Friday, April 12, 2013

Happenings at the Yeshiva

This week students continued their studies in Shabbat and Kashrut.  Third- and fourth-year students also devoted the end of the week to an intensive 3-day leadership training program in community organizing led by Meir Lakein and Jeannie Appleman from Join for Justice, and students are finding this training invaluable for their future leadership roles in synagogues, campuses, and the larger Jewish community.

On Monday, the yeshiva observed Yom HaShoah with the lighting of six yahrtzeit candles, and the recitation throughout the day, of names of victims of the Holocaust.  The names were read by students and rebbeim, and the reading took place in the beit midrash, so that their names and memory was part of our learning and so that our learning would be li'iluy nishmatan.  It was a moving day for all involved, and it culminated in the recitation of the El Maleh and kaddish.  Their memory will not be forgotten.

On Wednesday, Rabbi Bezalel Naor, noted expert on Rav Kook, Hasidism, and Mysticism and author of many seforim on these topics, visited the yeshiva and gave a short shiur to the students on the topic of Yom Ha'atzmaut, the parasha, and sefirat ha'omer. 

As this year is the 20th yahrtzeit of Rav Yosef Dov haLevi Soloveitchik, z"l, there are many events and days of learning taking place in his memory throughout New York.  The yeshiva hosted one such event this last Wednesday night.  Rabbi Weiss introduced the evening.  Rabbi Shmuel Hain, from SAR high school, then gave the first shiur on the topic "The Links and the Chain: Counting the Omer in the Halakhic Thought of the Rav zt"l".  This was followed by a lecture by Rabbi Helfgot, YCT's chair of Tanakh and Jewish Thought, on "The Rav and the Conservative Get: Unpublished Letters."  There was a large turnout from the larger community, as well as from the students of the yeshiva, and it was a wonderful tribute to the Rav's memory.  The event can be seen on YouTube here (unfortunately the camera angle is not great, but you can hear all the lectures).  Also, there is a great article on the various events taking place in the Rav's memory, including this one, in this week's New Jersey Jewish Standard, here.
Finally, a Mazal Tov to Allison Batalion, our Academic Coordinator, and her husband Aryeh on the bris of their baby boy, Ezra Avraham.  The bris was held at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale on Tuesday, and rebbeim and students attended.  Shetizku li'gadlo li'Torah, li'chuppah, u'li'ma'asim tovim.  Also, a Mazal Tov to Becca Linden and Rabbi Ari Hart (YCT 2012) on the birth of a baby boy this last Monday night.  We are looking forward to the bris next week on Yom Ha'atzmaut.  Shetizku li'hakhniso li'brito shel Avraham Avinu bi'zmano u'ligadlo li'Torah, li'chuppah, u'li'ma'asim tovim.

And our wishes for a nechama go out to Rabbi Ari Weiss (YCT 2007) and his family on the death of his step-father Mordechai Parnes z"l, after a long illness, earlier this week.   HaMakom yinachem etchem bi'tokh shear aveilei Tzion vi'Yerushalayim.