The first week of Fall zman got off to a great start with years 1-2 devoting their morning seder to Gemara and years 3-4 dividing into two groups, one group learning Niddah with Rabbi Love and one learning Gemara and pedagogy with Rabbi Dov Lerea.
Professional classes started this week as well, with classes in Modern Orthodoxy, Pastoral Counseling, Art of Education Thinking, and Lifecycles: Halakha, Officiating and Pastoral. Second-year students also began their 60 hours of chaplaincy field work at Columbia Presbyterian, with parallel classes in Schar v'Onesh and Theodicy and in hilkhot bikkur cholim.
The highlight of the week was a special visit this Thursday by M. K. Ruth Calderon from the Yesh Atid party. Dr. Calderon's inaugural speech at the Knesset a number of months ago, where she taught a passage in the Talmud, was a profound moment for myself and many here at the yeshiva, giving a sense of hope and optimism towards a time when all Jews can learn from one another with open hearts and open minds and when we can all connect to the Torah as our shared heritage. In her talk at YCT, Dr. Calderon taught the passage in Baba Kama 117, about Rav Kahana and Rabbi Yochanan and discussed the way in which in rabbinic culture - and in any intensive learning culture - there can be a hyper-focus on hierarchy and how that can and should play out in our own lives. A discussion followed on the phenomenon of secular batei midrash in Israel, appreciating the phenomenon of an authentic Jewish secular life, and the political and national vision of the Yesh Atid party. What an exciting way to start the zman!
Our sincere wishes for a nechama for Tova Bulow and her family on the passing of our beloved friend and board member, Norm Bulow, on erev Sukkot. HaMakom yi'nachem etchem bi'toch she'ar avalei Tzion vi'Yerushalayim.
Mazal Tov to Rabbi Steven Exler (YCT 2009) and Shira Billet on the birth of a baby boy on motzei Yom Kippur, and on the bris on Chol HaMoed Sukkot, when he was given the name Ilan Shmuel. Shetizku li'gadlo li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!
Mazal tov to Josh (YCT 2012) and Andrea Strosberg on the birth of a baby girl this Simchat Torah. The girl was given the name Maayan Elyana. What a wonderful double simcha! Shetizku li'gadlah li'Torah li'chuppah u'li'ma'asim tovim!