Bar-Ilan News

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  • Campus Rabbi Shlomo Shefer (left) and Rabbi Matanya Yadid, Head of the Bnei Akiva Alumni Movement

    Campus Rabbi Shlomo Shefer (left) and Rabbi Matanya Yadid, Head of the Bnei Akiva Alumni Movement

    Thousands Participate in Evening of Study Marking Hoshana Rabbah

    Date: 2018-10-07 Hour: 7:53

    Some 2,000 men and women gathered at Bar-Ilan University, which hosted the traditional night of study that is observed on Hoshana Rabbah at the conclusion of the Jewish festival of Succot. 

    Many leading Rabbis and scholars took part in the special evening, including President of Yeshivat Ramat Gan and former Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Head of the Bnei Akiva Alumni Movement Rabbi Matanya Yadid, national religious Zionist leader and BIU Honorary Doctorate recipient Rabbi Haim Meir Drukman, Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu, Torah educator Rachelle Fraenkel, Director of Yeshivat Ramat Gan Rabbi Ben-Zion Elgazi, Torah educator Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi and many more.  Bar-Ilan University participants included Campus Rabbi Shlomo Shefer, incoming Director of the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Altshuler, Department of Jewish Thought Chairman Prof. Hanoch Ben-Pazi, and Dr. Tova Ganzel, Director of the Midrasha for Women.  Singer Bini Landau performed during the gathering

    The evening was hosted by the Bar-Ilan University Campus Rabbi’s Office, in cooperation with the Bnei Akiva Alumni Movement.

    Rabbi Ariel, who teaches at the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies, addressed student participants, who are about to begin the 2018-19 academic year, and stressed the importance of Torah study.   “A day without Torah study is a lost day,” he said.

    “Bar-Ilan University, which so adeptly combines scientific excellence with Jewish tradition is uniquely suited to host an evening of study such as this among students from all over the country. In this spirit we conduct a variety of activities throughout the year,” said Campus Rabbi Shefer.  “This evening of learning enriches and strengthens the spirit of our students who are about to begin a challenging year of academic study.”

    Rabbi Matanya Yadid, of Bnei Akiva, said, "The night of study, encompassing a wide variety of subjects, attracts thousands of students each year and constitutes one of the largest learning events in the country. The many lecturers address current issues from a biblical perspective and arouse great interest among young people.  We see it as our mission to organize additional learning and cultural events of this nature for young men and women and look forward to similar events in the future.”

    In his lecture incoming Director of the Jesselson Institute Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Altshuler said, “The last Mitzvah commanded by the Torah is to write poetry, and many of our sages insisted that poetry is synonymous with the entire Torah. The Rabbi explained that according to some Hassidic interpretations it can be viewed as a chain, in which one link is connected to the other, whereas the last link in the chain must connect to the first one, thus closing a full circle. The Rabbi added: each link in the chain has its own critical role – the Torah is the poetry of the life of the Jewish people, and every Jew is a link in this chain, with a role of his own.”

    Prof. Hanoch Ben-Pazi, Chairman of the Department of Jewish Thought, gave a lecture on the role of Judaism in the postmodern era. ​"The Tower of Babylon is the best metaphor for the hope of globalization – as one united home for all mankind. The Tower of Babylonian modernity has disseminated, and the 20th century forced us to face modernity's major crises – world wars and the Holocaust. We must reflect on the significance of modern times. We, as Jews, must rediscover our responsibilities and morals in this post-modern era, and so I call upon you – dare to think! Dare to learn! Dare to take charge!