Hakham Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, recently visited the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), an affiliate of Yeshiva University. The Chief Rabbi, also known as the Rishon Le'Zion, was greeted upon his arrival by Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm, President Richard M. Joel, Rabbi Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky and Rabbi Yona Reiss, as well as by the Sephardic rabbinic faculty including Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Haim; Rabbi Elie Abadie, MD; and Rabbi Moshe Tessone, among others. Rav Amar delivered a shiur [Torah lecture] to RIETS students and later met with various roshei yeshiva [professors of Talmud] and members of the YU faculty and administration, and held a private question-and-answer-session with members of the RIETS Kollel Elyon.
"Chief Rabbi Amar is a towering personality in the world Jewish community and an outstanding Torah scholar," said Rabbi Reiss, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS. "We are privileged to have this opportunity to solidify our strong relationship with the Chief Rabbinate and to work together earnestly for the benefit of Klal Yisroel, both in the Diaspora and in Eretz Yisrael."
While students and rabbis packed the beit midrash [study hall] in YU's Glueck Center for Jewish Studies to hear Rabbi Amar's shiur on Hanukkah, the day held added significance for the hundreds of Sephardic students on the YU campus, who greeted the Hakham with the traditional pizmon [Sephardic chant] reserved for entry of a Torah luminary, Yahid El Dagool Mirvava.
"It's a great honor to have the Chief Rabbi visit YU and to have the opportunity to meet and ask him questions," said Rabbi Yosef Chaim Yanetz, a RIETS shoel u'meishiv [Talmudic mentor] and a student at YU's Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies.
"We are very proud that YU has invited Chief Rabbi Amar," added Yosef Sharbat '09YC, a RIETS student who is pursuing semikha and is currently enrolled at YU's Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration. "As a Sephardic student it means a lot to have this great rabbi here."