Elul 5770 / August 2010
Elul is a very special month in the life of a Jew, especially if he is learning in a Yeshiva or ever had that experience.
Elul is the month of preparation for the days of heavenly judgment, and we have the customs of shofar and selichos to call this to our attention. But Elul is also the zman of learning in yeshiva which follows the short break of bein hazmanim. For the hundreds of talmidim returning to their Beis Medrish on Rosh Chodesh Elul this is an opportunity to continue their growth as Bnei Torah.
For you and all talmidim who once shared this experience it is a time to reflect on the growth which you experienced and how you can express your appreciation for this privilege.
Ohr Somayach keeps on accommodating those returning to their roots and those making a comeback, a task which has become increasingly difficult in the present economic climate. It is a source of encouragement for us to know that you and others like you really care about the present and future of your beloved yeshiva.
- Every chasunah of a talmid is a great simcha but there was something very special in the wedding which took place on 16th Av (July 27) at the Mondial Hall in Jerusalem. The chosson was Avner Engel, a talmid in Ohr Somayach's Center Program and a great grandson of the famed Mussar Godol, Rav Chaim Zeitchik, zatzal. The kallah was Ainat, daughter of Rabbi Yossie Albersal, the beloved manager of the yeshiva's food services.
- A special Yom Iyun on עשרת ימי תשובה for the public will be held on Monday night September 13 for women and on Tuesday night September 14 for men in the large hall of Shirat Yerushalayim in Givat Shaul. In addition to the Roshei Yeshiva the impressive array of speakers will include Rabbi Dovid Kaplan and Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky. Tickets will be available on the door.
- As on every Tisha B'Av countless hundreds came to Ohr Somayach's Beis Medrish to hear day-long talks, after Kinos, by Ohr Somayach rabbeim. In addition to the roshei yeshiva the lineup included Rav Breitowitz and Rabbis Gottlieb, Lauffer, Orlofsky, Rockmill, Samet and Sinclair.
- The blessed increase of talmidim in our Beis Medrish Program has necessitated the creation of a new shiur at the highest level which will be given by our newest faculty member, the renowned gaon Rav Yitzchak Breitowitz, shlit”a.
- Early last month the wives of alumni in Melbourne held a special mealve malke which featured a video shiur on the significance of Tisha B’Av from the Rosh Hayeshiva.
- Ohr Somayach has expanded its college outreach efforts and now has an affiliation with more than a dozen North American campus rabbis doing outreach work in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ontario, South Carolina and Texas. Rabbi Shlomo Wiener is taking charge of keeping contact with all these people, many of whom are former talmidim of Ohr Somayach, while Rabbi Sol Mandel continues in his important role of campus recruitment. Rabbi Wiener participated in a recent conference in Monsey of Campus and Young Professional rabbis in North America together with representatives of other organizations active in their area.
- Joining the impressive array of dozens of seforim written by Ohr Somayach alumni is the newest sefer of Rabbi Avrohom Connack, a senior maggid shiur in our Beis Medrish. The third in his series of “Biurei Avrohom” collection of shiurim given to our talmidim throughout the years, this volume is on Mesechtos Gittin and Kiddushin and has won the acclaim of Gedolei Torah.
All of your rebbeim join us in wishing you a meaningful Month of Elul in preparation for a healthy and happy new year.
Rabbi Nota Schiller | Rabbi Mendel Weinbach