Katie Matanky, MMY 5769-5770

(Jerusalem, Israel)

Throughout my year and half at MMY, I did exactly what Rabbi Katz predicted - I got more confused than I ever expected. (Does he still say that on the first Shabbat?) Somehow I not only learned more than I ever had in my life, I learned how much MORE there was to learn, way more than anything that would be confined to the classroom. During my year and a half, the classroom magically expanded to include my whole world. I learned from my teachers, from my tour guides, from bus drivers, grieving mothers on Yom Hazikaron, makolet owners and those third cousins of my father’s great-aunt's neighbor's brother's wife who I obviously went to for Shabbat - because we were “family”. This was Israel, and for whatever reason, it became home for me. Over the course of my time at MMY, I began to envision my life here in Israel.

Making Aliyah became fact - not a question of "if," rather a whole bunch of questions of "when" and "how". I vividly remember a time in high school, after a short but amazing summer program in Israel, coming back home to Chicago and writing down (so I even have proof!) "I can be a real Zionist and live in America." And I might still believe that (a whole long discussion that I'm sure would be fascinating and intellectually stimulating to discuss in an MMY classroom) but it changed for me after MMY. I remember writing it and feeling it at the time, and then I came to Israel for more than just a summer program and I changed. I wanted to be here for good – l’ad – as Rav Kook would say.

And so the journey began.

Read more: “Na’aseh V’nishma”- If You Will It...

By: Mrs. Shalvie Friedman

(Current MMY Teacher)

The month of Adar is a month of “שמחה ומשתה” for the Jewish people. But more than just a time of frivolity, this is a month where we can truly overcome the symbolic paradigm of עמלק, the enemy of עם ישראל as a people, and each of us- its members, as individuals. 

The Sefer Yetzira explains how each month in the year is connected to a specific letter in the aleph bet as well as a uniqueKoach or expression in the human body. These both serve to teach us of the month's deeper meaning. The Sefer Yetzira tells us that the letter for Adar is the letter "ק", and the Koach in the body is laughter. What is the significance of these allusions?

Read more: Adar- Having the Last Laugh

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