Showing posts from July, 2012

The purpose of prayer

On Thursday 12 July, the Mayanot Women’s Program was treated to a guest lecture by Rabbi Moshe Yusgur on ‘Prayer and Its Relevance’. The topic was a dense one, leading to many interesting tangents and discussions within the lecture, although Rabbi Yusgur was always able to bring the class back to the original question. Why do we pray, and how do we know that G-d wants us to pray? G-d is unknowable, so how is it that we know He wants us to pray? Rabbi Yusgur stated that G-d is revealed to us in several key ways – through nature, and through the Torah. Within the Torah, there are 10 expressions relating to the word ‘prayer.’ We pray because G-d wants us to do so, because it is our way of becoming closer to our Creator and connecting with G-d Our job is to pray – to ask G-d for things, to request things and express gratitude – in this way, by remembering G-d and acknowledging G-d, we are serving him. It is a way to be aware of the world we live in, to appreciate and improve it, and in tha

Make yourself a teacher: A class with Professor Susan Handelman

Last week,Professor Susan Handelman, a Chicago native, a professor of English at Bar –Ilan University and the author of several books and articles (as well as being a translator on the Rebbe’s book ‘On the essence of Chassidus’), including her latest work ‘Make yourself a teacher: Rabbinic Tales of Mentors and Disciples’, gave an interesting and invigorating address to students of the Mayanot Women’s Program and members of the community.  In keeping with her latest book, the topic of Professor Handelman’s talk was ‘Talmud and Teachers: New Readings of the Talmud’, in which she examined several stories of Rabbi Eliezer in order to draw conclusions about the teacher/student relationship in Torah learning. The talk was held in memory of Myra Kraft, on the occasion of her first Yarzheit. Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner, Dean of Mayanot, opened the talk with a warm introduction, and welcome, of Professor Handelman before sharing his memories and impressions of Myra. He told of Myra’s visits to the M

Thank you for being a friend! Tales of the Mayanot-Friendship Circle trip to Israel

Five years ago the Friendship Circle and Mayanot teamed up to begin a one-of-a-kind Taglit- Birthright Israel trip, catered to young Jewish adults with special needs. The Friendship Circle is a social outreach program for Jewish youth with special needs. It is run by, and within, the Jewish community, and is run on a volunteer-basis. Hindy Finman volunteers at the Philadelphia branch of the Friendship Circle, which is associated with Chabad. It is Hindi’s firm belief that every Jew, no matter their situation in life, deserves a chance to visit Israel. This belief matches that of Birthright Israel and of Mayanot. Mayanot were eager to get involved and become the trip provider for the Friendship Circle Birthright trip. ‘Mayanot have been really great’, Hindi says, ‘They really work with us every step of the way.’ The Mayanot – Friendship Circle trip happens once a year, to ensure the best planned and organized trip possible.  It is important to Mayanot, and to Friendship Circle, that thi

Mazel Tov to our Mayanot Girls!

We would like to wish a big mazel tov to the following Mayanot Alumni on their recent engagements: Devra Nusbaum on her engagement to Shimon Radovsky Sara Klasner on her engagement to Zev Icyk and Menucha Howell on her engagement to Adam Saitowitz We wish you all years and years of health, happiness and many more simchas