The Men’s Section

The Men’s Section – Ezrat Gvarim An interview with Rabbi Kenneth Brander in the Shabbaton Weekly Magazine Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander (57), who has five children and two daughters-in-law, lives with his wife in Jerusalem. He is the president and Rosh Yeshiva of the Ohr Torah Stone network, former Vice President of Yeshiva University in …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Vaera 5780

Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Vaera (Exodus 6:2 – 9:35) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – What makes Moses Moses? He is certainly the consummate prophet, the man of G-d whose vision of ethical monotheism was expressed in a moral code of law which commands to this very day, more than 4000 years later. He is …

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Blue and White Leader Benny Gantz visits Midreshet Lindenbaum

Yinon, Benny Gantz, Rabbi Brander, Ohad

Gantz: “We have to get to a stage where we  integrate Haredim and Arabs into IDF” During his visit to OTS’s Midreshet Lindenbaum , the Blue and White chairman referred to the relative minority in the representation of women on the party list, saying: “The list is growing rapidly and there are still women in …

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“Parsha and Purpose” – Shemot 5780

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“Parsha and Purpose” – Parshat Shemot 5780

“Living the Ideals of Chesed and Social Justice – A Necessary Requirement for Leaders”

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Parshat Shemot: Living the Ideals of Chesed and Social Justice – A Necessary Requirement for Leaders

Rav Chaim of Brisk (1853-1918) revolutionized the study of Talmud through his novel “Brisker” approach, and added new dimensions to our ability to understand that magnum opus of Jewish scholarship.  Talmud studies in any midrasha or yeshiva are greatly impacted by Rav Chaim’s textual analysis.

Rav Chaim lived in the Lithuanian town of Brisk and served as rabbi of the town, but was buried in Warsaw (that in itself is a story, but we won’t elaborate on it now). Rav Chaim requested that on his tombstone (not the one that marks his grave today, which was replaced after the original was destroyed by the Nazis) only the words “Av Beit Din d’Brisk” – Rabbi of Brisk – and “Ish Hesed” – a man of lovingkindness – be inscribed.

Rav Chaim did not want anything written about the books he composed, or the unbelievable advances in the study of Talmud be written.  He felt that the most important job he had as a Rav was not delivering amazing sermons or coming up with incomparable chiddushei Torah, but rather to be a “Rav Chesed” – a man who performed acts of lovingkindness.

In the middle of his tenure as a rabbi, almost all of Brisk was destroyed in a fire. While the homes of the wealthy were soon rebuilt, those of the poor were not; Rav Chaim went and slept on the front yards of those homes, until they were rebuilt.

When there were babies that were born out of wedlock, the parents knew that they could be placed in the home of Rav Chaim, this great Torah scholar, and he would make sure that the mamzerim and mamzerot of the Jewish people would be taken care of.

When he was given a shed full of wood to heat his home, his condition was that there was to be no lock on that shed, so that the poor could also use the wood as needed.

That was Rav Chaim.

Nechama Leibowitz so correctly tells us that before you are introduced to the quintessential leader of the Jewish people, before he can stand on the stage of leadership, we have to be introduced to his CV, those acts and traits which make him truly unique.

What makes Moshe unique is that he is a man of chessed. When he sees something that is wrong, whether it is social injustice between a master and a slave, social injustice between two oppressed people, or social injustice between two strangers, Moshe needs to get involved.

That is what makes Moshe a leader. This is the quality of genuine leadership.

And subsequently, when Moshe sees the burning bush, he says, “Asura Na, v’er’eh,” I’m going to go over and look, “madua lo yiv’ar ha’sneh?”- Why isn’t the bush being consumed by the fire?

That was Moshe’s greatness. When something was not right, out of character; when someone was being oppressed, Moshe expressed concern.

This is the message that Rav Chaim of Brisk highlights to us. When he is buried, he requests that his matzeva, his tombstone, not focus on his scholarly Torah contributions, but rather on his contributions in the realm of chessed.

Parshat Shemot reminds us that if we want to be redeemers in our lives – like Rav Chaim of Brisk, like Moshe Rabbeinu – we have to speak truth to power, not only through the study of Torah, but by taking those values and implementing them every day of our lives.

Shabbat Shalom.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippy Hotovely visits Alma Mater

Hotovely: ‘Religious Zionism should be part of the ruling party’ Deputy Foreign Minister visits Midreshet Lindenbaum of the Ohr Torah Stone network, addressed the students. by Orli Harari | 14/01/20  Hotovely with Rabis Brander and Teharlev: Gershon Ellinson   Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Monday visited Midreshet Lindenbaum of the Ohr Torah Stone network …

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A Thousand Words – January 13, 2020

At a moving ceremony, Yeshivat Neveh Shmuel inagurated the new dormitory, club room, and fitness complex in memory of the late Uriel Peretz Liwerant, a graduate of Neveh Shmuel’s 20th class. The event was attended by the Liwerant family, administrators and employees of the Ohr Torah Stone, and of course students and staff of Neveh …

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Parshat Shemot: The Torah of the Father, and the Torah of the Teacher

Parashat Shemot: The Torah of the Father, and the Torah of the Teacher Hashem gave the Torah to a particular nation, at a particular time, based on a special perspective on the nation receiving the Torah. Hashem wants to give us the Torah personally, through a one-on-one encounter, relating to us on a personal level and …

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“I wasn’t even aware that the fact that I am a girl was a factor to consider…”

  OPINION At 17, I’m the youngest woman to complete the seven-plus year study of the Talmud HILA SCHLAKMAN | JANUARY 10, 2020 12:59 PM EFRAT, West Bank (JTA) — I didn’t start learning the Talmud to take a stand or voice an opinion. When I started learning a page of Talmud per day (Daf Yomi) at age …

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“Shabbat Shalom” – Parshat Shemot 5780

This week’s parsha has been sponsored in memory of Florence Bryskin (Tzipporah bas Mayer Yitzchak and Henya) on the occasion of her Yahrzeit on the 22 of Teves Shabbat Shalom: Parshat Shemot (Exodus 1:1 – 6:1) By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin Efrat, Israel – “But the midwives feared God and they did not do as the …

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Jewish education grants to small European communities

Ohr Torah Stone launches Jewish education grants to small European communities Funding will support projects in Finland, Latvia, Norway and Poland. (January 8, 2020 / JNS) Ohr Torah Stone (OTS), the Modern Orthodox network of 27 institutions that are transforming Jewish living, learning and leadership worldwide, has launched its first Jewish education grant program to help strengthen seven small …

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Hila Schlakman finishes daily Talmud learning cycle, may be youngest woman yet

Hila Schlakman

Hila Schlakman finishes daily Talmud learning cycle, may be youngest woman yet “With the fuel each page gave me to learn the next, I can truly say it’s an endeavor which brought me so much, and I look forward to starting the next cycle,” said the 17-year-old from Efrat. January 6, 2020 / JNS  As …

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