Men in Post-High School Israel Program Experience YU’s Special Brand of Torah Wisdom and Spirit

Students talk to Rabbi Mayer Twersky, a rosh yeshiva.

Mar 12, 2009 — More than 650 young men in the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program converged on Jerusalem last Saturday night for a special Melave Malke Kumsitz hosted by Yeshiva University in Israel to mark the end of Shabbat. The event was the first of its kind, bringing together students from 23 different yeshivas from across Israel to mingle with each other and meet, dance with and hear divrei Torah [words of Torah wisdom] from Rabbis Michael Rosensweig, Hershel Shachter and Mayer Twersky, all roshei yeshiva [professors of Talmud] at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in New York City.

“We were thrilled by the response for this event,” said Rabbi Ari Solomont, director of the S. Daniel Abraham Israel Program. “It demonstrates how eager these young men are to hear from and be inspired by our roshei yeshiva.”

The Saturday night event included an all-you-can-eat hot buffet and entertainment by musician Ari Goldwag.

Alex Porcelain, who learns at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and plans to attend Yeshiva University as an honors student, said the Melave Malka was “awesome.” “It was a great opportunity to meet the roshei yeshiva on a more personal level. The top notch food, lively music and incredibly leibedik [lively] dancing allowed guys from yeshivot all over Israel to meet and have a fun time together,” Porcelain said.

“Now that the YU guys in Israel are more oriented with the roshei yeshiva and their peers, everyone’s really excited for their upcoming years at YU, knowing what great opportunities lay ahead,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the rabbis, Rabbi Rosensweig said, “It gave them all great sipuk hanefesh [spiritual satisfaction] to see so many talmidim [students] from various yeshivot and how Yeshiva University is a unifying force that can bring them all together.”

The event followed a special Shabbaton at YU in Israel’s campus for the nearly 40 applicants to the Yeshiva Masmidim Honors Program, which is open to those who excel in their Torah studies in Israel and who will adhere to advanced standards of study once at Yeshiva College in New York. The students had a chance to hear from Rabbi Ari Zahtz, who made the trip from New York specifically for the Shabbaton. The other rabbis were in Israel to interview applicants for the honors program.

Rabbi Solomont said he hopes to build on the success of the evening and noted that it offered students another reminder of the services YU in Israel offers, such as this year’s Summer Kollel for students wanting to continue studying Torah in the Holy Land through the summer.

“There are really a lot of meaningful things going on here for our students,” Rabbi Solomont said. “The atmosphere here is really one that gives meaning to the goal of bringing wisdom to life.”

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