April 12, 2024
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Josh Erber Is Loving His Year at Lev HaTorah

Josh Erber is studying at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Bet Shemesh. He grew up in Englewood, attended Moriah for elementary school, and SAR for high school. His family davens at Kehilat Kesher.

His next stop? Yeshiva University’s Honors Program.

Why did you choose to study at Lev HaTorah?

I decided to come here mainly because I heard great things about the rebbeim, and how close-knit the community is around the yeshiva. I also knew a great group of guys who were going here.

What kind of goals do you have for the year?

Going into this year, I really hoped to build on my Gemara skills, become a better Hebrew speaker, and to become more independent.

What have been some of the highlights of your year so far?

My highlight of the year so far was a tiyul on Har Shlomo during our Eilat tiyul. We woke up at 4:30 a.m., ran to the buses and started the tiyul in the pitch dark at around 5 a.m. When we got there, we immediately started hiking up the mountain, and after an hour and a half, we davened at the top of one of the smaller mountains leading up to Har Shlomo. Then we climbed up Har Shlomo on ladders, steep trails, and up a lot of steep terrain. It was a tough hike but it was a great experience.

What kind of challenges have you faced coming to Israel?

Being forced to learn how to do everything for yourself in a short amount of time.

How has your year been different from your expectations?

Israel has been pretty much what I expected, but I definitely learned to be more independent, which helped me adjust to the new environment here.

Where is your favorite place to go for weekends/Shabbat so far?

I’m fortunate enough to have grandparents in Ra’Anana, and I always love going out there for Shabbat.

Who is a teacher at Lev HaTorah you connect to especially well?

Rav Netanel Lebowitz has been a very inspiring rabbi to me this year. I’ve learned so much about tefillah, Gemara and Judaism in general. I find it particularly easy to connect with Rav Netanel, because we each grew up in similar environments, and because he teaches in such a passionate and exciting way.

Which is one of your favorite classes at Lev HaTorah?

One of my favorite classes is called Untold Stories of Tanach. Our teacher, Rav Yaakov Beasley, teaches my classmates and I fascinating stories of Tanach that are not generally taught in high school. Rav Beasley always has fantastic insights on these untold stories and I always love to hear whatever he has to say about Tanach.

What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?

I’m looking forward to continue growing in a religious sense and as a person, and I hope to explore and discover places in Israel I’ve never been to.

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