Rambam Begins the Year with Father-Son Learning
One of the most basic mitzvos in the Torah is the responsibility of a father to learn with his children. When we daven, we recite the Shema, which emphasizes the theme of Veshinantam Levanecha … And you shall teach your sons (Torah). Aside from fulfilling a mitzvah, parents take great pride in the opportunities to learn with their sons. Similarly, students enjoy and are inspired by the fact that their parents actively engage in limud haTorah.
On Sunday September 15, Rambam rebbeim created the perfect atmosphere for fathers and sons to learn together. There was a fantastic turnout for fathers, grandfathers, and brothers who participated in davening and the students’ morning iyun shiurim.
Fathers had the opportunity to meet their sons’ iyun rebbe and see him in action and be part of the action. Nachas abounded as fathers proudly watched their sons’ involvement in the interactive shiurim. Sons too enjoyed as their fathers became “talmidim” for the day and actively participated in the shiurim and bonded with the rebbeim.
The feedback from all involved was remarkable and plans are on the way for the next event.
9/11: Rambam Remembers
In a moving 9/11 memorial assembly, Rambam Mesivta students reflected on the events of that horrific day and were moved to appreciate the heroism of those who fought back.
Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, Rosh HaMesivta of Rambam, flanked by two American flags, began by stressing the significance of learning about history so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. He spoke about when he heard the news while in Rambam and how he and Rabbi Eliach responded to the news of the attacks. He explained that when in a crisis, one needs to rise to the occasion and also one needs to know when to step back and allow those who need to respond, room to respond. “A surgeon can answer some questions to a family member while a patient is going through hours of surgery, but at a certain point, the family can really help by allowing the doctor to go back into the operating room.” Keeping one’s cool in a crisis and giving space is sometimes just as important as actually getting involved.
Rabbi Yotav Eliach, principal of Rambam, then spoke to the students providing historical context for the attacks. He noted that as early as 1998, a Western reporter interviewed Bin Laden when Bin Laden declared war on America. He mentioned a number of other attacks and then showed a video detailing what happened to the World Trade Center. He also spoke about the heroism of the first responders, the firefighters, and policemen who “going against instinct, were running towards danger instead of away from it.”
A short video was then shown about the heroic passengers of Flight 93 who fought back against the hijackers and saved countless lives.
Considering that many students were not even born when 9/11 occurred, it was truly amazing that Rabbi Friedman and Rabbi Eliach were able to make something that is “History” feel alive. Those who were killed were not forgotten.
Masmidim Extra Learning Program Continues
In just the first full week of school, the Rambam Masmidim Extra Learning Program is off to a fast start! Around 20 talmidim flocked to the beis midrash this past Tuesday night for 45 minutes of “Open Learning,” where students, grades 9-12, studied together everything from Gemara to Tanach, to Mishnah to Hashkafah.
Carlos and Gabby’s food was then served followed by a shiur conducted by Rabbi Yaacov Weisenberg. Rabbi Weisenberg shared some thoughts on the parashah and stressed that while the parashah begins by discussing preparations for physical battle, it also can be understood as a metaphor for preparing oneself for battle with the yetzer ha’ra.
With the beis midrash filling up during lunch on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Masmidim Program is on the rise!
The learning continued this Monday night with Rabbi Avrum Haar hosting and leading the learning, including preparations for the Bronka Weintrab Bekiut Program through Yeshiva University. The program just keeps on growing!