Shivti, the weekly learning program created by the Beis Medrash Govoha in Lakewood to provide baalei batim at various stages of life with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a range of fascinating Torah topics, has entered into its third year in Teaneck, hosted by Congregation Beth Aaron. On Sunday mornings after Shacharit, men and women from the community gather (currently on Zoom) to explore topics relating to their Orthodox lifestyle including Shabbat and its many subtopics: birkat haTorah, bishul akum, hiddur mitzvah, ketivat sefer Torah and more. Each session is based upon a weekly Shivti booklet provided to each participant and guided by a local rav, in similar format to the classic yeshiva learning seder. Since its inception at Beth Aaron in 2018, the sessions have been directed by Rabbi Sasson Gabay. On occasion, the group is addressed by a visiting rabbinic personality who provides an additional dimension to the learning. In the past, special presentations have been made by Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Mordechai Willig, Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz, Rabbi Shay Schachter and Rabbi Daniel Feldman.
New for this year, the Young Israel of East Brunswick has joined the Shivti program. On Thursday nights, under the direction of Rabbi Gabay, a group of congregants Zooms into the program of learning. The topic under exploration this year at both locations is chalav Yisrael/chalav akum, pas and bishul akum, tevilat keilim, and lifnei iver. This coming week will mark the season’s fifth session in Teaneck and the third in East Brunswick. This Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m., Rabbi Daniel Senter of KOF-K will give a practical and detailed description of what transpires on a dairy farm and on to processing plants that must be supervised in order for milk to be considered chalav yisrael.
Rabbi Daniel Senter was born in North Bergen to a prominent rabbinical family. During his years in yeshiva, he received certification from the Chief Rabbi of Israel in milah and shechita. He serves as the chief operating officer of KOF-K, a leading kosher certification agency based in Teaneck, with offices and representatives throughout the world. As an emergency medical technician, he has served as president of the Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance Corps and chief of the Bogota First Aid Squad. Rabbi Senter resides in Teaneck and Woodridge, New York, with his wife, five children, four goats, a dozen chickens and a few million bees that he raises to produce his brand of succulent honey. He will bring his kashrut expertise to Shivti on Sunday morning, November 22.
According to its developers, Shivti has proven to be successful in the many communities within the U.S. that subscribe to it, as it was designed to cater to all levels of participants. The booklet is arranged in a unique and even revolutionary style that focuses on general halachic topics split into separate units producing a weekly sub-sugya. “The learning provides a balance between lomdus and halacha, starting from the sources in the Gemara all the way down to contemporary psak. The booklet provides all the steps required in the process through sources listed in the right order followed by a concise caption of explanation following each source,” they said.
For information about Shivti at the Young Israel of East Brunswick, contact [email protected]
By Pearl Markovitz