For the week ending 30 June 2012 / 9 Tammuz 5772

Tammuz 5772 - June 2012

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Dear Talmid,

Join us in reflecting on the lesson of summer.

"Everything is determined by Heaven except for cold and heat."

This does not mean that weather is not divinely controlled but rather that one can control the effect of cold and heat.

It is interesting to note that a similar expression is found in regard to fear of Heaven:

"Everything is determined by Heaven except for fear of Heaven."

Is there some connection between these two statements?

One of the great rationalizations of people for failing to serve Hashem as they should is that "I just can't do what I'm supposed to do." Just as one can easily feel a sense of helplessness in regard to disease, war and economics, areas in which the individual has little or not control, the spiritually-challenged Jew can sometimes delude himself into feeling that he also has no control of his religious life. Hashem, therefore, left man one corner of life in which he has control – one can put on the heat in the winter and the air-conditioner in the summer – so that he will remember that in regard to fear of Heaven he is also not helpless.

The old joke about "Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it" is simply not accurate. We all take care not to become ill or uncomfortable because of the weather, and similarly we should stop fooling ourselves that we are unable in our present circumstances to function as Bnei Torah with an Ohr Somayach background.

Alumni Update

  • SUMMER PROGRAMS ranging from two to four weeks brought over a hundred university students from North Americaand the United Kingdomfor the Jewish Learning Exchange experience of learning and touring.
  • J INTERNSHIP is the newest hit in the kiruv field, offering university students and graduates an opportunity to combine learning at Ohr Somayach with interning in Israelin an area of their choice. Mornings are spent on the job (which helps their CV even if they aren't getting paid) and afternoons learning in the Yeshiva which provides meals and lodging.
  • RENOVATION OF DORMITORY is being carried out at an exciting pace thanks to a special fund established by friends of the Yeshiva who were here on Mentors Missions and decided that Ohr Somayach talmidim deserved better living conditions.
  • A NEW KOLLEL has been established by the Yeshiva's latest faculty member, Rav Avrohom Reisman, and there are plans to extend its size and influence on the Beis Medrash Program.
  • AN AFTERNOON KOLLEL learning in the Beis Medirsh has been organized by Ohr Somayach's Gavriel Rosen for Ohr Somayach graduates who wish to learn something different from what is being learned in the Beis Medrish.
  • AN ALUMNI SHIDDUCHIM SERVICE has been undertaken by alumnus Shmuel Krassow who lives in Beitar and can be reached at:
  • A SPANISH VERSION of "After the Return" by Rabbi Moshe Newman and Rabbi Mordechai Becher is just off the press thanks to the initiative of Ohr Somayach and Ohr Lagolah graduate Rabbi June Gerngross now doing outreach in Argentina. The new translation can be downloaded in full for free from the Ohr Somayach website on the following link:
  • THE ANNUEL KIRUV SEMINAR OF OHR LAGOLAH in the Main Beis Medrish of Ohr Somayach will be held on 18 Tammuz. It will feature, in addition to the roshei yeshiva and Ohr Lagolah personnel, a special guest speaker from the US, Rabbi Yosef Veiner, Rav of Kehillas Shaar Hashomayim in Monsey, N.Y..

Best wishes for a healthy summer.

Rabbi Nota Schiller | Rabbi Mendel Weinbach

Roshei Yeshiva

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