MMY's Hashkafa

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Our 5778 edition of Kol Mevaseret has been published! To read the compendium of insights and analyses of Torah topics, click on the image above. 
 
As the editors write in their introduction to this edition:
 
"With the study of Tanach, Halacha, and Hashkafa, the students explored diverse sources and the complexities that accompany them. They not only succeeded in their efforts of Talmud Torah, but have chosen to share their achievements and allow others to gain as well. This compilation of articles is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the MMY students, each one conveying the interests and passions unique to its author" 
 
We are delighted to be able to share the fruits of their labors with you all. 

 

 

Higlights of a wonderful year shared by MMY 5778 Slideshow-

 

Click on the image above to see our Banquet Slideshow.

Mrs. Moskowitz2

Sometimes it’s the most familiar faces that we most need to take the time to get to know better! Mrs. Elana Moskowitz has been a member of the MMY faculty for 16  years and her impact is clear for all to see. But how well do we know her story?

I grew up in the Five Towns and spent my early education at HALB where my principal was Rabbi Dr. Armin Friedman. He was an incredible educator, but even more impactful was the shadow he cast as a Holocaust survivor. In an attempt to gain insight and understanding into him and others like him I have devoured Holocaust literature ever since 6th grade.

In High School, I imagined my future; married to a wealthy professional and living near my childhood home. I was a "lip-service Israel lover", I knew the right things to say and even the right posters to have on the wall but it wasn’t a deep, meaningful connection.

I came to Israel to attend Michlalah for a year after High School and stayed for Shana Bet. That is where my love of Israel was ignited. Walking the streets of Yerushalayim I realized that this is THE place where I could be the best Eved Hashem, and it would be the most conducive for living the life that mattered to me.

I was the example of every seminary parents’ nightmare; I got engaged the summer after my Shana Bet amd my Chatan was studying in Yeshiva. I enrolled in Michalah College for the next year and we went back to America to meet the families and buy dishes. At the end of Sheva Brachot our suitcases were packed and in the hall! It was a smooth transition, I never experienced adulthood in America, I never had my own home a short drive from my parents, where I pilfered their pantry for groceries or asked them for help with the kids in the afternoon. Raising my family in Eretz Yisrael was natural - the only reality I have known.

After spending some time teaching English to disinterested and challenging Israeli children, I was looking to change lanes and my career plans. Through a series of moments that I can only describe as Hashgacha, I got my first Torah teaching job and it grew from there. I joined MMY 16 years ago as a Rakezet and have been part of the faculty ever since.

I am now teaching Mefashi Rashi, Sefer Bamidbar, Topics in Hashkafa, Writings of Rav Dessler and Agadata. I love teaching at MMY; it keeps me young. The students have energy, they share their excitement and are always making discoveries in their learning. I enjoy connecting with the students and learning with and from them. As the year progresses I love watching them get into their groove and delve deeper into the learning. For me, the great love of teaching Torah is taking something that I believe is emet, sharing it with someone else and watching them see it as emet as well. I am lucky to spend my days helping people come closer to Hashem and realize that they have been put on this earth to accomplish something and that the whole rest of their life is meant to figure out what it is and how to achieve it.

Mrs Moskowitz lives in Yerushalayim with her husband and 7 children. If you want to get in touch or reconnect with her, please do – by emailing her This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

 

Song-of-Riddles

We are excited to announce the publication of Song of Riddles by Mrs Geula Twersky.

In addition to teaching and facilitating MMY’s weekly Art Chug Mrs Twersky has an MS in Judaic Studies from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies and an MA in Bible from Bar-Ilan University. Geula is also an award-winning professional artist who has exhibited her paintings in the Knesset and in galleries around the world. She has published several scholarly articles on topics in Bible in a variety of academic Bible journals, such as Jewish Bible Quarterly, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Hakirah: The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought, and Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament.

Her new book, Song of Riddles is an inquiry into the meaning behind the metaphors that animate the Song of Songs, based on a wide range of source materials and scholarship. The core question prompting this inquiry into the Song of Songs is whether, given the opaque literary confines of the text, it is possible to access the Song's intended subtext, using the text itself as a guide in uncovering its underlying theological message. The nexus between metaphor and meaning in the Song lies at the point at which the three planes of dream-fantasies, riddles, and love wisdom intersect. Understanding how the Song functions simultaneously on these independent trajectories is the first step toward arriving at the concealed meaning of the Song's seemingly impenetrable metaphors.

The research presented in this book demonstrates the Song to be part of the rare literary genre of riddles, and points to the two lovers in the Song as hinting to the Temple keruvim. These angelic figurines were the sequestered keepers of the Holy Ark and the Divine law, as well as the representatives of the nation of Israel before the Divine presence. The approach to understanding the Song presented in Song of Riddles seamlessly and authentically merges the traditional rabbinic allegorical approach to the Song with the plain sense of the text.

To see more of Mrs Twersky’s art, please visit her website here.

And to buy the book click here!

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As the class of 5778 ventures forth from the Beit Medrash, it is time for them to utilize all the skills and lessons they have learnt in the past year. This year, they have an extra arrow in their collective quiver, Mindfulness.

This year, MMY introduced a new Mindfulness Chug into its Wednesday evening programming.

Mindfulness can be described as learning how to pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, with an attitude towards ourselves of kindness and self-compassion.  Through the practice of mindfulness, we can learn to become more aware of our thoughts, as well as of our feelings and emotions, and of the physical sensations we are experiencing in our bodies as reaction to these thoughts and emotions. This perspective enables us to consciously respond to whatever we are experiencing with clarity and focus, rather than reacting out of the habitual patterns that we are automatically used to, but that are not always so helpful for us. It opens up the possibility of interacting more wisely with difficulties, and choosing to act in ways that are helpful to ourselves and to others.

The way to learn how to do all these things is to learn how to have a different relationship with our thoughts, as well as our feelings. In this chug, we explored different ways to do that. This included meditation, awareness of our breathing, awareness of our thoughts, and learning how-to identify and soothe difficult emotions as they arise.

This year, the chug was taught by three different teachers who focused on different aspects of mindfulness. Mrs. Brofsky opened the year with general introductions to the principles of mindfulness, and mindfulness exercises such as breathing mediations, body scanning, and awareness of thoughts and emotions; particularly difficult emotions such as anxiety. Mrs. Laurie Duitch continued by focusing on her area of expertise, mindful eating. The course was rounded out by Mrs. Janis Joseph, who focused on ways to use mindfulness to help deal with practical issues students often confront, such as to enhance friendships and relationships.

Many students who joined this chug were attracted by the buzzwords that they had heard discussed on social media and in the news, but they soon discovered that the concept of mindfulness has intrinsic Torah values. “Being mindful involves recognizing the Hand of Hashem in all events and not succumbing to intense worries about future prospects,” Olivia Mann explained.

Shira Shicker joined to develop a life skill that will serve her well both in and outside of the seminary experience. “I have become more aware and present in the moment which has made my MMY year so much more meaningful. I am learning to cope with stress, anxiety and other emotions which is a huge challenge in the modern age.”

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