Halakha learning continued apace this week, with the Shabbat students wrapping up the topic of electric lights and electricity and moving on to issue of extinguishing fires on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Kashrut students had the pleasure of hearing a series of lectures from Rabbi Zushe Blech, a world renowned expert in the field of Kashrut. Rabbi Blech spoke on topics ranging from industrial hashgacha and hashgacha of restaurants, to bugs and bishul Akum.
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak at Kushner High School. The school is focusing on the theme of "the Other" this year and I spoke to 4 large groups of 60-70 students about the ger - stranger/other/convert - in Halakha and in real life. Another speaker addressed the issue of Autism, a concern close to my heart. Given the ways in which even the Modern Orthodox community can be overly insular, the leadership of Kushner High School deserves a true Kol HaKavod for choosing this topic and engaging it throughout the year.
We look forward to hearing later today from Rabbi Uri Regev, founder of Hiddush, on the topic of whether Israel really needs a Chief Rabbinate. This promises to be a challenging and fascinating lecture.
Finally, our condolences go out to Jon (YCT 2016) and Faith Leener, on the loss of Faith's father, Dr. Craig Brigham this last Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Brigham's passing was sudden and unexpected, and we know that the family is going through a very difficult time right now. Our love and support go out to them. HaMakom yinachem etchem bi'tokh she'ar avalei Tzion vi'Yerushalayim.