Opening Kennus Kicks Off Zman

President Joel and Rabbi Penner Address Undergraduate Torah Studies Students on Wilf Campus

Undergraduate Torah Studies on the Wilf Campus officially kicked off on Monday, August 25 with an opening kennus to mark the beginning of a new zman at the Yeshiva University.

The kennus, which took place in the Lamport Auditorium, featured remarks from President Richard M. Joel and Rabbi Menachem Penner, Max and Marion Grill Dean of YU-affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS),  all connected to the themes of ahavat Yisrael and the upcoming month of Elul.  In attendance were students, Roshei Yeshiva, faculty, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Henry Kressel.

“On the one hand, the zman already started because this morning the beit midrash was louder than ever before,” said Rabbi Penner. “But to establish something kodesh, we must have this special kennus.”  Rabbi Penner expressed to students the special kedushat hamakom and kedushat hazman that resides in the Yeshiva, which they should take advantage as they start a new year. The dean also encouraged all the talmidim to take part in the many new learning initiatives that will particularly ensue in the upcoming month.

President Joel characterized the yeshiva as an institution that is both “serious and joyous” and one that has the potential to reach farther than its own walls. “This is a critical time to reassert the notion of kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh,” he said.  “As we gather here as a community, we must not just encircle ourselves, but spread and model arievut to the world.”

The event included a special limud with Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Dr. Sol Roth Professor of Talmud and Contemporary Halachah, on the topic of bein adam lachaveiroh, as well as a video message from Rabbi Dovid Miller, director of the Gruss Institute in Israel, highlighting the recently  fallen chayalei Tzahal.  The event concluded with the recital of tehillim by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud.