Thursday, March 24, 2016

This Yeshivah Gets It Right!

Like everyone else in my neighborhood, this week I was inundated with knocks on the door from people collecting money. Some were collecting for the poor, as per the account in Megillas Esther of Purim being a time for matanos l'evyonim. In some cases, they were collecting for those who can't help being poor, and in other cases, for those who are poor by choice, mistakenly believing it to be a Torah ideal. But most knocks on the door came from yeshivah students, who were collecting not for the poor, but instead for their yeshivos.

With one striking exception. Today, there was a knock on the door from yeshivah students who were not collecting for their yeshivah. Instead, they were collecting for Lemaan Achai, a local (and amazing) charity organization. The students were from a local and amazing yeshivah, where I had the privilege to teach a weekly class for ten years: Yeshivat Lev HaTorah.

Lev HaTorah is an incredible institution. The staff is amazingly dedicated. The students not only learn Torah, but also how to be good Jews. They do all kinds of chessed programs, helping local families in many different ways, from tutoring children to building sukkos to distributing food.

Like all educational institutions, Lev HaTorah requires donor support. And no doubt they could raise funds by sending out their students to raise money for the yeshivah, like every other yeshivah does. But Lev HaTorah believes that matanos l'evyonim is about matanos l'evyonim. And they want to teach their students to care about the poor.

Purim is about helping the poor, and Lemaan Achai is a great way to do it. But when the Purim season is over, if you're ever thinking about supporting a Torah institution (aside from The Biblical Museum of Natural History!), I would recommend Lev HaTorah. Just take a look at their donation page to see the incredible programs that they run!




18 comments:

  1. How about modern orthodox kids dressing like goyim and carousing the streets like hooligans, something I saw in your neighborhood all day yesterday. One actually puked on my feet at the bus stop - is that getting it right? Or do you reserve your relentless wrath only for charedim?

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    1. Of course that is wrong. Not sure what makes you say that getting drunk is a modern Orthodox problem, though. The drunkards that I saw yesterday were charedi yeshivah students.
      (As for "dressing like goyim" on Purim, I'm not sure what your complaint is exactly.)

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    2. How can you even tell someone's affiliation on Purim? Ironic day to denigrate any population of Jews.

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    3. Every day is a day to denigrate Chareidim in Rabbi Slifkin's calendar. He couldn't even compliment Lev HaTorah without including some derision for those "who have chosen to be poor by choice mistakenly believing it to be a Torah ideal". But give to the museum

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    4. I totally agree - Chareidim have never ever ever denigrated anyone, and Rabbi Slifkin shouldn't stoop to the perverted depths of using logic and texts to advance his arguments.

      But Avi Ganz can criticize Rabbi Slifkin. Because.

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    5. Pookie, I don't understand your point so I can't really address it. If you understand mine, please do

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    6. Notwithstanding your hotza'at shem ra, Rabbi Slifkin didn't deride Chareidim. He simply included a link to why he thinks that their belief is incorrect. I understand that insecurity makes any disagreement seem like derision, but they're not the same thing.

      My point was two-fold: First, you're wrong on the facts, and second, you're glaringly inconsistent about when disagreement (which you inaccurately term 'derision') is okay.

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  2. So, this Yeshivah doesn't learn Lomdus or any non-practical topics?
    Also, what is the rate of the kids that go to the army? Do they share the burden of their fellow Jews?

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    1. Eh? They learn Gemara and Lomdus too. And many of them proceed to serve in the army, even though they are American.

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    2. Shmuel: Given that the students are primarily Americans on their gap year between high school and college, I'm not sure why you'd expect them to go to the Israeli army.

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  3. Let's wait a coupla decades and see where the great leaders of the future come from.

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    1. Well, that begs the question of how to assess who is or was a great leader, of which there are obviously differing views that are poles apart.

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  4. Just had a look at your clever response to those collecting for Kollelim asking them if you can support them by learning Torah instead of giving them money.
    The truth is that had I been the collector, my counter response would have been to say:

    'Yes. It remains true that learning Torah is the highest ideal and it will have a greater positive effect on our Kollelim than any money you can give. So if you really are willing to dedicate an hour of your learning Torah for the zchus of our Kollelim, we welcome that and are more grateful than we would be for any money you are prepared to give. But if you are unable or unwilling to dedicate any Torah learning for our zchus then please at least help us financially.

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  5. ....even though they are American???
    Do other Anglos have a higher rate of service?
    I would bet that the rates of each English speaking country are pretty much even.

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  6. Adam from ManchesterMarch 29, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    And my kid's going there in September! (Partly because of your recommendation, Natan!)

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  7. Love Yeshiva Lev Hatorah. Such caring Rabbaim and such a meaningful place at everything they do. My son has been there ever since September and he had grown in so many ways especially by Judaism and a lot is because of their caring individuals who works there and treat the boys as their own!

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  8. Kudos to Yeshivot like Lev Hatorah, Lander College for Men, and Ner Israel who all send groups to collect for the poor on Purim!

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