Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mayanot Moment, Parshat Toldot

This weeks Mayanot Moment, Parshat Toldot
Why did Yitchak have wells dug and what do they represent for us today?

Interested in more Soundcloud Audio Classes, check out the Mayanot Soundcloud Chanel!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reflections, 4 Amazing Years!

Would you believe me if I said that even before I arrived at Mayanot, I felt I would be there for at least 4 years? Let me qualify what I mean. I did not book an open ended ticket with the plan to fly back 4 years later and I certainly did not tell my parents I was planning on attending yeshiva for 4 years. Rather, I was open to such an idea and gave myself the room to be flexible to the possibility. 

I had just spent 4 years at the University of Miami, which for those that don't know, is a place that caters to physical desires and needs, in basically every way imaginable. I figured if I put myself through 4 years of that, I absolutely owed it to myself to immerse in a spiritual environment, where I could give myself at least 4 years for more holy and meaningful endeavors. 

I knew that if I was to go out into the world and make a real difference, I would need to work things out internally first, and build an unbreakable foundation. Thank G-d/ Baruch Hashem, I am so fortunate to have been able to follow through with the incredible support from my parents to spend 4 plus years at Mayanot and build an incredible Jewish foundation. 

What I gained from my experience at Mayanot, although difficult to put into words, I would say, can be summed up in four categories of self growth. 
·         Firstly, being/becoming a healthy human being, someone who is self-aware, proactively independent, and lives wholeheartedly. Mayanot helped me with this, through discussions and learning new concepts that assisted me in putting my life into perspective. 
·         Secondly, through relationships, with others and with myself. Built with love, compassion, and a genuine concern for fellow Jews and people in general, relationships can absolutely transform your life and the people I met had such a huge impact on me. 
·         The third is the fundamental skills to learn and delve into our heritage, ie. the Torah and other Jewish texts.  I am now comfortable opening up and learning oral, written and all other sorts of Halachic texts, from the Mishnah to all discussions that lead us to make a halachic ruling in the Shulchan Aruch/ Jewish Law, as well as the light filled teachings of Chassidus/ Jewish Mysticism. I am currently in a top notch smicha program to become a Rabbi in Pretoria, South Africa, a dream I never would have come to if I hadn't chosen to delve into my Jewish heritage. 
·         The fourth is the appreciation and excitement for being a Jew and Chassid/ student of the Rebbe and how fortunate we all are to have such a rich Jewish inheritance. Ashreinu MaTov Chelkenu!

Although, I am not physically at Mayanot anymore, it will always continue to be the place I call home, the place that I got in touch with my real self, which I knew I always had inside of me. Perhaps it is not ultimately about being at Mayanot in Jerusalem, but rather to bring Mayanot to wherever I will be. I plan to utilize all that Mayanot has given me to do just so.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Mayanot!!!

Written by: Aharon Tzvi Altman, A Mayanot Men's Program Student from 2011-2015.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Parshat Vayeira: Why did Abraham leave G-d's Presence Willingly?

Parshat Vayeira
With Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner, 
Dean of the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, in Jerusalem

Click Here to learn about the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim