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!

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.


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!

Independence Day Yarchei Kallah: True Blue

A Glimpse into the Techeiles Controversy

Once again, the Kollel and the community took time on the 4th of July to enjoy our national pastime- learning Torah! The seats were packed in the Bais Medrash, and the crowd got involved as chavrusas delved into the sources together. Rabbi Yakov Skolnick took it the distance with a comprehensive overview of the mitzva of wearing techeiles (blue)-dyed strings as part of the tzitzis. 

Topics discussed include:

  • One mitzva or two?
  • The power of the techeiles
  • How can we wear tzitzis today without techeiles?
  • The source of true techeiles - lost or hidden?
  • Has authentic techeiles been rediscovered?
  • and much more!

Missed the shiur, or want to hear it again? Audio below.

Follow along with the sources- click here.

Keeping Cool & Kosher

You've enjoyed a long hot summer day, and you just need something ice cold to cool down with. What's that familiar sound? An ice cream truck, coming slowly around the corner. Perfect! But wait, is it kosher? What about any of the other popular summer treats? If you've heard this shiur from Rabbi Eli Markowitz of CRC Kosher, you'll know just what to do.

Missed the shiur, or want to hear it again? Audio below.