Kislev 5772 December 2011
As we approach Chanukah we reflect on the role that you and every talmid of Ohr Somayach has played in the classic battle between light and darkness which we recall in our Al Hanissim prayer.
The darkness which the Greeks imposed on our ancestors was in the form of forced assimilation though a strategy of "causing them to forget the Torah" and thus turn them away from observing mitzvos. In our day this sort of darkness is self-imposed as a result of never learning Torah.
Just as the Chanukah lights pierce the darkness of night, the Torah which you learned in Ohr Somayach, and which you continue to learn whenever possible, pierces the darkness of ignorance which envelops our people.
It is our hope that you will make an effort to share your own commitment with others and lead them to the "Happy Light" of Torah at Ohr Somayach.
- The passing of Hagaon Hagadol Rav Dov Schwartzman, zatzal, was mourned by the entire Torah world which recognized him as an extraordinary godol, but especially by alumni and rabbeim of Ohr Somayach which he served as Rosh Hayeshiva for many years. A special tribute to him was held in the Yeshiva's Main Beis Medrish at which the Rosh Hayeshiva and some rabbeim spoke of the education and inspiration which he provided through his shiurim and his counsel. You can hear the tributes online on the Ohr Somayach website www.ohr.edu.
- Ohr Somayach's attraction to businessmen and professionals as a place so spend a few days of learning from its world renowned educators has brought people from all over to participate in the EXECUTIVE LEARNING PROGRAM. Last month saw the second annual program for South Africans organized by Rabbi Avrohom Connack and the annual Thanksgiving week program for a group from Philadelphiaand Baltimore. There is also a year-round program for individuals and groups directed by alumnus Yisroel Leskin (www.ohr.edu/erp).
- A very large group of university students from the USand Canadawill be arriving in a few weeks and will have an opportunity of learning with the businessmen and professionals coming on the annual MENTORS MISSION.
- A highly successful ALL-YESHIVA SHABBATONtook place on Shabbos Parshas Vayeitzei with the participation of talmidim in all departments along with rabbeim.
- The English-language "Hamodia" recently published an exciting report entitled "Let My People Know" about Ohr Somayach's educational programs for the general community with special emphasis on the yeshiva's prestigious Jewish Learning Library and www.ohr.edu website.
- We have recently started a new weekly column “Insights into Halacha” on our website written by Ohr Lagolah alumnus and now Ohr Lagolah shoel u’mashiv Rabbi Yehuda Spitz. The column explores issues in contemporary practical Jewish living and can be read here - www.ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/
And in Conclusion
The entire Ohr Somayach Family joins in wishing you a freileche Chanukah.
Rabbi Mendel Weinbach | Rabbi Nota Schiller