An Ode to 2018: Year in Review

Ode to 2018.jpg

Dear Friends,

2018 was a year of growth and fortitude. We had some incredible accomplishments and endured some difficult challenges, but through it all your consistent support continues to drive the engine of tremendous Torah growth in the Twin Cities and beyond!

As we come to the end of 2018, I want to thank you for your constant support of the Kollel, and to share some milestones that you helped create this year. (if you prefer videos you can scroll down and watch the video below.)

  • Growth & Expansion:

    • We welcomed three new couples, Rabbi Dovid & Mrs. Chaya Gitty (Idstein) Bodner, Rabbi Yaakov Nesanel & Mrs. Elisheva (Brog) Finkelman, and Rabbi Yehuda & Mrs. Leah (Seidman) Wolin.

  • In the Bais Medrash

    • The Kollel completed its in-depth study of Meseches Eiruvin (laws of carrying on Shabbos) from cover to cover! Come back soon for more about the Grand Siyum on January 30th.

    • We are producing Sefer Rivevos Mayim, composed of the insights of the Kollel Rabbis on Eiruvin.

    • The local Kinyan Mesechta chabura, led by Rabbi Shlomo Rothstein, completed their study of Meseches Sukkah.

    • The sound of Torah learning can be heard in the Kollel on an almost constant basis, from early in the morning until late into the night; and even on Friday night! The afternoons are especially lively, with the Kollel Rabbis, Rebbeim from Torah Academy and Yeshiva of Minneapolis, boys from Torah Academy after school, and the entire 12th grade of the Yeshiva, all coming to learn!

  • In the Community

    • The Kollel and the Kenesseth Israel Learning Community came together to host a fabulous Shabbaton at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in March, featuring renowned lecturer Rabbi Yaakov Salomon.

    • Once again, the Kollel collaborated with Mrs. Giti Fredman of Aish to create an incredible Challah Bake for the International Shabbos Project. Over 400 women attended, and a tremendous time was had by all. The Kollel provided logistics and back-end support.

  • Programs and Classes

    • The crowd consistently overflows from the Kollel Library for one of our most popular programs: The Business Breakfast. Topics included online price mistakes, the role of Beis Din, fair pricing, and the interface between halacha and technology.

    • Yarchei Kallah sessions on legal holidays continue to be highly popular. This year topics included Tefilas HaDerech, Techeiles, Tefillin on Chol Hamoed, where to light the Chanukah menorah, and Moshiach.

    • Following the Memorial Day Yarchei Kallah on Tefilas HaDerech by Rabbi Yaakov Kaufman, Mr. Ron Mandelbaum came to the Kollel with the idea of creating a Guide to Tefilas HaDerech for the Twin Cities. If you don’t have one yet, stop by the Kollel to pick one up, complete with a map of the optimal locations to say Tefilas HaDerech when traveling from Minneapolis/St. Paul, the full text of Tefilas HaDerech, and selected halachos. Thank you to Ron, Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Yechezkel Greenberg, and Rabbi Aharon Stauber of Lakewood for collaborating on this project.

    • See the Events/Programs/Classes tab for the full list of our ongoing classes, and find one that fits for you!

  • Women’s Programming

    • This summer, WPIT debuted Positive Parenting, a guided forum for parents of young children to gain Torah- and experience-based tips and inspiration. The 6-week session left participants wanting even more, and WPIT is gearing up for the next session.

    • WPIT LIVE events included Purity: An Evening of Inspiration for Yom Kippur, and an Add Some Color to Your Winter paint night.

    • WPIT hosted several shiurim for the women of the community:

      • The Women’s Guide to Purim; The Complete Pesach Shopping Guide; and Keeping Cool & Kosher, a guide to the kashrus of popular summer treats; all with Rabbi Eli Markowitz of CRC Kosher.

      • Megillas Rus: A Lesson in Chesed, with Dayan Yehoshua Posen of London.

These are just some of the highlights of 2018. We look forward to partnering with you for an even more incredible 2019! Thank you for your unwavering and warmhearted support!

Rabbi Avigdor Goldberger signature.jpg
 

Moshiach! Yarchei Kallah: December 25th, 2018

Moshiach is a topic that is so central to Judaism, yet so obscure. Enjoy the shiur below as we discuss:

  • The purpose of Moshiach

  • Yearning vs. Obsession

  • Who is Moshiach?

  • How and when will Moshiach come?

  • What will the times of Moshiach look like

  • Plus some incredible stories and depictions that will surely give you a renewed appreciation of Moshiach.

Audio and source sheets below.

Follow along with the source sheets

Farewell Announcement

It with mixed emotions that I share with you the news of the Lowingers' plans to relocate to Chicago this summer. There's a lot to say and feel, but I'll let Rabbi Lowinger share his thoughts that he expressed in the following letter to the community.

Dear Minneapolis Community,

As many of you may know, this summer my family will be relocating to Chicago where I will be assuming a position in a Yeshiva. This was a difficult, personal decision for us, and I share this with mixed emotions.

The Kollel and the community have afforded me a couple of tremendous years of growth and fulfillment and I will greatly miss the sincerity and the warmth in which we were enveloped.

When I first came to Minneapolis a couple of years ago, I immediately felt an appreciation of why R’ Elya Svei, my Rosh Hayeshiva, held this community in such esteem, and that feeling has only grown.

Farewells are always difficult, but I look forward to making the most of the remaining months here in this incredible makom Torah!
Sincerely,

Yossi Lowinger


R' Yossi, we will definitely miss you as well! We also look forward to using the next few months to do everything necessary to ensure that the Kollel continues to be the exceptional Torah that it is- in no small part because of you!

Thanksgiving Day Yarchei Kallah: Lighting Location

Where’s the best place to put my menorah this Chanukah? Outside my door, inside the door, in the window- but which window? Not too high, and not too low. What takes priority, to publicize the miracle to the world outside, or to those inside my home?

After Thursday’s Yarchei Kallah, we have the answers. After those who crowded the Bais Medrash delved deep into the relevant sources, Rabbi Uriel Gross delivered a comprehensive overview, clearly delineating the optimal locations to light in, and the priority of the various options. Want to hear the shiur? Audio and sources below.

Follow along with the source sheets

The Business Breakfast: Global Reach

International Commerce, Technology, and Kinyanim

This Sunday’s Business Breakfast was a fascinating exposition of how halacha meets the modern world. We welcomed once again Rabbi Zev Cohen, founder of the Chicago Choshen Mishpat Institute. In his unique and engaging style, R’ Cohen explored the methods of acquisition in halacha. He began with the question of the sous vide and added layer after layer. Forklifts, timers, magnets- what does the halacha say? Where does human input end and technology take over? Intrigued? Listen to the audio below.

WPIT LIVE: Purity

An Evening of Preparation for Yom Kippur

As we all prepare for the awesome and holy day of Yom Kippur, Jewish women and mothers ask themselves:

-How do we make the most of the day while simultaneously caring for our families?

-How can we experience Yom Kippur even though we’re not in shul all day?

-And how do we best transmit the concepts of Yom Kippur to our children?

This past Sunday evening, the latest Women’s Partners in Torah LIVE event focused on these questions, and more. Three rotating workshops led by Mrs. Nechama Idstein, Mrs. Basya Trenk, and Mrs. Shulamit Gibber gave women insights and tips for the Jewish woman’s task on Yom Kippur. The event was also an opportunity for women of the community to meet our new Kollel women. A delicious fruit bar was enjoyed by all, and Rebbetzin Suri Gibber capped off the evening with words of inspiration.

Labor Day Yarchei Kallah: A Shul Divided

This Labor Day, the Kollel's Yarchei Kallah program took on an issue that has been raging for hundreds of years: Are tefillin worn on Chol Hamoed, or not? Rabbi Yisroel Meir Ebstein guided the crowd through the relevant sources and explained the emergence of the prevalent customs in different communities. Also discussed was the related topic of tefillin wearers and non-wearers davening in the same minyan.

Missed the shiur, or want to review? Listen to the audio below.

Follow along with the sources as you listen- click here to view and download.

The Business Breakfast: Sticker Shock- Fair Pricing in Halacha

Sunday morning in the Kollel featured the latest in our Business Breakfast series focusing on monetary laws and ethics. Rabbi Gershon Schaffel of the Chicago Business Halacha Institute presented a comprehensive overview of the laws of Ona'ah, or exploitative pricing, as they apply today. Rabbi Schaffel focused on defining the necessary terms for understanding the halacha, including:

  • What is a market?
  • How do you define market value?
  • What markets are subject to these laws?

For the full shiur, listen to the audio below.

Elul Zman Begins & Yom Iyun

The month of Elul has arrived, and that means the Kollel is back in session, with the extra intensity that Elul brings. The Bais Medrash is humming- come on down and get involved!

On Sunday, August 12th, Rosh Chodesh Elul, the Kollel hosted a Yom Iyun as an opportunity for the community to start Elul with solid Torah learning. The Rosh Kollel opened with words of inspiration for the upcoming Yamim Noraim. The participants then settled down for a full morning seder, as they explored the topic of Tekias Shofar, focusing on what type of shofar blasts should be blown to fulfill the mitzva properly. Rabbi Zev Sklare, rebbi in Yeshiva of Minneapolis, capped off the seder with an overview of the topic, while adding some of his own gems in the process.

Thank you to all who participated, and a special thank you to Rabbi Chaim Leib Rupp who conceived and spearheaded this very successful Yom Iyun. 

 

New Staff!

We are excited to announce that beginning in Elul, we will have three new couples joining us in the Kollel. 

Rabbi & Mrs. Dovid & Chaya Gitty Bodner: If you haven’t met him yet, Rabbi Dovid Bodner is a scholar of the highest caliber with an exuberant personality. Originally from Brooklyn, R’ Bodner studied in Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah (R’ Mottel Dick) and Yeshivas Brisk. Before Pesach, R’ Dovid, with his wife Mrs. Chaya Gitty Bodner (daughter of Rabbi and Mrs. Pinchas Idstein), came to Minneapolis for the birth of their first child. While Rabbi Bodner began studying with the Kollel then as a temporary arrangement, it quickly became apparent to both the Bodners and the Kollel that the Bodners’ involvement in the Kollel was meant to be more than temporary!

Rabbi & Mrs. Yaakov Nesanel & Elisheva Finkelman: The Finkelmans' move to Minneapolis has been in the works for a couple of years now, and is finally happening! R' Finkelman studied in Yeshivas Novominsk and Yagdil Torah in Yerushalayim, and was highly sought after for his scholarship and diligence. In addition, he is the son of noted author and teacher R' Shimon Finkelman of New York. Rabbi and Mrs. Finkelman (nee Brog) will be moving to Minneapolis with their two adorable children Leah and Shmuel Avigdor.

Rabbi & Mrs. Yehuda & Leah Wolin: It's easy to be won over by R' Yehuda's easygoing, L.A. charm. But beneath the relaxed exterior is a serious scholar. R' Yehuda studied in Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic, and Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood and it seems that Minneapolis runs in the family as his brother-in-law's brother is R' J.J. Hutman. Mrs. Wolin (nee Seidman) is excited to be moving to Minneapolis as well together with her husband, two children (Hillel & Aidel), and her close childhood friend Mrs. Finkelman! 

On another note, we would like to wish Rabbi Tzvi Lichtman hatzlacha as he moves on to Torah Academy full-time this coming school year.
 
Thank you so much for making Minneapolis such a desirable place to live!