Highlights: MALT 2016*



Accommodations: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



קָבַר אַבְרָהָם אֶת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל מְעָרַת שְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן
Avraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah in Mamre – which is Hevron – in the land of Canaan.
– Breishit 23:19

וְהַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ דָּוִד עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בְּחֶבְרוֹן מָלַךְ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וּבִירוּשָׁלִַם מָלַךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים וְשָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים
And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty years: seven years he reigned in Hevron, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years.
– Melachim Aleph 2:11

The first day’s limud will highlight the foundations of the connection of Am Yisrael to Hevron: Brit Bein Habetarim, Avot v’Imahot, and Malchut.

Morning shiurim will be given at OTS’s Israel Henry Beren Campus outside of Efrat, featuring Rabbi Shlomo Vilk, Rosh Yeshiva of our hesder yeshiva, Yeshivat Machanaim.

After lunch, we will drive to Hevron, where we will connect the morning’s limud to Alonei Mamre (the site of Brit Bein Habetarim), Me’arat Hamachpela (burial site of the Avot v’Imahot), and Tel Rumeida (site of King David’s palace).

Rabbi Hananel Etrog, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Shavei Hevron, will offer greetings, and Rabbi Eliezer Valdman, Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Nir Kiryat Arba, will deliver a shiur.


While in Hevron, our visit will be enhanced by limud at:

Me’arat Hamachpela – We will gain new insights about the burial site of the Avot v’Imahot based on p’sukim in the Tanach and teachings of Chazal.

King David’s Palace – We will learn the p’sukim addressing King David’s kingship in Hevron, going on a behind-the-scenes visit to the ongoing excavation site of his palace in Tel Rumeida.

Accommodations: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem



נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי צֶדֶק לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ
He restores my soul; He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
– Tehillim 23:3

אָז תָּבִין צֶדֶק וּמִשְׁפָּט וּמֵישָׁרִים כָּל מַעְגַּל טוֹב
Then you will understand righteousness, justice and fairness, every good path.
– Mishlei 2:9

MISHPAT IVRI – Halacha and Israeli Civil Law: Irreconcilable Differences?

Morning shiurim will be delivered at OTS’s Chana and Yaakov Tilles Campus, the Talpiyot home of our Midreshet Lindenbaum women’s college, and will highlight the complicated dynamic between halacha and Israeli civil law in key issues facing Israeli society:

The Plight of the Agunah
Dr. Hila Ben-Eliyahu of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an expert on the subject of Mishpat Ivri, will address the issue of Mishpat Ivri as it pertains to the scourge of get-refusal. Rabbinical court advocates from OTS’s Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline will speak about their experiences defending agunot in rabbinical courts and answer questions.

Who is a Rabbi? Conversion and Israel’s Chief Rabbinate
Over the past several years, people who have converted to Judaism under the auspices of leading Orthodox rabbis in the United States have been informed by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate that their conversion was not valid. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Founder and Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone, Chief Rabbi of Efrat and a leading rabbinic figure in the struggle to unlock the monopoly of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate over conversion, will deliver a shiur on this sensitive issue.


Following the morning shiurim, we will lunch at nearby Kibbutz Ramat Rahel and visit the archaeological excavations that have shed much light on the period of malchut in the time of the First Temple.

From Kibbutz Ramat Rahel, we will visit Israel’s Supreme Court, one of the symbols of modern Israeli democracy. We will learn about the fascinating, poignant architecture of the Supreme Court building, inspired by Jewish concepts of law and justice, particularly the leitmotif of Ma’aglei Tzedek (Paths, or Circles, of Justice). We will meet and hear from Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg, a religious Jew from Gush Etzion (and the parent of a student at an Ohr Torah Stone high school), about his perspective on the relationship between halacha and Israeli civil law.

Accommodations: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem




 וַיִּירָא וַיֹּאמַר מַה נּוֹרָא הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה אֵין זֶה כִּי אִם בֵּית אֱלֹקים וְזֶה שַׁעַר הַשָּׁמָיִם
And [Yaakov] was afraid and said: ‘How full of awe is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.’
– Breishit 28:17

 וְהָיָה כִּי יְבִאֲךָ ה’ אֶל אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְךָ וְלַאֲבֹתֶיךָ וּנְתָנָהּ לָךְ
And it shall be when Hashem will bring you into the land of the Canaanite as He swore to you and to your ancestors, and shall give it to you.
– Shemot 13:11 (section dealing with tefilin)

 ביאה דכתב רחמנא גבי תפילין למה לי ההוא מיבעי ליה לכדתנא דבי ר’ ישמעאל עשה מצוה זו שבשבילה תיכנס לארץ
What is the significance of the Torah referencing entry into Eretz Yisrael in the context of tefilin? The School of Rabbi Yishmael taught: “Do this mitzvah, since for the sake of it shall you enter the land.”
– Kiddushin 37b

‘וַיִּזְעַק שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל ה’ בְּעַד יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּעֲנֵהוּ ה
Shmuel cried out to Hashem on behalf of Israel; and Hashem answered him.
– Shmuel Aleph 7:9

 מי שענה לשמואל במצפה הוא יעננו
The One Who answered Shmuel at Mitzpeh, may He answer us.
– Selihot prayers

Tefilah and tefilin are two of the most prominent features of our daily lives, yet there is so much about each that we do not yet know. We hope to begin to deepen our understanding and appreciation of both of these mitzvot, enabling us to find ever greater inspiration in the fulfillment of these daily obligations.

We will be accompanied by Mrs. Shani Taragin to Beit El, site of Sulam Yaakov, where Yaakov prayed to Hashem for success on his journey to exile and for his safe return back to Eretz Yisrael. She will deliver a shiur on this crucial moment in Jewish history.

We will then go the renowned “Tefilin Beit El” factory, where we will hear a shiur on the many halachic and philosophical aspects of the mitzvah of tefilin. Afterward, we will experience a one-hour tour in which we will learn about the fascinating process of making tefilin.

Following this, we will travel to Nabi Samu’il, the burial site of Shmuel HaNavi. Mrs. Taragin will deliver shiurim that will provide new perspectives into the life of Shmuel HaNavi, a prophet of unique historical significance, given his important role in the kingships of Shaul and David.

Accommodations: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem




למה נקרא שמה ציפורי? שיושבת בראש ההר כציפור
Why is (the city) called Tzipori? Because she sits on top of the mountain, like a bird (tzipor).
– Megillah 6a

Tzipori, “the ornament of all the Galil”, in the words of Josephus, is where Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi compiled the Mishnah during the final 17 years of his life. One of the most fascinating aspects of Tzipori was its role as the nexus between Jewish and non-Jewish culture, as exemplified by the unearthing of a synagogue in the city that contained a mosaic of Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, wine-making and wine, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy.

We will analyze various sources in Shas regarding Jewish-Gentile relations. On a broader level, we will learn about the complicated nature of the Jewish-Gentile relationship.

En route to Tzipori, we will hear a shiur from Rabbi David Stav, Co-Chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone and Chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinic Organization who will speak about the unique personality and teachings of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, “Rabbeinu HaKadosh.

Upon arriving in Tzipori, we will visit the sites of the ancient spiritual capitol of the Galil, and learn halachic and historic selections from the Talmud on Jewish-Gentile relations.

The final shiur of the day will address the question of whether or not wine needs to be kosher. Complementing the shiur will be a visit to the Adir Winery, partaking of the finest wines that the Land of Israel has to offer and observing the various steps involved in wine production.

Accommodations: Ruth Rimonim Hotel, Tzfat



We will visit the kevarim of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai on Har Meron; Rabbi Yonatan Ben Uziel at Amuka (where people travel from all over the world to daven to Hashem for a shidduch and for children); and Rabbi Yehudah bar Ilai (in Tzfat), the halachic arch rival of – and nearly always the victor over – Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai.  Along the way to these destinations, we will learn Talmudic selections about each scholar, to understand them and their teachings.

For those who are interested, there will also be an opportunity for hitbodedut (meditation in the style of Rebbe Nahman of Breslov) in the Amuka Forest.

Accommodations: Ruth Rimonim Hotel, Tzfat



In the city famous for its unparalleled spirituality, spend an uplifting Shabbat with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin experiencing inspiring davening and celebration of Shabbat in some of the most hallowed synagogues in the world, including a walking tour through the ancient streets, alleyways, and shuls of this holy city.

KABBALAT SHABBAT: Davening at the world-famous Ari Shul; Dinner and Tisch

SHABBAT MORNING: Davening, Kiddush, Shiur, and Lunch

SHABBAT AFTERNOON: Walking Tour, Minha, Seudah Shlishit and Dvar Torah from Rabbi Riskin



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* Schedule is subject to change