Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Steven Weil, a Teaneck resident, will be close to home this Shabbat, April 5-6, Parshat Shemini, when he serves as Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Rinat Yisrael, in a program presented by the synagogue’s Adult Education Committee.
Friday evening before Maariv, Rabbi Weil deliver a Dvar Halacha, to be followed Shabbat morning at each minyan with the drasha, “Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus: The Orthodox Version.”
Shabbat after Mincha, in anticipation of Yom Hashoa, Monday, April 8, he will speak on “The Seventh Million: An Analysis of the 23rd (Tisha B’Av) Kina and How it Illuminates the Impact of the Shoa on Survivors and their Children.”
According to the Koren Mesorat Harav Kinot, based on the teachings of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik and published by OU Press and Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, this kina “is based on the tragic story (Gittin 58a,’Eikha Raba 1:22) of the son and daughter of Rabbi Yishmael, each of whom was taken captive by a different slave owner.” Both siblings were very attractive, which caused the slave owners to want them to marry each other so as to produce beautiful children, whom they could sell for a high price.. The brother and sister were placed together in a dark room at night and could not see each other, but in daylight “they recognized each other and, distraught at their fate, died in an embrace.”
In the translation by OU Executive Vice President, Emeritus Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the kina ends, “For this, Jeremiah lamented in horror. This horrid decree, I will forever bemoan. In my heart burns a fire, a scorching flame. For the son and daughter, I will deliver a powerful lament! And I mourn from year to year.”
Rinat Yisrael’s Rabbi Yosef Adler declared, “Rinat Yisrael is looking forward to welcoming Rabbi Steven Weil as Scholar-in-Residence. Rabbi Weil has a distinguished career in the rabbinate and is one of the leading spokesmen for Modern Orthodox Judaism. We are especially delighted that Rabbi Weil, as a resident of Teaneck, has recognized the opportunities to serve as Scholar-in-Residence not only across the United States but within his own backyard in our Teaneck community.”