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YU News

MTA's Shavuos In Yeshiva Is A Huge Success!

By: Noam Mayerfeld (‘19)

MTA hosted an inspirational Shavuos In Yeshiva for Juniors and Seniors.  Talmidim arrived at yeshiva on Erev Shabbos, excited for what promised to be an incredible Shavuos with Head of School Rabbi Joshua Kahn, Yeshiva University students, YU’s Kollel Elyon, and YU Roshei Yeshiva Rav Yitzchok Cohen, Rav Hershel Reichman, and Rav Baruch Simon, as well as other YU rebbeim.  Yom Tov began with Mincha, followed by a sicha from Rav Yitzchok Cohen, who discussed the importance of Shabbos as a day to prepare for Kabalas HaTorah. After Maariv, talmidim made their way to the YU cafeteria for dinner with Rabbi Kahn and their friends, which was enhanced by a Dvar Torah from MTA alum Jeremy Borgen (‘15), who spoke about the value of a chiddush in terms of how it connects to the mesorah.  The meal was followed by an uplifting tisch, led by Rabbi Dani Zuckerman, Rabbi Ike Sultan, and Rabbi Jake Steinmetz of the YU Kollel Elyon. After some uplifting singing, they each delivered divrei chizuk about the request that Hashem make Torah sweet (vaharev na Hashem).

The next morning, talmidim enjoyed a beautiful Shacharis followed by a kiddush with YU students.  The Dvar Torah at lunch was given by MTA’s very own Abe Horowitz (‘19), who spoke about the extreme importance of hachanah for Kabalas HaTorah.  A few talmidim also enjoyed lunch at the home of Rav Reichman, which was an incredible experience. After the seudah, talmidim enjoyed a shiur by Dov Fink (MTA ‘13), on the topic of Career Planning as a Ben Torah, exploring the important topic of balancing a life of Torah learning and earning a living. The shiur facilitated an important discussion about balancing priorities in life, and maintaining a focus on learning Torah during all stages of life.  Mincha was followed by an early Shalosh Seudos, where talmidim had the privilege of hearing from Rabbi Kahn about the importance of chazzarah and building on our mesorah as we receive the Torah.

Before Maariv, Rav Yitzchak Cohen gave a short schmooz, where he provided a new explanation for why we eat dairy on Shavuos, which was followed by a learning seder and Maariv.  At dinner, Yehuda Snow (‘18) gave a Dvar Torah about the significant effect that Shavuos must have on the rest of the year, quoting Rav Yitzchok Cohen’s famous response when asked how his Shabbos was, “I’ll let you know”.  

Learning on Shavous night was truly a sight to see.  The intensity of the learning that took place among chavrusahs in the Beis Medrash, made it a night like no other.  Shiurim also took place all night, given by Rabbi Baruch Simon, Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank, Rabbi Kahn, and Rabbi Mordechai Shichtman.  Rabbi Kahn discussed the halachic sources regarding yeshiva admissions policies.

The night was capped off by divrei chizuk from Rav Yitzchak Cohen, where he insulted the Mets, challenged the importance of discussing the weather, and impressed upon talmidim the emphasis they should place on the important parts of life.  Following the historical piyut “Odeh Lakeil”, a tradition since Rav Lipshitz, talmidim enjoyed an uplifting Shacharis, despite their exhaustion, including Rav Cohen’s Birchas Kohanim.

On Sunday afternoon, a group of students went to visit the Fort Tryon Nursing Home and brought simchas yom tov to its residents. The sicha after Mincha was given by Rav Simon, who discussed the unique nature of Yom Tov Sheini of Shavuos in Halacha and Hashkafa, the importance of learning beiyun, and the Laurel and Yanny machlokes.  

On Monday afternoon, a group of talmidim travelled to the Breuers shul, which was fully decorated with beautiful flowers and greenery in honor of Matan Torah.  Talmidim heard a presentation about the history of the Breuers community and Washington Heights from Mr. Avram Gutmann, an Officer at Berkshire Bank and the grandson of Rav Yosef Breuer (thus a great-great grandson of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch).  Those who were there also had a chance to visit Rav Mantel, the Rav of Breuers for “Matnas Yad,” where the Rav opens his home to the community on the last day of Yom Tov.  Many talmidim learned in the Beis Medrash throughout the entire afternoon, maintaining a lively kol Torah throughout Yom Tov.

Mincha was followed by a Neilas HaChag with beautiful singing and closing divrei chizuk from Rav Yitzchok Cohen, where he described how Torah should be like a bag of potato chips, you either eat none or the whole bag, and we should yearn for kol hatorah kulah.  Yom Tov ended with dancing, Maariv, and Kiddush Levana. Shavuos in Yeshiva was a truly uplifting experience. Spending Yom Tov involved in so much growing and learning with rebbeim and friends, was really incredible. Talmidim are grateful to Associate Principal Rabbi Shimon Schenker for arranging everything, Rabbi Kahn for joining us, and Dov Fink, our amazing madrich, as well as the waiters, and all the talmidim that helped throughout Yom Tov.