Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau visited Netzach’s Nishmat HaTorah Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem during Chanukah. His message was that just as every soccer team is proud of its uniform, yeshiva students should take care of their identity and their spiritual status.
The Chief Rabbi visited the Yeshiva to give a shiur on Hilchot Chanukah. He opened his shiur with the statement that the war between the Hellenists and the Jews was all about Jewish identity, and explained that Bnei Torah can learn something from every event in the world.
He cited the World Cup as an example. Just as the the Qatari leadership are proud of their identity, wearing their traditional dress to an international sporting event, we should also be proud of our traditional clothing. Just as each soccer player wears his team’s uniform, which inspires and motivates him to perform, so too yeshiva students should be motivated by pride in their Torani identity. Our external appearance should inspire our internal persona. Just as athletes use their team affiliation to drive their performance, we should strive to use our Torah identity to drive our inner selves.
Turning to the topic of Chanukah, Rav Lau discussed whether the obligation to light candles rests on the individual or on the household. The discussions on this issue resonated around the Beit Midrash, until the Rav clarified the issue. Following his shiur, the Rav heard presentations that the students had prepared on the topic of Pirsumei Nisa, as a special writing project for Chanukah. He discussed their presentations and enjoyed sharing their learning.
Nishmat HaTorah is Netzach’s flagship Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem and we are proud to welcome Chief Rabbi Lau and other Haredi role models to engage with our students. You can read more their role models program here.