denominational divide, for serious talmud Torah and just to be able to learn, share, and connect with one another.

We have many Mazal Tovs this week.  A hearty Mazal Tov to Daniel Silverstein (YCT 2015) on his engagement to Karin Fleisch this week.  May they be zokeh to be boneh bayit ne'eman bi'Yisrael.  A Mazel Tov to Rabbi Marc (YCT 2005) and Sarah Gitler on the birth of a baby girl this week.  Shetizku li'gadlah li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim.  And a Mazal Tov to Rabbi Dan Vinik (YCT 2011) on his appointment as Rabbi at Temple Zion, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Long Beach, NY.  May he be zokeh to lead his community to grow in Torah, avodah, and ma'asim tovim.

Finally, this week I gave the third of my lecture series on Jew and non-Jew.  This week we dealt with the challenging topic of halakhot in the civil and criminal realm that distinguish between Jews and non-Jews.  We looked at the halakhot that afford different treatment when it comes to matters or person and property, and we then explored different halakhic strategies that have been used over the centuries to minimize or eliminate this difference.  Due to the nor'easter, the shiur did not happen at the yeshiva, but it was broadcast live via YouTube.  For those who missed it, it can be viewed, with the source sheet, on YouTube here.  Stay tuned for next week's shiur, on Avoda Zara and Other Religions, which will be taking place at YCT on Wednesday, Nov 14, from 8:00-9:00, and can be viewed on YouTube live, at this link.

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