Monday, August 20, 2007

YIOP Bulletin September 2007: A New Year for Torah Learning

Rosh Hashanah is a time for resolutions: we resolve to grow as people – to be better friends and relatives, more attentive and caring to those around us. We resolve to change ourselves, working harder to root out behaviors that we know we should change. And finally, we resolve to become better, more knowledgeable Jews, in order to grow closer to God.
As I have said many times before, the very best way to grow in our own Judaism is through the study of Torah. Torah study has the power to accomplish each of these goals: it can make us better, more sensitive people. It can give us internal, spiritual strength to withstand temptations and desires. And finally, the more we know about God and His Torah, the closer we can become to Him.
Because I never miss an opportunity to plug a YIOP program or shiur, I thought that I would take this space to share with you some of the new and ongoing YIOP shiurim beginning this month at the Beit Midrash program. Some shiurim are new, others have moved, while others remain the same.
Our Monday evening Beit Midrash program begins its sixth year this September with several important changes. First and foremost, instead of having a special pre-Rosh Hashanah program, we will begin the regular class schedule during September which will continue through December. In addition, we have several staffing changes. Rena Spolter will not be giving her class on Torat Nechama, and as we bid farewell to Kollel Torah Mitzion members Asaf Cohen and Shai Urim, we welcome new member Rabbi Ze’ev Friedlander, and a new shiur from a longtime community member. Please note that all shiurim are open to both men and women.

Monday Nights at 8:00pm:
Navi Melachim with Rabbi Spolter – the popular summer Navi shiur continues this year on Monday nights, as we study the Book of Kings. We will learn about the reign of King Solomon, the construction of the first Temple, and the tragic split of the monarchy. Please bring a Navi with you.
Kuzari with Kollel Torah Mitzion Rosh Kollel Rabbi Bezalel Safra: Rabbi Safra will continue his study of the Kuzari, one of the seminal works in Jewish thought, in Hebrew.
Mitzvot and the Meaning, with Rabbi Ze’ev Friedlander: While we intuitively know about many of the different commandments found in the Torah, a good number still remain a mystery. What commandments comprise the 613 found in the Torah? How can we understand the meaning behind them? Join Rabbi Friedlander to study the Sefer Hachinuch, a classic work on the commandments.
Chafetz Chaim with David Tenenbaum: Rabbi Israel Meir Hakohen Kagan (also known for his classic work called Chafetz Chaim), wrote his work to teach others about the dangers of gossip, slander and other dangerous forms of speech. In addition to studying the text, this class will offer an in depth discussion of the laws and how they apply to our every day lives and conversations, and will be a very rewarding learning experience.
9:00pm: Ma’ariv
9:10pm: Gemara Brachos with Rabbi Spolter: The Gemara shiur moves from Tuesday evening at the Kollel to Monday evening as an addition to the Beit Midrash. This weekly shiur, now in the third chapter of Brachos, offers a fascinating look at the nature of davening today, giving us a better understanding not just of how we’re supposed to daven, but how the halachic process molded the modern-day davening that we know. While you don’t need to know how to read the gemara on your own, a basic ability to follow along in Hebrew-only texts is required for this shiur.

If you’ve been a regular participant in our Beit Midrash, I look forward to welcoming you back, and ask you to bring a friend with you. But if you haven’t been to shul on Monday night, I encourage you to join us. There really is something for everyone, and I know that making Torah learning a regular part of your life at the beginning of each week will have a profound impact on the rest of the week as well.

In addition, the Beit Midrash has continued to flourish and thrive due to the generosity of our members, who have sponsored individual nights of learning in memory or honor of a friend or loved-one. Should you wish to sponsor an evening of Torah study at our shul for $54, please either sign up on the bulletin board outside the Beit Midrash, or contact me directly.

As we look forward to the upcoming chagim, Rena and I and our entire family wish you a שנה טובה ומתוקה – a sweet, happy and healthy New Year.

Rabbi Reuven Spolter