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A Celebration of Torah: Lamdeinu Holds Fourth Annual Chanukah Breakfast

(Courtesy of Lamdeinu) Lamdeinu celebrated its fourth annual Chanukah breakfast on Sunday, December 2. Esti Mellul, program director of Lamdeinu, welcomed the large crowd and described Lamdeinu’s mission and all that Lamdeinu does for the Jewish community. She introduced Dean Rachel Friedman, who began by reciting Tehillim קכא, Psalm 121. Dean Friedman then gave a beautiful dvar Torah about the importance of one’s voice. She explained that it’s not just the words that are spoken that are important, but the way in which the words are said. She emphasized, “Lamdeinu is therefore proud to honor two amazing women whose voices resonate with Torah and chesed, with wisdom and knowledge, but also with kindness and compassion.” Dean Friedman then spoke about her deep connections with the honorees, Miriam P. Goldberg and Cyla Steinmetz, and called upon the honorees to say a few words.

Miriam Goldberg spoke movingly about the final words of Lamdeinu’s motto: “Be Inspired.” She described how learning at Lamdeinu affects her daily life. She spoke about how inspiring it is to start every Monday morning with the recitation of Tehillim 121. She noted that it “serves as the structure of our time together, to acknowledge our dependence on God and to stop for a few moments before beginning…to pray for someone or for something and to recognize that we stand before God.” She spoke about how devoted Lamdeinu’s educators are to Torah and to their students, the beauty of dedicating a shiur to commemorate a yahrzeit, and how much each and every student brings to Lamdeinu. She concluded, “That’s what we are all here for today. It’s not political; it’s not left leaning; it’s not right leaning; it’s about all of us recognizing the huge impact that the study and teaching of Torah at Lamdeinu has on all of us and on the individuals we come in contact with.”

Cyla Steinmetz captivated the audience by expounding on the Chanukah hint found in Parshat Vayigash to the letters on the dreidel. The Torah states that Yehudah goes “Goshnah,” to Goshen, in order to set up houses of Torah. Steinmetz cited the commentary of the Bnei Yissaschar: “The word גֹּ֑שְׁנָה contains the same letters as those which appear on the dreidel: Nun, Gimmel, Heh, Shin. The significance of the dreidel is greater than simply a play object. Its basis was to enable the continuity of Torah study despite the oppressive regime seeking to prevent communal gathering for this purpose. When Yehudah is told to go גֹּ֑שְׁנָה to set up places for Torah, it is a hint to a future time when the Jewish people would need to be resourceful to ensure the continuity of Torah learning.” She then connected her dvar Torah with the day’s events: “Like Yehudah, Dean Rachel Friedman accepted the mission to create Lamdeinu as a Torah center for this community and, baruch Hashem, it has blossomed and flourished.”

Lamdeinu is grateful to the Jewish community for its love and support, and thanks the well over 100 people from near and far who attended the breakfast.

Lamdeinu classes continue through December 20. Lamdeinu looks forward to a new semester beginning in January (more information coming soon). To learn more about Lamdeinu, please visit https://www.lamdeinu.org or contact Lamdeinu at [email protected].

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