This period of sefirah, which runs from Pesach until Shavuos, is in many way a period of mourning for the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who were lost. And yet, there are also joyous high points along the way. Aside from Lag b’Omer, there are four modern Israeli holidays that commemorate the highs and lows of Jewish history: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance day), Yom HaZikaron (memorial day for Israel’s fallen soldiers), Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel independence day) and Yom Yerushalayim (celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem). How appropriate then that, as we celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday, the OU’s upcoming Torah New York event (Sunday, April 29, indoors at Citi Field) includes a track dedicated to Torah study about the land of Israel.
- Rabbi Yosef Adler, spiritual leader of Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, NJ, who has also served as Rosh HaYeshiva of Torah Academy of Bergen County, will be speaking on “The Chosen City: Jerusalem the Heart of Judaism.”
- Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon, a prolific author of works on halacha, as well as the founder and chairman of the Halacha Education Center, will address “The Responsa that Led to Finding the Three Kidnapped Boys from Gush Etzion.” (Last year, Rabbi Rimon spoke on Israeli Soldiers Under Fire: Questions & Answers. You can also enjoy insights that he has shared at the OU Israel Center and in the OU’s Jewish Action magazine.)
- Mrs. Sivan Rahav Meir, an acclaimed journalist and teacher of Torah to whom we introduced you previously, will speak on “The Case of Modern Israel: Emunah in an Age of New Media.”
- Finally, Rabbi Eli Mansour, mara d’asra at The Edmond J Safra Synagogue and the co-author of The Daily Halacha: A Compendium of Practical Halachot and Illuminating Insights from the Weekly Parasha, will address the topic of “East Meets West: The Convergence of Sefardi and Ashkenazi Traditions in Contemporary Israel.” (Last year, Rabbi Mansour spoke on Tehiyat Hametim – Why is it a Fundamental Principle of Faith? You can also find Rabbi Mansour on tefillah on OU Torah.)
Of course, as important as Israel is in our lives, that’s not the only thing being discussed at Torah New York! There are also tracks on Hashkafa, Halacha, Tanach, and the Rav, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l, whose 25th yahrtzeit we commemorate this year. So join us April 29, indoors at Citi Field!