by David Tanner (’18)

bein hasedarim

Back in November, MTA’s own Rabbi Danto kicked off the special Bein HaSedarim Raffle program, available to students in all grades. The idea was to encourage talmidim to learn in a Beis Medrash environment during the off-time each week between Thursday night and Sunday morning for at least one hour and fifteen minutes. For each learning session, a raffle ticket for a $180 prize was earned, and students who learned enough times had access to the grand raffle, which carried with it the prize of $1,000.

Nearly 50 students participated, and those who submitted their learning time even once were invited to a wrap-up lunch this past Wednesday, April 15th, where the winning tickets would finally be drawn. The event started with pizza for everyone. Afterwards, Rabbi Taubes gave a brief introduction to our special guest speaker, HaRav Aharon Kahn shlit”a, a Rosh Yeshiva at YU whose many talmidim over the years include Rabbi Taubes himself. We were honored to have Rav Kahn address us on a timely topic – the nature of Sefiras HaOmer. Rav Kahn spoke about how the Sefer HaChinuch discusses the mitzvah ofSefiras HaOmer, and explained how the Sefirah is both a countdown and a “count up;” that is to say, that even though at this time of the year our eye is on Shavuos and Matan Torah, we must understand that each one of these days is also a day of growth which has inherent value in and of itself. This is one reason for counting up – one day, two days, three days – and not down. When one counts down, the concentration is only on the end result; when one counts up, every step of the way is crucial. (Click here to hear Rav Kahn’s shiur)

After Rav Kahn spoke, the raffles were drawn. Dani Gruen won the $180 raffle, and Yisrael Friedenberg won the grand prize – one thousand dollars! While we wish Mazel Tov to them both, we all realize that the money was just an incentive to get us on the right path, and of course not the central point of the program.  The focus was to gain an understanding that even when we are out of the four walls of MTA, it is still our responsibility to keep up our status as Bnei Torah. On all accounts, this year’s Bein HaSedarim program was an incredible success. Our sincerset thanks to Rabbi Danto.


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