Plainview, LI Shabbaton

by Jonathan Ziring

When you are in Yeshiva, you often feel like you know nothing, like you have nothing to offer.  You are surrounded by so many amazing Talmidei Chachamim, as a mere Talmid you forget how much you have you have grown, how much you have gained from the Yeshiva, and how much you have to offer.  Rabbi Menachem Leibtag used to point this out every so often in Yeshiva.

A few weeks ago, several alumni of the Yeshiva, Jeremy Litton (04'-07'), Noam Horowitz (04'-06'), (as well as Yael Horowitz), and Jonathan Ziring (06'-08'), had the opportunity to join Rabbi Leibtag for Shabbos when he was scholar in residence in Plainview, NY.  From the moment, Shabbos began to the end, we remembered how much the Yeshiva had given us as Talmidim, and how many people the Yeshiva's message resonates with.  The Rabbi of the community, Rabbi Elie Weissman, himself an Almunus began the Shabbos by reminiscing about how much he had gotten from Yeshiva in general and Rabbi Leibtag in particular.

Friday night, Rabbi Leibtag and the alumni engaged the community for a meaningful (if at times heated) discussion about the role of Jewish education, and we were able to share the messages of the Yeshiva and hear the insightful comments from the community members that forced us to think about the issues long into the night.  During the day, Rabbi Leibtag spoke several times in his amiable style, opening everyone's eyes to the eternal messages of Tanach that are so relevant for all of us (not to mention giving everyone some things to talk about at the Seder).  The alumni prepared for his shiur with some members of the community, and together thought about some critical issues that the pesukim in question raised.

The alumni were hosted by wonderful members of the community, some also alumni of the Yeshiva, such as Rabbi Eric Levy, and had the chance to talk about Yeshiva's history and present.

To add to the atmosphere, Bnei Akiva was concurrently having a Shabbaton, and Jeremy spoke with the students there, being able to engage them as well, while their madrichim, including Ari Gartenberg (07'-09') made the davening all the more lively, especially during Jeremy's Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat.  All in all, it was a meaningful experience for everyone involved, and we look forward to similar opportunities in the future.