July 19, 2024
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Rabbi Menachem Leibtag to Be Scholar-in-Residence at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun

The Adult Education Committee of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun will be hosting Rabbi Menachem Leibtag, an internationally renowned Tanach scholar, the weekend of November 6-7, Shabbat Parshat Chayei Sarah. He will be the Joseph N. Muschel Scholar-in-Residence.

According to Rabbi Leibtag, “The goal of the weekend is to better understand the Siddur, by showing how its key themes reflect key themes from Sefer Breishit.” In a clich? the Rabbi shared with the Jewish Link, “If we want to understand how we talk to God (i.e., the Siddur)—we must first understand how God talks to us (i.e., the Chumash).”

Rabbi Leibtag is known for his ability to make Tanach accessible and understandable to people with varying Judaic studies backgrounds. On his teaching approach, he reflects, “The class needs to happen in the student’s head, not in the teacher’s head. Therefore, I try to facilitate the learning process through interactive discussion.”

The entire community is invited to come learn with Rabbi Leibtag throughout the weekend. A very basic familiarity with the Siddur is all that is required.

Rabbi Leibtag will deliver the Shabbat morning short drasha at the Hashkama, Sefard, Moroccan and Teen minyanim. He will also speak at a Friday night oneg at 8 p.m.. At that time his topic will be “The Biblical Roots of Our Obligation to Praise.” Following the 8:30 a.m. Ashkenaz minyan, his topic will be “The Biblical Roots of our Obligation to Pray.” At 3:15 p.m., before Mincha, his topic will be “The Shema: A Declaration of Faith or a Pledge of Allegiance?” Mincha will follow at 4:15 and then between Mincha and Maariv, at 4:45 p.m., his topic will be “Who is Chosen, Who is Blessed, and Who is Best? Using Algebra to Explain the Complicated Stories in Sefer Bereishit.”

Rabbi Leibtag is a beloved teacher who reaches thousands of students at yeshivot in Israel, on lecture tours around the world and via several online Torah education portals. Rabbi Leibtag’s Tanach classes emphasize biblical theme and structure and have opened the eyes of his students to new dimensions within the text, while transmitting a deeper appreciation of Torah values.

A Ram at Yeshivat Har Etzion since the 1980s, Rabbi Leibtag was instrumental in creating the Yeshiva’s Virtual Beit Midrash and initiated www.tanach.org, his own comprehensive program for the study of Tanach on the Internet—The Tanach Study Center. The site is designed to provide students with a structured learning program for self-study of Tanach, especially parshat ha’shavua and Jewish holidays. Rabbi Leibtag also teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Yeshivat Sha’alvim for Women, and Matan. He is a graduate of the Hesder program and of Machon Lev.

Rabbi Leibtag told the Jewish Link that he enjoys coming to Teaneck since so many of his students in gap-year programs in Israel come from Bergen County. When he comes here to speak he is happy to see so many former students. “Teaneck has wonderful schools,” says Rabbi Leibtag. “The parents in Teaneck care about education; that’s clear. And I can tell you that the schools in the Teaneck area excel in providing their students with excitement and dedication to Jewish values.”

Congregation Bnai Yeshurun is located at 641 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck. For more information contact Clive Lipshitz at (201) 836-8916.

By Sara Kosowsky Gross

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