What a week it has been – it began with the magnificent celebration of Yom HaAtzmaut with Bnei Akiva at Kinloss. To have nearly 1000 people singing Hallel with Chazan Jonny Turgel demonstrated the power of our ideology – proudly Zionist, but fully recognisant of the Conductor of the universe’s role in returning us to our homeland after 2000 years.
The week continued with Mizrachi’s first ever Yom HaAtzmaut Lunch & Learn in the City with Rabbi Benjy Levene who enthralled us with his stories of the birth of the state and the role his saintly grandfather, Rav Aryeh Levin played at that historic time.
He spoke as well of the time that as a student at Yeshiva University he came to volunteer during the Six Day War and was in Jerusalem with his grandfather two days after the reunification. He spoke movingly of Rav Aryeh’s reaction at that historic time. When they first arrived in the area of the Kotel, which is nothing like we have today, he tore Kriah. He then ran, a man in has 80’s, towards the alley, which in June 1967 was the only place to get to the Kotel. Upon seeing the Kotel, he collapsed onto it, hugging the stones, crying uncontrollably, his hat fell off, the soldiers ran to pick it up and embraced him. He said in an emotional voice the shecheyanu blessing and then together with the soldiers and Rabbi Benji Levene they davened Mincha at the Kotel on Friday afternoon. Something many of us have done due to the miracles and heroism at that time.
Chodesh Iyar has been transformed in our lifetimes. From a month of aveilut and sadness, it is now a month of hallel and hodayah – the years 1948 and 1967 are seminal years of the shechina, God’s presence, coming ever closer to the Jewish people. A people sustained for 2000 years by the Torah, the lifeblood of our people.
And then we have this weekend. A weekend taking the month of Iyar to another peak. Bringing the cream of the Land of Israel, to teach the Torah of Israel, to the people of Israel. Over Shabbat our 13 scholars will be in 20 communities across the UK, teaching over 3000 people.
Then, on Sunday, they will be joined by Rabbi Joseph Dweck and Rabbi Eliyahu Silverman as all 15 educators will be inspiring us from 9:15am till 10:30pm. It literally is a day of inspiration, it is a day to recognise the journey we have been on and to thank Hashem for the blessing of living in such a blessed generation.
This is an unprecedented event in British Jewry, as part of the three weeks of thanks from Yom Haatzmaut to Yom Yerushalayim. There will be keynote speeches from Rav Doron Perez, Racheli Frankel, Rav David Stav, Rav Benji Levene and Rabbi Joseph Dweck. There will be panel discussions about gap years, women’s Torah leadership, modern Orthodoxy and Israel. And there will be 22 top quality shiurim from our educators.
As the results in the local elections are seemingly turning the country blue. Let’s follow suit on Sunday, by coming to Kinloss where we are all celebrating the Torah of Israel by turning Kinloss blue and white!