I've lived in Teaneck, New Jersey for most of my life, with my parents and four siblings- two brothers and two sisters- and I am very much a family person. I attended Ma'ayanot high school in Teaneck and then went to MMY for my seminary year. I am currently studying in Stern college, and majoring in psychology, with the hopes of going into informal education and working for the Jewish community in some capacity. I’m on the basketball and volleyball teams at Stern as well, which takes up a lot of time but is also really fun and rewarding. Additionally, I’m involved with NCSY, which I really enjoy being a part of, and I've done a few Torah Tours with YU (YU sends students to communities who could benefit from the influence of religious young adults over the holidays).
One of the most special and unique attributes of MMY is, no doubt, how MMY presents to its students a variety of completely different ideas and with guidance, empowers the students to decipher and pick apart the issues with confidence and independence. While in MMY, I was challenged to grapple with the idea of complexities and how to resolve them. Many different subjects were raised and one of them in particular stands out in my mind. We discussed the idea of how one can fulfill multiple roles at a time: for instance, a daughter who has obligations to her family, while also being a young adult who yearns to be in Eretz Yisrael with all of Am Yisrael. We also took a look at another angle of the same topic, when the struggle arises from a person having one role that drives her to straddle the line of two opposing traits.
By: Mrs. Atara Starr
Did you know that you are the luckiest person in the world? Why, you may ask. The answer: Yom Kippur. We approach the holy day of Yom Kippur with trepidation, the weeks leading up to it are filled with so much intensity and effort. But as the day comes upon us, we must step back and recognize what it’s really all about.
We are all familiar with the Mishna in יומא that states:
״אמר ר׳ עקיבא אשריכם ישראל לפני מי אתם מטהרים ומי מטהר אתכם אביכם שבשמים"
According to the statement of R’ Akiva, what makes the Jewish people fortunate is the fact that HaKadosh Baruch Hu purifies us. If you were to tell me what you feel is the best part of being a yid, would this be your answer?! There are so many things that make us fortunate, the primary answer that comes to mind is our acquisition of a חלק of the Torah itself. So what is special and unique about this purification process?