We woke up this morning to a gloomy, rainy Jerusalem but this didn’t dampen our spirits. Another early morning, a quick breakfast and a beautiful shacharit led by our very own David Wolfowicz. We then left for another day of intense learning.
We arrived at the Yeshiva and instead of our normal Gemara seder and shiur, we were treated to a shiur by Mr Ronnen Grauman. We discussed what the difference was between the Gemara, Mishna and Tanach. We then talked about the several reasons why people would come to learn in a Yeshiva. We established that the main reasons were to help wanna-be Rabbis receive Smichah (their Rabbinic licence), to help men get back on the derech (track) of Judaism, as well as people who want to learn and connect to their Judaism better.
When Rav Kahn arrived we learned a bit differently than normal. Rather than going into the Beit Midrash in pairs, we studied together as a group. We focused mainly on how to read the Gemara properly and how to question the things we read in it. We read a passage on saying benching after a meal and after the first sentence we had about 5 questions that needed to be answered. This was just one example of what we can learn from the Gemara.
We then had another shiur with Rav Allen. It was an insightful discussion about the Jewish views of astronomy and astrology. We did a case study about the ancient Mayans and looked at examples of what they used astrology for, and then focused back on what the Jewish people used it for. He summarised the shiur by saying that yes, in Biblical times, figures such as Avraham Avinu did use astrology but we don’t use it anymore. Rav Allen then opened the floor to us, as well as the other Lev Hatorah students to ask anything we had an interest in. There were very interesting topics, to say the least, and we all got a good kick out how Rav Allen responded with his comedic personality.
After a solid lunch and relaxing break we were right back into learning again. We broke into 1-on- 1 learning with the boys from Lev Hatorah. I paired up with Ilan, a boy who was been at the Yeshiva for 3 years, and we had a very deep discussion about what true happiness is. I took away 3 things from that shiur which I think everyone should take into their own life:
1. Material things are not what makes one happy
2. One should be happy with his lot
3. How good your day is, depends purely on how you think your day will be
Our final shiur was with Rav Dudi and again we discussed why the Jewish people need the land of Israel. We looked at cases of people making Aliyah with limitation. Whether that be a partner who didn’t want to or if you weren’t religious. Through reading the Gemara and other texts we learned that the goal is making Aliyah, no matter what stands in your way. If the obstacle is your partner, the Gemara explains, you are allowed to divorce them in order to move to Israel. If you aren’t religious, Rav Kook’s son explains that it is better to be secular in Israel, then religious in the Diaspora. It was a very insightful shiur, which really deepened my connection with the land of Israel.
The day at Yeshiva was very interesting and I learned a lot about the land of Israel and
After a nice quick dinner back at the hotel we made our way to an unknown activity. We found ourselves at Cinema City (a mall type place) and we went to see a very meaningful movie, “Wonder”. Everyone was touched by the movie as it taught us not to judge people from just their appearance and to always act as oneself, no matter what society tells you is the norm.
Today was a very significant day and I feel that we all learned a lot, not only about topics and
information, but also about us as a people and as a group.