Option Week 2 - Yeshiva
Alright, mum I'm back for another blog and since no one volunteered to write this, I'm back! Hope you all enjoy my experiences as I transformed from a goy to a chabad rabbi!
Wake up was at 7:00am just to be picked up at 10:00am to take us to Orayta yeshiva near the Kotel. Jared Horak (ex moriah student) currently goes to it so it was good to see him. We had a few shiurim by a few different/teachers and Rabbis. We started off with a learning a bit of gemara and a talk by the head of the Yeshiva. The best one was given by Rabbi David Aaron (head Rabbi of Jerusalem and Rosh Yeshiva of Orayta) and in 45 minutes he managed to completely change everyone's perception of God. Summary: he told us how everyones perspective of God is some being "over there" but that is completely wrong. Basically the word יהוה (adonai) includes the words past, present, future which means that he is eternal. Not only this, but the word הויה which means existence shows that there is not one god, but that God is one, as it says in shema yisrael. Hashem is existence and we all exist within him. We are a part of him. I probably didn't explain it very well, but it was truly an amazing speech. After this we got lunch, had another talk and then drove to Bayit Vagan. There we had an interesting dinner, but fortunately found out we were going go karting. That was the best 90 shekels I ever spent! It was actually the craziest thing ever. Then we drove back and that was the end of day 1.
Again, woke up really early to have a shuir by Rabbi Pear about the importance of Israel. We then went to Yeshivat Hakotel for a talk by our very own Adam Cohen, another by David Wolfiwitz, then lunch and then a question and answer session with a hilarious Rabbi where we could ask him anything and he would try to answer it in the quickest way possible. After this, we went to the house of Rav Gav, a hilarious Rabbi who gave us a delicious dinner, a small tisch and a lesson on the importance of relationships and what they mean to us. He was a very good speaker and I think a lot of us took a great deal from him. By now, all 17 of the Yeshiva boys are realising how good this experience has been. These group of boys ranged from completely nonreligious to borderline rabbi and yet every single boy is enjoying it as much as the next. It was really good to see this. And so with that thought, I have been overcome with sleep and so that shall conclude day 2.
Last day of Yeshiva and I couldn't be sadder. We started off the day with no breakfast, eventually getting an ice vanilla from coffix at 11:30. So we had a few talks, even more breaks and everyone was literally on the verge of tears as we realised what little time we had left of yeshiva. Every single boy absolutely loved the experience and it basically made me realise that I am nearly certain of attending yeshiva on gap year. After our last talk, we went back to the hotel and it gave me enough time to reflect on the experience.
Those 3 days of Yeshiva were possibly the 3 best days of IST. And if you don't believe me (coming from someone who regularly goes to shul and Bnei Akiva) ask any boy who attended. It was an amazing time for all of us, as the group bonded together as if we were lifelong friends. It opened all our eyes and minds to a Judaism that many of us never knew existed, and the greatest part of all...it was fun. Not anything like the generic stereotype of Yeshiva of learning all day. This option is for everyone, and I truly mean it. And so with that I shall sign off, hope you all enjoyed!
By Adam Marks