A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
“I grew up in the open European society. My sons live in Jerusalem. What more do they need in Jerusalem other than Torah?”
It is not difficult to understand his thinking. Who could stand against such a pure and untarnished Jewish experience? And yet…there are those who would argue that a great number of Israel’s population might benefit from an open, loving outreach approach. Certainly that is true of the overwhelming majority of American Jews living in Eiver’s society, thirsty to drink from God’s waters but never having been exposed to a genuine and authentic Jewish experience.
How can they gain such experiences but from those Jews who have been nurtured and taught in Yaakov’s tent and then sent out to teach Torah to them, in the world? To teach Torah in the world demands the teacher have the experience and preparation to communicate with all Jews, at their level, in their language, wherever they are – from the secular and assimilated to the ever-growing population of frum drop-outs, Jews who simply walk away from Torah life for countless reasons.
In the early 1980s, I worked to recruit young talmidei chachamim to join what was, at the time, little more than a dream of what would become a Pittsburgh Kollel, one of the very first such community-oriented kollelim in the United States. It was no easy task to convince a minyan of Lakewood scholars to leave the warmth and safety of Lakewood to migrate to the Steel City.
After one of my visits to Lakewood in pursuit of “ten yungeleit,” I asked the saintly Rav Schneur Kotler, z”l, why the vast majority of the outstanding scholars in Lakewood were so reluctant to move from the famed yeshiva to a secular city. “They will accomplish so many positive and beneficial things for Klal Yisrael,” I argued.
The wise and perceptive rosh yeshiva smiled softly and noted that for many of the yeshiva’s graduates, particularly those who have been in the yeshiva for a number of years, the yeshiva is like a warm and comforting womb, from which it is traumatic to exit.
“You know,” the rosh yeshiva went on, “it is not easy for a newborn to leave the mother’s womb after having been completely taken care of with all of one’s needs for nine months.”
The analogy is apt. There comes a time when, despite accompanying trauma and loud cries, the newborn must emerge from its mother’s womb, attain its own independence and eventually make its own contribution to the world at large. It is only when the Yaakovs and Yosefs of our current day are able to make the purposeful transition from the secure and untroubled tents of their fathers and make their way in the tumultuous and demanding societies in need of their counsel, guidance, and care that we will know their upbringing was significant and purposeful.
However, it is not Torah knowledge alone that ensures the transition is successful. There is a spark, a quality, that is required if one is to motivate and challenge a Jew to reach out and touch the soul of a fellow Jew with one’s own talents and abilities – the ability to embrace and maintain one’s youthfulness, one’s sense of wonder and constant renewal. In other words, the ability to remain a na’ar.
Yosef always maintained his youthfulness, his sense of renewal. Reb Aharon of Karlin explains that Yosef is the epitome of na’ar hayiti v’gam zakanti – “I was young and I have grown old.” Even as I have grown older, become more mature and seasoned, I have maintained the same excitement, vigor and enthusiasm as in my youth. To maintain such an approach, one needs to retain a sense of renewal about life.
About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?
When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.
The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.
Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.
“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.
We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.
How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?
Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.
The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.
It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]
Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.
Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.
When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.
Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.
The only way for children to find a way back to the path is through parental love and understanding.
Nothing defines a community so much as its recognition of common leadership and willingness to respect its authority.
The road back is paved with love, understanding, hugs, and honest communication.
An educator must not be satisfied until that soul he refuses to handle, love, nourish and develop is registered in another school, one more caring and embracing.
No matter where we look, our lives are touched by miracles.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/a-graduate-of-eiver%e2%80%99s-yeshiva/2011/11/23/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: