Tu Bishvat saw our bachurim in Chicago participating in the much anticipated and inspirational Shas for Shidduchim event. Besides for joining hundreds of other participants in completing Shas in 24 hours and shteiging to the thunderous sound of kol Torah (the Yeshiva undertook to complete 40 blatt in Maseches Kidushin), the boys had the opportunity to hear divrei chizuk from Harav Zucker at the Chicago Community Kollel. In addition, our 10th graders delivered their own chaburos to members of R’ Mandel’s kollel, as they have already done several times this year (most recently, this past Thursday). The sugyos they presented spanned various sugyos in the first perek of Seder Kiddushin, and they prepared these Chaburos with their Rebbi, R’ Frankel, during the days preceding their trip. The event culminated with a special banquet and siyum which featured a talk by Harav Yaakov Bender on being nosei beol im chaveiro; feeling the joy and pain of other people. He emphasized the concept of Torah learning not only being personal, but also as a zechus for the general klal, especially as it pertains to those in need of a shidduch. We felt privileged to have a chance to feel connected to the larger klal and contribute in such a meaningful and memorable way.
As in past years, Mr. Koontz, together with the Yeshiva administration, assembled an excellent general studies staff for the 2018-2019 school year. These teachers ensure that the 3.5 hours allocated per day to general studies are fully utilized and that the curriculum is in full compliance with Indiana State Accreditation Standards. Notably, the 10th graders are receiving dual credit for their US history class and, have begun taking ISTEP exams in language arts and math.
During legal holidays, the Yeshiva offered its talmidim hands-on lessons in woodworking and basic bicycle repair taught by Mr. Shmuel Ament, and bookbinding instructed by Mr. Papoff of Chicago. Special thanks to these talented individuals for sharing their skills with the boys! The Yeshiva also wishes to extend its appreciation to Steel Warehouse and the Lerman family for providing the bachurim with an enjoyable and informative tour of their plant on Tucker Drive. Knowing that the Lermans are staunch supporters of the Yeshiva made the opportunity to witness their business in action even more meaningful for the boys.
This coming טו׳ בשבט (Sunday night January 20 through January 21), our talmidim plan to participate in a special טו בשבט program which will אי״ה take place in Chicago. In a 24-hour period, the entire ש״ס will be jointly learned by close to 500 participants at the Veitzener Cheder, followed by a seudas siyum in honor of the momentous occasion. The Yeshiva undertook to complete the first perek of Maseches Kiddushin (40 blatt), to be completed throughout the day. At last year’s siyum, we were zoche to hear derashos from R’ Shmuel Feurst and R’ Shmuel Dishon who emphasized the powerful impact and the Kiddush Hashem of a tzibur who come together to learn Torah. In addition, we had the opportunity to meet and hear divrei chizuk from R’ Shmuel Keller and R’ Zev Cohen. This year, the learning will culminate in a siyum, with Rabbi Yaakov Bender as the guest speaker. Any community members who are interested in coming along should please contact Rabbi Zeiger for chavrusa arrangements with our bochurim. We are looking forward to partnering with the community for this wonderful Kiddush Hashem.
On Wednesday ofפרשת וירא , our 10th grade Rebbe, Rabbi Frankel, traveled to Chicago to visit his Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Abikzer, and the members of his kollel. On the spur of the moment, the 10th grade bochurim eagerly requested to join him on his trip. In order that the trip wouldn’t cause the bochurim to miss part of their learning, along the way they took turns giving shiur on the Gemara that they had learned, and on Chumash for the Chumash Seder that was missed. Although they were only in Chicago for a short amount of time, Rabbi Abikzer infused them with a powerful message. He quoted the Nefesh Hachaim who states that just as a father is willing to give his son whatever he wants, so too, Hashem is ready to give to each and every person that learns Torah an abundance of knowledge, a deep understanding, and a real connection to the Torah, provided that we prepare a “storage house” Yiras Hashem. He explained that oftentimes, our test is to abandon the fear of how we will we be perceived if we immerse ourselves in Torah, rechanneling that fear to gain an authentic fear of Hashem. Afterwards, the bochurim went to Rabbi Abikzer’s kollel to daven Mincha, and the bochurim had the opportunity to talk to the kollel members as well. Rabbi Abikzer and his kollel commented on how impressed they were with the level of learning, as well as the menshlichkeit of our talmidim. Before returning to Yeshiva, they were treated to dinner at Great Chicago.
On Tuesday afternoon, October 23rd, the Yeshiva took a day trip to Warren Dunes State Park in southwest Michigan. Aside from providing our talmidim with a well-deserved opportunity to refresh and rejuvenate their minds, they also had the ability to learn with the backdrop of a new and pleasant setting near Lake Michigan. Following an enjoyable game of wiffle ball in the sand, Rabbi Margulies and Rabbi Frankel learned together with the bochurim, who were able to experience firsthand the commonality between seeing Hashem in Torah and in creation. One of the surprises of the day came when we chanced upon a family whose car was stuck in the sand, offering us the opportunity to make a Kiddush Hashem as we joined to help them get out. After a day of hiking, playing ball, and learning, the talmidim returned energized and excited to continue shteiging.
On Friday, December 29th, Rabbi Mordechai Willig visited Yeshiva to speak to our bochurim. He gave a dynamic erev shabbos speech in which he covered many topics. Among the subjects covered, he discussed with the talmidim the concept of fulfilling mitvos in Eretz Yisrael and the chashivus of yearning for this opportunity and hoping to merit it.
On Monday night, the 7th night of Chanukah, the Talmidim enjoyed a beautiful Mesiba at the home of Rabbi Margulies. They were joined by Rabbi Zeiger and Rabbi Bechofer. The evening included Divrei Torah in honor of Chanukah and culminated in spirited dancing .
Rabbi Margulies’ shiur joined the South Bend community with their recent playground project. Though the initial plan called for the bochurim to connect with other volunteers on Sunday afernoon, the playground was completed ahead of the boys’ scheduled PE period. However, one last item remained on the building agenda. The concrete sandbox footings which were poured during the Sunday build required curing time before the installation of the sandbox posts, so the bochurim happily arrived at SBHDS on Wednesday, as soon as the concrete footings had set, to assist in the installation of the sandbox posts and canopy. Yasher Koach for assisting in this project which will bring joy to South Bend children for many years to come.
Thanks to generous donations, our Talmidim now have top of the line hockey gear. On Friday, September 15th, they were given a chance to demonstrate their skating abilities at the Ice Box.