Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mechinat Avnei Eitan - LYA

Mechinat Avnei Eitan - LYA
Parashat Vayakhel 2011 - פרשת ויקהל תשע"א

Dvar Torah

By Rabbi Amiad Seltzer

(ויעש את הכיור נחושת ואת כנו נחושת במראות הצובאות אשר צבאו פתח אוהל מועד" (שמות לח,ח
And he made the washbasin of copper and its base of copper from the mirrors of the women, who congregated at the entrance of the appointed tent." (Shemot 38:8)

Rashi explains: "The daughters of Israel possessed mirrors into which they would look when adorning themselves and even those mirrors they did not withhold from bringing as a contribution for the mishkan. However, Moshe found them repulsive since their purpose was to incite the Yetzer-HaRah. Hashem said to him: Accept them, for these are dearer to me than everything else because through them the women raised huge multitudes in Egypt. When their husbands were exhausted from their crushing labor, the women would go and bring them food and drink and feed them. They would then take the mirrors and each one would look at herself and her husband in the mirror, and entice him with words, saying, "See! I am more beautiful than you," thereby awakening their husbands' desire and they would cohabit with them. They conceived and gave birth there… The wash-basin was made out of them for it served to bring about peace between a man and his wife"
There is not much more to add to this wonderful explanation of Rashi. Yet, I  would just like to emphasize how wonderful Am Israel are that they brought all what they had as a contribution to the Mishkan. We also need to realize how important it is in Hashem's eyes to bring children in to the world and to have healthy Shalom Bayit. Furthermore, we should delve deeper into this teaching that the Yetzer HaRah can, and should be used for Avodat Hashem, thus expressing its positive role in the world.

Mechina News

This month the students celebrated Tu Beshvat, learned the basics of navigation in preparation for survival week, and, finally, experienced a week living on the edge as part Survival Week

To continue reading click here
To see pictures of Survival Week click here

Check out this fascinating article about battle ethics in the IDF which includes an interview with one of our alumni. Click here

Alon Moreshet is currently in the States, if you wish to contact him email him at or call him at 516-849-7269

Alumni Updates

Yair Klyman and Moshe Feldman had the swearing ceremony at the Kotel/ Mazal Tov!

Stanley Dayan and Uriya Kenigsberg enlisted in the army. Mazal Tov!

A warm Mazal-Tov goes to our Rosh Mechina, Rav Erez and his wife Ester on the recent engagement of their daughter Shani to 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 to Rav Amiad, whose 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

Sefer Torah

We are proud to announce that the Hachnasat Sefer Torah will take place IY"H on March 31st. The final letters will be written at 4:30 pm followed by Mincha at 5:00 pm. The celebration will start after Mincha.

We are close to collecting all the necesary funds, however, we still need some final donations. Please contact us if you are interested in donating.

For more details click here

Make sure to check us out on Facebook Mechinat Avnei Eitan, for more photos and updates.

Join our mission creating future Jewish leaders by making a secure, direct donation via our website using your credit card. Click here for more info

ADVERTISEMENT: Kitron Galilee Resorts provides the perfect escape from your everyday routine. In the heart of the lower Galilee, overlooking the ancient city of Zippori (Sepphoris) you’ll be surrounded by the breath-taking sights and smells of Israel’s green northern countryside. Special Pesach deal available, book now and Kitron will donate 10% to LYA. Click here for more information.

ADVERTISEMENT: A new hotel is looking to open in the south of the Golan and is looking for investors. Click here for more information

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dear Parents, Rabbis, and Friends,

Dear Parents, Rabbis, and Friends,

I’m sure that by now you have heard in great detail all about our few days we spent in the Negev, surviving on nuts, water, and each other’s company, but in case you haven’t, here are a few more details about it.

The students did a great job in preparing for Survival. They studied maps of the terrain (of the “small” Ramon crater) so they ‘d be able to navigate the trails with ease, prepared their bags with the bare essentials - clothes, sleeping bag, water, and Teffilin, and most importantly looked forward to it with great anticipation.

We started survival week in our backyard on Sunday evening a week ago, after having a stretcher hike in mud up to our knees to the nearby Moshav of Eliad. We then left for the Negev, arriving just in time to set up camp for the night, which happened to be about a thousand degrees below zero; it was quite cold, thus adding another interesting element to the term ‘survival week.’
The students had guard duty and had to keep the stretcher up in the air throughout the night, which they amazingly did.

The next morning after Shacharit Vatikin, all students were divided in to their groups and given their daily food portion, which basically consisted of some dried fruit, nuts, flour, oil, and a vegetable or two. After the initial shock concerning their food rations set in and after making sure no students brought any extra nosh with them we set out on our way, hiking through the dessert and climbing extremely challenging mountains, it was no stroll in the park.

The student pushed themselves even when it was very rough, beyond what they thought were their limits and realized that be’ezrat hashem (almost) nothing is impossible if you really set your heart and mind to it. Their was a natural Mikva opportunity during the hike for those interested and throughout the trip Rav Erez explained the various flora which grows in the Negev and in the small crater, its characteristics and healing and nutritional value, as well as its connection to the Tanach and our history.
On the second night after the students had a chance to seclude themselves in nature for a while, they used their basic ingredients, and imagination, to make some dinner. Some were very successful and managed to make some very tasty pitot and soup with just the few simple ingredients.
On the third day we hiked through a sand storm, which left us all covered head to toe in sand. It was quite an experience.
That night one sleeping bag was given to every four students and they had to decide what was the best way to use it, taking each other in to consideration.
One of the groups got "lost" for a few minutes, but thanks to their navigational skills, Teffilat HaDerech, and fast thinking they got back on the trail and all was good.

Throughout the three days of survival students got to really know themselves, their weaknesses, their strengths, and those of their friends. We saw many situations in which students ignored their own discomfort in order to help someone else who had it harder, cases in which students kept their word even when they thought they were alone and no staff was around.
I must point out that this is the first year where all who started the survival week, ended it as well. In previous years, due to the extreme physical conditions there were always one or two students who would drop out and could not continue, but this year everybody started and everybody finished! From the very beginning till the very end! Kol HaKavod!!!
One more thing I’d like to point out is that how every so often during the difficult hiking, the students of their own volition would ask the rabbis for a dvar-torah to keep them going strong and in high spirits.
At the end of survival week we surprised the students by taking them to a fancy restaurant where they were able to order anything on the menu such as steak, liver, chicken, shishlik and more, all with unlimited French fries, salads, freshly baked Lafot (a very large flat kind of pita) and drinks. For dessert we had ice cream and coffee.
Needless to say, after a few days of just surviving on some dried fruit and some canned corn they were extremely hungry, excited, and grateful. No food went to waste.
Make sure to check us out on facebook for more details and pictures of survival Week.

That’s about it for now, we’re back in the Beit Midrash now, warming the winter with some good Torah studying, especially focusing on preparing our minds and hearts for Purim and Pesach.

Kol Tuv!
R’ Asher
Rav Asher Smith
Rav & Overseas Relations Director
Leadership Yeshiva Academy
Golan Heights 12925 Israel
Mobile: +972-52-6000-618
Office:   +972-4-6763088
Fax:     +972-4-6600142