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B'YACHAD - TOGETHER, the Electronic Alumni Newsletter of Ohr Somayach

Issue #7 -- Purim 5756

  • Spotlight on an Alumnus
  • News about Ohr Somayach
  • Alumni Speaks
  • Simchas & Announcements
  • Topic of the Month
  • How to contribute to B'Yachad
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Spotlight on an Alumnus

    Rabbi Pinchas Kantrovitz

    "Absolute truth is irrational," said Oberlin College psychology honors graduate Pinchas Kantrovitz. "You have to create your own."

    So in June 1982, in search of his 'own' truth, Pinchas set out around the world on a year's journey. The problem was, he only had three months. In September he was to start a five-year doctoral degree at one of America's most competetive and prestigious programs in clinical psychology.

    A stop in Israel was sandwiched somewhere between Greece and Turkey. At the Kotel Friday night Pinchas was invited for a meal at the home of Rabbi Simcha Wasserman, zatzal. Deeply impressed, Pinchas agreed to attend a class in a Yeshiva he'd been hearing about, Ohr Somayach.

    "So, what are your plans?" a friendly student asked him after the class.

    "My Masters! My Doctorate! My Profesorship!" he shouted. "And don't try to change my mind!"

    Pinchas realized that he was afraid. "Here I am, a 'Phi Beta Kappa' and 'Sigma Zei' honors graduate, yet my knowledge of Judaism extends only to the four letters on the dreidle."

    Pinchas experimented with Ohr Somayach on a day to day basis, and soon began keeping mitzvos. After a difficult decision to postpone his doctorate, he remained in Ohr Somayach where he learned for four years. After marriage he continued in other yeshivos, while continuing to develop his post-graduate education and practice of clinical psycology. Now Pinchas is back at Ohr Somayach -- this time as a rabbi, lecturing and counseling -- making use of his Torah studies as well as his psychology studies!

    the Center for

    What does a bright, motivated college grad do if he wants to take a year off from school and learn in Yeshiva? Well, now he can come to "The Center" - Ohr Somayach's new 'Yeshiva Year Abroad' program. "The Center" is for young men who've tasted the sweetness of Torah, who want to be observant, but who never solidified their learning skills.

    "We're excited," says staff member Rabbi Saul Mandel. "It's going to be a highly personalized program at a separate facility. Our goal is to have the guys learning Gemara, Rashi, and Mishna Brura independently in one year. Rav Bulman and Rav Weinbach are going to be personally involved."


    Robert (Moshe) Resnick writes:
    In October, I got married to Meryl. It's the second for both of us and we both have young daughters. I'd like to share this information with other Ohr Somayach Alumni. Shortly after our marriage we met with Rabbi Pindrus in New York. He suggested we may be interested in Ohr Somayach's publications on the internet. It's become part of our Shabbos table. My favorites are B'YACHAD and ASK THE RABBI because these two publication also give me an opportunity to read from other Alumni.

    Avrohom Dovid Winter writes:

    It is only the greatest sense of thanks to HaKadosh Boruch Hu that I announce my engagement to Malkah (Donna) Ostroff of Providence, RI. My kallah learns in Breuer's seminary. I extend my greatest thanks to the Ohr Somayach Rebbeim and community for my time in Ohr Somayach, though brief, played a vital role in bringing me to where I stand today.

    Avrohom Dovid Winter,
    Framingham, Massachusetts

    David Greene wrote:

    I studied with you guys several years ago and had a great experience. Is Rabbi Geffen still around? Please tell him I said hello. Also, I got to be friendly with Yaacov Asher. He was a big guy, I think from the states, worked with the band, "The Eagles". Is he still around? Can you get his address for me? Thanks!!

    David Greene
    Atlanta, GA

    Yes, Rabbi Reuven Geffen and Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair are 'still around!' Yaakov Asher is actually from London and produced Foreigner's first album which sold over 4,000,000 copies. He writes 'Torah Weekly' and 'Seasons of the Moon,' two of Ohr Somayach's internet publications. His address is <sinclair@ohr.edu>

    Jonathan Franklin wrote:

    I'm an alumnus of Ohr Somayach Monsey and Yerushalayim, and presently learn at Ohr Somayach Montreal. I would love to communicate with old friends and meet new ones over the net. I'm an attorney, specializing in commercial litigation and family law.

    MBENINGSON@aol.com wrote

    We had a girl in October, BH, Baila Dina. I'm now learning mesechta Sukka, which is what I learned when I was in Rabbi Newman's shiur, so we'll see how well I remember. I moved up a shiur at the Yeshiva where I am now, Yesod Hatorah. My chevrusa has been Aaron Urszy, an Ohr Somayach alumnus, and Levi Yitchaz Steele. Also Aaron Cooper is here. Yerachmiel Ben Zev visits from time to time. Many Ohr Somayach guys here in Baltimore!

    Simchas & Announcements

    Mazel Tov to:
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Nota Schiller & Rabbi and Mrs. Betzalel Blidstein on the birth of their grandson.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Michoel Schoen on the engagement of their daughter.
    • Dovid and Miriam Baskin on the bar mitzvah of their son Avshalom.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Shevach Black on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Chanan Brill on their marriage.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Dennis Connack on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Eric Fisher on their marriage
    • Eliezar and Mrs. Frankel on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Simcha Goldberg (88-89) of Flatbush on the birth of a boy.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Eliyahu Kane on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Joel Lome on the birth of a girl.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Eli Merl on the engagement of their daughter
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Mordechai Perlman on the birth of a grand-daughter.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Jonathan Reid on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert (Moshe) Resnick on their marriage
    • Mr. and Mrs. Lev and Ella Seltzer on the birth of a boy.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Yaakov Asher Sinclair on the birth of a boy.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Dovid and Helena Stern on the birth of a boy.
    • Rabbi and Mrs. Akiva Tatz on the birth of a girl.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Avrohom Dovid Winter on their marriage.
    • Rabbi Doug and Lois Zelden on the birth of a girl, Elena Rivka.
    • Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Zigun on the birth of their son Shimon Avraham.
    • Shalom Brown, Binyomin Horowitz, Malcolm Bank, Sholom Alper, & Naphtali Goldsmith on their recent engagements.

    Topic of the Month

    In Nissan, the Bnei Yisrael were redeemed [from the bondage of Egypt] and in the same month of Nissan they are destined to experience their ultimate redemption. (Rosh Hashanah 11a)
      Select quotations on this topic:
    • Israel's redemption begins ever so slowly, bit by bit, gradually increasing and accelerating its pace. (Yerushalmi Yoma 3:2)
    • Redemption depends solely on Teshuvah - repentance and the performance of good deeds. (Sanhedrin 97a)
    • Israel will be redeemed only when all factions unite to become a single cohesive group. (Tanchuma Nitzavim 1)
    • 'Redemption' is up to us and is contingent only on our return to Hashem. We never lost this option despite our transgressions. (Ramban Sefer HaGeulah ch.1)
    • In a generation which is unworthy, a person is more likely to return to Hashem due to feelings that if he will not be redeemed by Hashem, he will be completely lost. The recognition that we can depend only upon Hashem is the preparation for redemption. (Michtav Me'Eliyahu, vol.3, p.223)

    How to Contribute to B'YACHAD

    The only way we can have up-to-date information is if you provide it. Please send us your comments, suggestions, announcements, and ideas via one of the following methods:

    address your message to: info@ohr.edu set the subject to "B'YACHAD"
    972-2-812-890, Attn: B'YACHAD
    Yeshiva Ohr Somayach, ATTN: B'YACHAD
    22 Shimon Hatzadik Street, POB 18103, Jerusalem 91180 ISRAEL

    Editor: Rabbi Reuven Subar
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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    Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students. The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.
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