For the week ending 6 May 2006 / 8 Iyyar 5766

Iyar 5766

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Dear Alumnus,

At the very beginning let us wish you and yours a Gezunten Zummer – a very healthy and happy summer.

Here at Ohr Somayach the Summer Zman of learning has B”H begun with ever larger numbers of talmidim in all departments.

Looking back at the winter which just ended we take pride in the fact that Ohr Somayach continues to be such a popular place for groups from abroad to visit for some learning and inspiration. In addition to the Jewish Learning Exchange and Shoresh Programs which bring close to 200 university students and young professionals each year for a few weeks of learning and touring, we host groups who come for even a few hours.

The Visits

A three-hour visit to the Yeshiva of some thirty elite university students from the Washington D.C. area was arranged by the Israel Studies Institute on behalf of the Avichai Foundation. They had a luncheon session with Paul Laster, an alumnus who recently joined the staff of our Introductory Program, and heard a talk from the head of our Ohr Lagolah and Derech Programs, Rabbi Moshe Lazerus.

Ohr Lagolah alumnus Rabbi Johnny Spector brought a large group of teenagers from his community in the Bushey area of London for an exciting question and answer session with the Rosh Hayeshiva.

The groups we have mentioned are merely examples of the constant traffic of groups and individuals who are drawn to Ohr Somayach for education and inspiration throughout the year.

The Pesach Mission

The Jerusalem Pearl Hotel near the Kotel was the scene of much exciting activity this past Pesach. Ohr Somayach booked the entire hotel to accommodate its third Pesach Mission. The previous missions were housed in the Nirvana Hotel on the Dead Sea and in the Kinar Classic Hotel on the Sea of Galilee. The popular demand for spending Pesach in Jerusalem moved us to take the initiative of booking the entire Jerusalem Pearl. Our confidence was vindicated when all rooms were sold out by January.

Shiurim to the guests offered by the Roshei Yeshiva and by faculty members added a special dimension to the Yom Tov. In addition to enjoying the enlightening participation of Rabbis Gottlieb, Kaplan, Leff, Orlofsky, Perlman, Pindrus, Rockmill, Salenger, Simon, Sinclair, Ullman and Ziskind, the guests from abroad were treated to fascinating tours led by Rabbi Reuven Geffen. Special lectures were given by alumni Rabbis Yonoson Rosenblum and Asher Wade and by an Ohr Somayach neighbor, Rabbi Chanoch Teller.

New Sifrei Torah

The growth of the various departments in the Yeshiva, which has led to the creation of separate minyanim, has also created a need for more Sifrei Torah. During this past year we have been privileged to receive a Sefer Torah from Rabbi and Mrs. Berel Wein in honor of their parents of blessed memory. The Hachnossas Sefer Torah, which welcomed the Sefer Torah, was attended by a large crowed of Chicagoans and others who have settled here. The completion of the letters was done in the Lauffer Building Auditorium and was followed by a procession to the Main Beis Medrish with guests joining talmidim in lively dancing in honor of the Torah. The climax of the dancing was in the Beis Medrish where Rabbi Wein and the Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Schiller addressed the audience.

Another Sefer Torah, this one for the use of our talmidim of Sephardic origin, was dedicated in memory of Naim ben Nachum z”l, father of Mr. Nachum Ezra who played a major role in developing the housing project initiated by Ohr Somayach in Kiryat Sefer. The Hachnossas Sefer Torah procession went from the Ohr Somayach Building on Rechov Tidhar to the Main Campus where a special gateway was dedicated to the Ezra Family.

Jewish Learning Library Launched

The Jewish Learning Library – the exciting new undertaking of Ohr Somayach, which we reported in our last newsletter – has become a dramatic reality with the publication of Volume One of “Love of the land” by the Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Mendel Weinbach.

This beautiful book will soon be available in bookstores and online at

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