July 19, 2024
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Rosh Hayeshiva of Touro’s Lander College Visits Yeshivas in Israel on Chizuk Mission

Rabbi Sacks gives shiur in the miklat at
Kerem B’Yavneh.

(Courtesy of Touro University) For Harav Yonason Sacks, rosh hayeshiva of Touro’s Lander College for Men, Beis Medrash L’Talmud, offering chizuk to the yeshiva students in Israel was top priority as the war broke out a few weeks ago. While many Americans swiftly headed out of the country, Rabbi Sacks flew into Eretz Yisrael on his personal mission.

Over the course of a few days, he visited 10 yeshivas including Kerem B’Yavneh, Torat Shraga, Netiv Aryeh, Yeshivat Hakotel, Reishit, Lev Hatorah, Shaalvim, Mevaseret, Yishrei Lev and Aish HaTorah.

He went to encourage and support the many talmidim spending the year learning in Israel and his message was timely, using the pasuk in Tehillim (92,3), Lehagid Baboker Chasdecha V’emunascha Balailos. He explained that during the light of day, when one experiences abundant bracha, one expresses the chesed of Hashem, but in the darkness of night, b’eis tzarah, Jews need to strengthen their faith, emunah and bitachon.

Rabbi Yonason Sacks, rosh hayeshiva, Touro’s Lander College Beis Medrash L’Talmud.

“When there is an eis tzarah, tefillah is paramount, indeed Torah learning itself is a form of tefillah,” said Rabbi Sacks.

“In Parshas Mattos (Bamidbar 31:4), the Torah describes the Jewish people going to war, ‘elef la’mateh elef la’mateh.’ The Midrash Rabbah explains that this repetition indicates that each shevet was represented by 1,000 soldiers and 1,000 people praying. The mispallelim accompanied the soldiers to the battlefield. Both forces are necessary; the chayalim and the mispallelim,” said Rabbi Sacks.

He explained to the talmidim that their role is to be the mispallelim and the Lomdei Torah who serve together with the chayalim. “A soldier wouldn’t dare wake up late or leave his post early or unmanned, so too, those who are learning Torah must be just as vigilant and disciplined especially in this time of distress for Klal Yisrael. This is your battle,” continued Rabbi Sacks.

He shared that the talmidim were davening and learning with diligence and passion. They sensed they had a responsibility to take their role of serving klal Yisrael and Hashem very seriously. The common response among students at all the yeshivas was a sincere desire to know what their purpose was at this time, what more they could do and how they could maximize their efforts for klal Yisrael.

Rabbi Sacks gives shiur at Yeshivat Hakotel.

Unlike other times the rosh hayeshiva traveled to Israel, this time it was clear the country was at war. He stayed at a hotel that had hardly any guests but was filled with soldiers and refugees from southern Israel. At some of the yeshivas he visited, many of the Israeli talmidim and rebbeim were absent, having been called to serve in the IDF.

The mood was solemn but he found that everyone shared a sense of purpose. “The unity of Klal Yisrael was both heartfelt and inspirational,” said Rabbi Sacks.

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