Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy belated Tu beShvat!

Happy belated Tu beShvat!

We hope you all had a special and meaningful Tu beShvat Chag.

Here in the Mechina we studied about the basic elements and fundamentals of Tu beShvat, learned as well some of the deeper and hidden messages which it contains and of course held a beautiful Seder full of a variety of fruits and nuts, the seven species that Israel is blessed with, and lots of  Torah sharing and singing.

A great opportunity to connect to Eretz Yisrael!!!

עוד ישמע בערי יהודה ובחוצות ירושלים...
Before anything else, a warm Mazal-Tov goes to our Rosh Mechina, Rav Erez and his wife Ester on the recent engagement of their first child, (!) Shani, to her Chattan Ido. There was a lively and large engagement party in the Moshav that many people as well as the students attended, celebrating together this great Simcha.
A hearty Mazal-Tov also goes to Rav Amiad, who's younger sister Cherut, got married last week.
May both of them merit to build a proud Jewish family rooted in Torah and Mitzvot out of love, caring, and respect for each other, in Eretz Yisrael! Mazal Tov!!!

On a different note, about a week ago the students had their first hands on experience with navigation. Their skills were tested after they were dropped of in the middle of "nowhere" in the Galill, about an hour away and had to navigate back to the pickup point (there were of course staff members supervising everything behind the scenes). Using compasses, their knowledge, and maps, they all succeeded in eventually making it back. It was a very satisfying and rewarding experience using what they learned in actuality and truly having it work.

This past Thursday the students had to hand in a project about a specific country in the Middle East on which they’ll be graded, for the past semester in their Bar-Ilan College courses. We hope they all did a good job and pass with a high grade!
That’s about it for now.
This Shabbat we will all be going to Chevron. We look forward to spending the Teffilot, meals, shiurim, and activities all together with a true sense of kedusha while strengthening our connection to our grandparents, Avraham, and Sara, Yitzchak, Rivkah, Ya'akov, and Leah.

Kol Tuv,

R’ Asher
Alon N. serves as role model for past, present and future LYA grads as he does his miluim (reserves) service…on his training base he ran into Gershon, also a LYA grad, doing his Officer’s Training Course  -  LYA grads are making an IMPACT!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dvar Torah - Parashat Yitro - Rav Amiad

Dvar Torah - Parashat Yitro - Rav Amiad

Our Parasha is perhaps the most important Parasha in the Torah – the giving of the Torah. However, the Parasha is named Yitro, after a non-Jew who may indeed be important, but he doesn't seem to be important enough to merit such a part of the Torah.

What can we learn from this?

1. : דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה Derech Eretz comes before the Torah: Before the Torah which belonges to the Jews, a non-Jew comes and teaches Moshe about how to be properly organized, and how to judge the nation more efficiently. This is not the Torah yet; rather an external structural order. However, this shows us that this is something which we can, and should, learn from other nations.

2. Despite the fact that the Torah was given to Am Israel and it is suitable for Am Israel, it needs to pass through us to the entire world. The Torah cannot remain isolated within Am Israel, separated from the rest of the world. We need to fix the world with the royalty of Hashem.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We are proud that two LYA graduates,
MOSHE FELDMAN from Washington DC and YAIR KLYMAN from NJ, were sworn in last night at the IDF ceremony for their combat units at the Kotel  and both received special recognition for EXCELLENCE!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

LYA Orienteering (Nivut) field exercise!

Yonatan’s group arrived first, Moshe’s group arrived at the point second and Kevin’s group made a great effort and arrived third.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Israeli Way of War

The Israeli Way of War

Sefer Torah

Sefer Torah

A few months ago we started a new exciting project at Mechinat Avnei Eitan – LYA: the writing of a new Sefer Torah for the benefit of our students and alumni.

We are pleased to inform you that the Sefer Torah project is advancing rapidly.
The costs of writing a new Sefer Torah are very high, about $50,000. We have raised most of the money but we are still short. We want to invite you to assist us in this grand project.

The cost of one column of the Sefer Torah is $400
The cost of one Parasha is $1,000

On behalf of the staff and students of Mechinat Avnei Eitan, I would like to thank you in advance for your consideration and support of our Yeshiva, and in particular this incredible mission to give our students their own Sefer Torah.

To support this project please go to:https://www.lya.org.il/sefertora.aspx

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Parashat Hashavua - Beshalach


One of the topics that appear in this week's Parasha is the Mann, bread that comes down from heaven for Am Yisrael every morning in the desert. Let's focus on food for a moment

The most basic food is bread. Bread in Hebrew is called לחם, the same root as the word הלחמה - welding. Bread "welds" the body with the soul. Without food a person cannot live, and to live means a soul in the body. Therefore we must realize that food has a side which is connected to the body and a side which is connected to the soul, a physical and a spiritual part.

The physical part is the health aspects of the food, whether it is healthy or not, and how it affects the body. The spiritual aspects are the laws of Kashrut. Therefore, when a person chooses what to eat, he is choosing how to connect and "meld" his body to his soul.

To live longer one has to choose healthy kosher food.

אחד הנושאים שמופיעים בפרשתנו הוא ה "מן", לחם שירד מהשמיים לעם ישראל כל בוקר במדבר. רציתי דרכו קצת לדבר על אוכל. האוכל הבסיסי הוא לחם ונקרא כך כי הוא מלחים, מחבר בין הגוף לנשמה. בלי אוכל אדם לא יכול לחיות, וחיים פירושם נשמה בגוף. לכן צריך להבין שלאוכל יש צד שמחובר לגוף וצד שמחובר לנשמה, בחינה גופנית ובחינה רוחנית. הצד של הגוף זה החלק הבריאותי של האוכל, האם הוא בריא או לא, כיצד הוא משפיע על הגוף והצד של הנשמה זה החלק של הלכות כשרות. לכן כשאדם בוחר מה לאכול כדי לחבר נכון בין הגוף לנשמה, לחיות יותר צריך לבחור אוכל בריא וכשר.

Mechinat Avnei Eitan, LYA - Gibush video

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sea-to-Sea Trek

As you probably know by now, we have done our Yam-Leyam (coast top coast trip), which was a great success. I’m sure your son has told you all about it, so I’ll just add some a few more details.

After many preparations we left (by bus) the Moshav early Tuesday morning December 28th.
We were dropped off at the beginning of our route at the Chziv River, which is about 6 kilometers inland from the Mediterranean Sea, and from that point on it was all by foot.
We got there just in time for Vatikin Shacharit, had a great Tefilah and then had some breakfast.
I’d like to point out that many of the responsibilities for the trip were taken care of by the students themselves. They were responsible for the meals, what kind of food we’d be eating, when, how much, cooking/barbecuing it, and so on. They were the navigators for the trails (and thank G-D we didn’t get lost) and a number of students were responsible for teaching everybody else about the many fascinating places in which we stopped during our three days of hiking.
On the first day we hiked through beautiful warm weather, explored ruins of an old crusader castle, went swimming/Mikvah in the nearby river, had lunch on the riverbank, and about twenty kilometers later reached the camping ground where we set up tents, a bonfire, and prepared dinner.

After Arvit, a meditation activity, and a delicious dinner of meat stew slowly cooked over the bonfire, known in Israel as a Poyke dish, which was eagerly polished off by all, we went to sleep, exhausted yet happy and content.

Early next morning we davened Shacharit, folded up the tents and gear, had breakfast, and were off on our way.
We stopped during the day a few times, dipped in an ancient natural spring Mikvah, admired the cows grazing in beautiful green valleys, had lunch and davened Mincha at the foot of Mt. Meron, and then we climbed up Mount Nerya (Mt. Meron itself cannot be climbed because there’s a “secret” army base at top).

On the top, 1050 meters high above, we had a beautiful view of the upper Gallil and Lebanon.
We climbed down the other side, got dinner cooking over the fire and then went to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s gravesite to daven Arvit, sing some songs, and say Tehilllim.
We all hit the sack after a delicious barbecue dinner.

We woke up once again with the sun, davened Vatikin in the nearby Beit Knesset at the gravesite, had some cake and coffee, some guys went and dunked in the local heated Mikva, then we all had some breakfast, packed the gear and got on the move once again for another twenty kilometer hike mostly in the Amud river nature reserve.
We had lunch, “helped” rescue a horse who had fallen in to a pit, davened mincha, and kept on walking till we reached Kibbutz Chokuk, near the Kinneret, where we had a breathtaking view of the Kinneret, and to make a long, and happy story very very short were picked by bus and driven home for a hot shower and a good warm meal.

Many of the students said how the trip was truly unique and a special experience. The many sites of Israel’s nature we got to see and explore also amazed many, and all in all it was a bonding, fun, and educational experience.

That’s about it for now.
Attached to this e-mail is a picture from the trip.
Make sure to check us out on facebook Mechinat Avnei Eitan, for more photos and updates.

One more thing I thought I’d mention. We are currently in the process of recruitment for our next year students and would sincerely appreciate any P.R you can do for us in your respected communities, Synagogues, schools etc…Toda raba!

Kol Tuv!
R’ Asher

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sea-to-Sea Trek!

Last week LYA students set on the traditional Sea-to-Sea trek that started in the Nahariya area on Israel’s northern seashore and ended by the Kinnert (The Sea of Galilee).

This was a grueling, non-stop three day hike that tested both the students’ physical and mental endurance.

As in previous years the students finished the trek and MADE US PROUD!

Avi Gluck reports:
We got back from Yam Li Yam on Thursday. We hiked, camped out and made our own food while traveling over 65 kilometers and having loads of fun. When we got back we were treated to a delicious dinner made by Rav Asher, and after unpacking, went to sleep exhausted but satisfied with our accomplishment.
Over Shabbat we were visited by a number of Alumni who shared their experiences with us from the Mechina, the army, and college.