Our last full day of Na’aleh had come. Although we still have the free weekend and Sunday, neither of those will be full days and we’re off to Poland on Monday. How could such an experience just fly by so fast?
Breakfast and davening kicked us off for the day ahead, as per usual, and was followed by the music-filled bus ride to Beit Shemesh. All the boys were very keen to get to Yeshivah, however we all felt a little down as it would be our last bus ride as the seven of us. But that didn’t prevent us from getting hyped up for the day ahead.
Today’s Yeshivah experience was very different. We didn’t begin with Rav Kahn’s morning Gemara shiur, nor did we have shiur from Rav Allan or Rav Dudi. This is because today was a ‘Yom Iyun’, a day dedicated to one topic from morning to night. This time, the Yeshivah focused on ‘Prayer’.
We walked into the Beit Midrash, feeling quite curious as to what Lev Hatorah had in store for us. The day began with a talk from one of the Rabbis, who spoke to the students about several distractions that come up during Tefillah and how to avoid them. He also discussed what real prayer is all about. Then, he told us a personal story about the moment in which he felt like his prayers actually helped as he felt like God was there for him.
We then moved onto a panel, which consisted of 4 Rabbis, who answered questions asked by the students of the Yeshivah. This went on for half an hour, however I personally learned a lot about having true kavanah (intention) during davening.
We had the privilege of listening to a very powerful talk from a woman who knows the power of Tefillah more than anyone else. Esther Wachsman, the mother of kidnapped and murdered soldier, Nachshon Wachsman, told us her story, and how she was able to make the whole world stop and daven for her son. She recounted the story and made us boys realise that prayer has unbelievable potential, but that it’s up to the individual to take the opportunity presented to him, by God Himself, and really make it count.
We all decided that we were up for a solid feed, so we headed up the road to the falafel/shwarma shop. What a great decision that was! Ramat Beit Shemesh know how to make an amazing shwarma that’s for sure.
When we got back, it was still lunch. So we got straight into a Q&A with David. He left it open to any topics we wanted to discuss. We ended up covering education and the legitimacy of ‘Rebbe Stories’.
The Yeshivah day ended off with a more practical shiur on how to pray properly. This was given over by another one of the Rabbis and he provided us all with some great tips on how to really immerse ourselves in the davening experience.
And that was day 8 of Yeshivah!!
After picking up the girls, we all had the great privilege of receiving a tour of Meah Shearim from Ariel Brownstein. We visited several institutions in the area, and had a chance to see how the inhabitants live their lives without the influence of the Western society.
Free time in Ben Yehudah gave us all a chance to just relax and enjoy our second last night as a group before joining the rest of the year on IST.
And that was Day 11!