For the week ending 24 June 2006 / 28 Sivan 5766

Tammuz 5766 / Summer 2006

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Dear Talmid,

Nothing brings so much nachas and simcha to the Roshei Yeshiva and rabbeim of Ohr Somayach as receiving invitations from former talmidim to the simchas in their families. Although we are not able to physically participate in some of these weddings and Bar Mitzvah celebrations because of the distance, we are with you in spirit and praying for your hatzlacha.

In one week in Sivan we had the pleasant opportunity of participating in the weddings of the daughters of two former talmidim here in Yerushalayim and of receiving a touching letter from another former talmid accompanying an invitation to his son’s Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn.

On 17 Sivan (June 13) both Dovid Foster and Yonoson Shachar, two Ohr Somayach “old-timers”, made weddings for their daughters at halls only minutes from each other, thus enabling the Rosh Hayeshiva and many old friends to literally “dance at two weddings”. This double simcha represented the closing of a circle. Over two decades ago the vort of Dovid Foster from Detroit was held in the home of already married Yonason Shachar from Guatemala. Now both of them were marrying their daughters (after already successfully marrying off other children of theirs) to young talmidei chachamim from outstanding families!

The above-mentioned letter was from Uri Deblinger whose son Yehoshua was adding a special touch to his Bar Mitzvah by making a siyum mesechta, the second one in his thirteen years of life. After expressing his gratitude for everything he received from the Yeshiva, Uri writes that he is working in the financial world during the day and in kashrut in the evening, but still has time for learning with two “Partners in Torah” and two other regular chavrusas.

Another letter accompanying an invitation that very week came from Zvi Saunders who was marrying off his son in Yerushalayim. Zvi, who went on to learn in Kolel Meshech Chochma, and who is a respected teacher in local girls’ seminaries, enclosed a note written to him by one of his students. “As I sit in Rabbi Saunders’ classes,” she writes, “I feel transported to another world.”

Borrowing her phrase of praise, we were “transported to another world” upon participating in the simchas of other former talmidim during the following week. Avrohom Connack, originally from South Africa and now saying the top shiur in our Beis Medrish, made a bris for his son Shmuel with Maran Harav Eliyashiv as sandek.

Another former South African, Reuven Geffen, who heads our Introductory Program, celebrated the wedding of his daughter Ora Freida to the son of an outstanding talmid chocham. Yaakov Fried, whose framed letter of appreciation on the occasion of completing Shas and almost everything else 12 years ago hangs outside the office of the Rosh Yeshiva, celebrated the engagement of his daughter to an outstanding talmid of the Mirer Yeshiva. Dovid Kaplan, who is a mainstay of both our Introductory and Ohr Lagolah Programs, rounded out the alumni simchas and a family cycle with the Bar Mitzvah of his son Naftali Hertz, who was named for his famous great-grandfather who taught at Beit Medrish La’Torah in Chicago.

All of the above is but a tiny glimpse into the world of simcha of the worldwide Ohr Somayach Family. The simcha of every talmid, past and present, is a source of great nachas. So please keep us informed about your own simchas – and may you have many, many of them.

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