Featured Ads

Young men breathe hope into future of our Jewish world

This summer, these young men have been studying every weekday morning. They will be heading to their respective schools on Monday and will be honored at Shabbos services on Aug. 27. They are Chaim Miller (from left), Raviv Horesh, Eli Noam-Horesh, Ilan Horesh and Ezra Smith. Not shown is Benyamin Wolff and Oliver Miller.

In the past few months, many of us have experienced an incredible inspiring adventure with several young men. These young men grew up in K.C., were motivated by NCSY, left to learn in Israel/New York, and returned this summer to be with family and friends.

From 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, these young men learned in a classic beit midrash, house of study, at BIAV. Their rabbis were Rabbi Daniel Rockoff of BIAV, Rabbi Meshulam Twersky, a teacher at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in the Matmidim program, and Rabbi Shaya Katz, director of the KC Community Kollel. They studied the Gemorra, Pesachim with commentaries of Rashi, Rashbam, and Tosefos, Mussar, the Parasha, with commentaries of Rashi and Ramban, and more. To walk into the beit midrash and to hear them discussing, arguing and struggling with our classic Jewish texts was a sight to be seen. It was truly the “sound of Torah.”

In a world that is fragmented, confused and in conflict with itself, it was comforting to know that these young men are clear in what they believe and what they practice. They can guide and lead many of us into the challenges of the future. When the Jewish world clamors about tikkun olam, there is no better way to do it than to study about ways to treat people, tithe one’s money, extend chesed to people, and to help when a helping hand is needed. These “bochrim” (young boys) not only studied our holy texts, they showed us how they live it. It was refreshing to see the next generation still believe in kashrut, Shabbos, family purity, tzedakah, and the land of Israel without being apologetic, defensive or confused. It is this Yiddishkeit that has survived for thousands of years … and they are studying it and living it.

All of them will be returning to school soon to continue their studies. They have dreams of being professionals, serving in the IDF, and furthering their education in order to contribute to building a better world. In a world like ours, which often feels like it is lacking kedusha (holiness), we can be confident that young men like them are in fact helping making it a better place to live. With G-d’s help and direction, maybe next summer some of them and more will return and continue to inspire, guide and help us reach higher levels of our learning and practice.

On a personal level, my wife Rini and I had the honor and privilege to have Shabbos lunch with these young boys and their friends on Tisha b’Av Shabbos. Our dining room was filled with singing, d’vrei Torah, good cholent and laughing … on Tisha b’Av … unbelievable. A day traditionally dedicated to mourning, lamentations and tears, they helped to turn it into one of celebration and simcha … not just because it was Shabbos, but because these young men helped us create what it will be like when the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) is rebuilt. I only hope and pray more of us in K.C. can experience what many of us lived during these past few weeks. 

To honor these fine young men and their rabbis, BIAV will sponsor Shabbos Shala Shudas on Saturday, Aug. 27, where each one will share d’vrei Torah. These young men and their schools are: Benyamin Wolff, Ohr Ha Chayim in New York; Raviv Horesh, Arietes Elite Academy in Israel; Oliver Miller and Chaim Miller, Mesivta Torah Institute in St. Louis; Ilan Horesh, Yeshivat Shalavim in Israel; and Ezra Smith, Yeshivat Hakotel in Isarel.