Reviving der Alter

yeshiva boys

source: Klal Perspectives

Before considering any suggestions of change to the current Yeshiva curriculum and educational philosophy, it would be wise to review the underlying value that informs much of the structure of the Lithuanian Yeshiva model that forms the basis of our current educational system. This value was famously articulated in a letter written by HaRav Eliyahu Dessler in 1951:

“The approach of the yeshivos was to establish a single goal, that being the development of greats (gedolim) in both Torah and fear of Heaven. It is for this reason that they forbade their students to attend university, as they could not see a way to develop “gedolim” in Torah without focusing their students’ sights exclusively on Torah.

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A Single’s Perspective – An Open Response To Article By Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz -


news source: The Yeshiva World

As I sit here trying to gather my thoughts on the recent shidduch article you printed, I can’t seem to alleviate a resounding thought from my head “once a girl reaches the age of 25, her chances of getting married are less than 15%”. As a 28 year old single girl in the yeshiva world, I shudder at the thought of this possible reality. While my initial reaction to this alarming statistic was fear and sadness, upon having some time to think and reflect, those feelings changed to a strong sense of frustration. While I can sincerely appreciate the fact that there are people out there trying to help and make a change, I think we have it all wrong. I am not saying I have the answers and I am not going to sit here and write an alternative solution, but I want to try and share some thoughts and insights from the perspective of an “older single” in shidduchim.

Read More:A Single’s Perspective – An Open Response To Article By Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz -

It’s No Longer Safe to Recline Your Airplane Seat – Fights Break Out On Three Aircraft Over Seats


Source: The Yeshiva World    Squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces, airline passengers appear to be rebelling, taking their frustrations out on other fliers.

Three U.S. flights made unscheduled landings in the past eight days after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. Disputes over a tiny bit of personal space might seem petty, but for passengers whose knees are already banging into tray tables, every inch counts.


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From the Depths


There are certain books you know are made to be bestsellers: anything with dramatic ups and downs, an emotional roller coaster, an incredible chain of events, and a surprising ending. Having just finished a year serving as a Hospital Chaplain at Johns Hopkins Hospital, however, I have become aware that the most powerful stories are not between the covers of a book at all but are held within the human heart.

The Torah, in introducing the development of mankind and the Jewish People, begins, “This is the book of the stories (toldos) of Man.” Each human being has a story waiting and needing to be told. We live in a society where the world of news and entertainment keeps us glued to “great events,” while our own stories don’t get a hearing, even by ourselves and our families. As a chaplain in a hospital, I was allowed into people’s lives in a way that most of us don’t get a chance to experience. People facing death, loss of a loved one, a new diagnosis, or psychiatric issues have one thing in common: Each person has a story that he or she needs to come to terms with, a story that needs to be heard and appreciated and viewed through the lens of a human being struggling to live as a child of G-d.

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G-d Hears Us!


In my last article, from early July, “Giving the Arabs Something to Lose,” I made an attempt to predict what was going to happen if a war began with Hamas. Afterwards, I received compliments that I had done a decent job with my predictions.

Frankly, I don’t know how good a job I did. There were a lot of surprises. Everything in real life proved to be more exaggerated than I had foreseen.

First of all, I could not have predicted the passions this war would raise in me. As a card-carrying fifth-generation American Litvak (all of whose ancestors came from Kovne), I am a fairly calm, passionless person. Yet in this war we discovered a ghoulish enemy that builds terror tunnels with which to engage in mass attacks on Israel, an enemy that revels in the death of its own citizenry. That enemy combines the more horrifying aspects of H.G. Well’s science fiction work The Time Machine with the first frightening movie I ever saw, a 1950’s B-movie called “Invasions from Mars,” and makes them look, by comparison, like “Bambi’s Greatest Adventure.”

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How to Cut your Telephone Costs


A year ago, I was spending over $300 per month on telephone expenses. Today, I am down to $100!

How did I do it? By testing some suggestions I made in last year’s article on phone expenses. When I wrote that article, telephone developments were already remarkable. Who could have imagined unlimited long distance 20 years ago? In those days we paid dollars for every minute. Now basic local service and unlimited long distance are cheap. So, why complain? The answer is that it could be even better, folks, a lot better!

When I started my quest, I was spending $45 for my house line, $75 for my work and fax lines, and $185 a month for six cell phone lines. Only one was a smartphone, and it had a very small data plan. Total cost: over $300 a month. My bill now, for all that, plus a generous data plan, is 66 percent less. Let’s look at the details.

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The Peace Process Is Dead by One Who Cares

Peace Process

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. They also say denial is not just a river in Egypt. They also say if we don’t learn from history we are bound to repeat the same mistakes. As I was cleaning out some drawers this morning during my summer vacation, I came across an old newspaper from August 17, 2005, exactly nine years ago. As I looked at the front cover of the newspaper, there was a big picture of anguished settlers being confronted by Israeli troops under the orders of then-premier Ariel Sharon to withdraw these peaceful and productive Jewish families from Gaza. I still remember that day: surreal and bizarre and so sad. I remember crying as I watched the strange images on television of Jews being forced from their homes. The project was called the Disengagement Plan. Funny how we try to sanitize evil actions with fancy titles.

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Ahavas Yisrael News

ahavas yisroel

As the population in our special Baltimore community grows, its financial needs unfortunately continue to increase dramatically as well. Ahavas Yisrael Charity Fund is called upon daily to assist those who are struggling financially and having trouble keeping up with basic living expenses. Guided by our wonderful Rabbanim, Ahavas Yisrael responds to each call, always preserving the dignity and confidentiality of individuals and families in need. Here are some of Ahavas Yisrael’s newest developments.

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Two Loves


When baby number two was born, and Yedidya was just 21 months old, I suddenly had to learn to play a whole new game. The game was called Who Needs Me More Right Now.

Infant Tzion is fussing in his chair, while Yedidya is trying to pour milk into a glass cup he somehow managed to get off the counter. Who wins?

Ding Ding. Yedidya wins. I walk over and gently hold the glass so he can learn independence – something I’m big on – without my having to deal with shattered glass all over the floor.

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Wake Up!

israeli flag

I love a lot of people who live in the U.S. Deep down, I don’t believe any of them will leave until it becomes truly untenable to be a Jew in America – and maybe not even then.

In chapter two of Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai sends his students out to discover which human quality is the very best one to acquire. Rabbi Shimon says, “haro’eh et hanolad,” meaning “seeing ahead,” or the ability to predict that which has not yet occurred.

Living in Israel, I feel blessed by many things. One of them is what I believe to be a certain clarity of vision about where the world is headed. This clarity doesn’t come from my imagination and is not simply my personal opinion. It comes from the teachings of my rabbis here in Israel, who base their teachings on Chazal.

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