Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear fellow bogrim,

I hope all is well with you.

My previous recaps of yeshiva events got me some positive feedback, so I decided to give an unofficial recap of Shabbat Zachor and some recent yeshiva events.

First, I want to make sure that you all received the latest edition of the Etzion Update.  If you did not receive it, a) you can read it here, and b) please email me with your correct mailing address.

Second, the Gush Dinner in New York is fast approaching.  The dinner will take place on Wednesday, April 13th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  At 6:15 PM there will be a program in memory of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l.  It would be a very worthwhile tribute to Moreinu to have as many alumni as possible already at that part of the event.  In order to encourage mass participation of alumni in this event, the yeshiva is flying in Rosh Yeshiva Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva Rav Baruch Gigi, and Rabbi Daniel Rhein, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Overseas Program, to greet alumni and friends.  Please sign up to attend the dinner.  In addition, if you are available to help contact your fellow classmates to encourage their attendance, please be in touch with Emily Dauber from the NY office.

I emphasize: Rabbi Rhein is coming to the dinner and would love to see you.

Now on to the recap…

1) On Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet, the yeshiva began Masekhet Sukka, the masekhet we will be learning during Zman Kayitz.  Shiur Peticha was given by Rav Medan.  On top of his mekorot sheet the following disclaimer appeared:
השיעור ביום ב' בשעה 11.00 עד 12.30. משעה זו עד 1.00 יגיב מו"ר הרב יואל בן נון, יפרוך את דבריי ויאמר את ההבנה הנכונה.
(In short: after Rav Medan’s shiur, his rebbe, Rav Yoel Bin-Nun, will give the rebuttal and the correct answers to the issues raised in the shiur).

It was viewed by all in attendance as a wonderful example of kevod ha-rav.

The shiur included an analysis of this famous story from Rav Amital zt”l:

Moshe Dayan came to visit the Yeshiva one Sukkot.  During the visit he and Rav Amital sat down in the Sukkah.  Moshe Dayan asked Rav Amital whether a Sukka is similar to a Shul or a home.  When Rav Amital replied that it is similar to a home Moshe Dayan promptly removed his kippa.

2) As usual, a beautiful, fun, and inspiring Shabbat Zachor took place in Yeshiva.  The yeshiva was packed with over 100 visiting alumni.

Friday night featured tefilla with a choir, as has been the tradition for over 20 years.  This year the choir was led by Doron Chitiz, and the impression made on the packed Beit Medrash was that it was run professionally well, leading to a leibedig and ruach-filled tefilla. As he has done for the last 3 years, Rav Medan ended the tefilla Friday night by leading the choir in Adon Olam.

Late Friday night, the yeshiva ramim gathered in the chadar ochel for a tish.  The tish featured Torah and Purim Torah from many of the Ramim, as well as a lot of jokes, singing, and dancing.

Per a Yeshiva tradition of longer than 30 years, on Shabbat morning the students auctioned off the aliyot and various kibbudim throughout the day.  This included Havdala, which the choir bought.  See the video of their beautiful havdala here.

Among the kiddubim, Shana bet honored new Ra”m Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb with an aliya, and they danced him to the aliya while he was riding a (cart converted into a) throne.

The auction also included Mincha.

For about the last ten years, the British students in Yeshiva have chipped in to buy Mincha, and they take advantage of the control they have to recite a prayer for the Queen as well as sing many tunes they sing in their shuls.

During the week leading up to Shabbat Zachor there were intense plans put in place trying to stop this from happening.  Signs were put up around yeshiva, including this pashkevil (if it doesn’t show up in your email it is attached):

Nonetheless, the British students still managed a winning bid of 3600 shekel and continued their tradition.

This year the students also auctioned off a chance to go jogging or biking with Rav Medan.  The auction managed to raise over 17000 shekel for the interest-free loan gmach run by Rav Shlomo Brin.

The chadar ochel was decorated by shiur aleph students.  In addition to streamers and balloons, there were many memes and funny signs hung up around the chadar ochel.  

3) The special Purim edition of Daf Kesher came out.  It of course included many quotes from the Ramim (taken out of context).  Here is a small sampling (translated) of 3 quotes by Rav Ezra Bick:

“The Ritva says that anyone who marries a woman acquires a master for himself.  I would have liked to meet the Ritva’s wife.”

“I never say an explanation of the Gemara that I can’t pin on someone whose name is Roshei Teivot, or minimally the Shita Mekubetzet.”

“The Nimukei Yosef was the last of the lamdanim in Spain.  I guess after that they must’ve learned Tanakh”

Wishing you all a joyous Purim,

Yonatan Shai Freedman

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