Dayan Lichtenstein Visits Shuvu

Shuvu was honoured to have Dayan Y Y Lichtenstein, Rosh Beth Din of the Federation of Synagogues visit Shuvu last week.

The Dayan had stated in the past that although he had heard much about Shuvu (and  was even Zocheh to know Shuvu’s founder Hagaon Harav Pam zt”l from his years learning in Torah V’Daas in New York), nonetheless wished to physically visit one of the schools in Israel and see firsthand the Kiruv network’s activities. Thus upon the Dayan’s recent trip to Israel for Pesach, he joined Director Rav Chaim Michoel Gutterman and toured the Yehuda Menachem Shuvu school in Petach Tikva, dedicated by the Schimmel family in London.

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The Dayan visited various classes in the school and was very impressed seeing the children from secular backgrounds having a good grasp on the Limudei Kodesh learned.

In the 4th grade the boys were learning Mishnayos Perek Hamafkid. The Dayan asked the students questions about the Daled Shomrim, Tashlumei Daled and Heh, Hatoen Ta’anas Ganav and more, and was very impressed with the Kinderlach’s clear and precise answers.

In the 2nd grade the Dayan heard the students recite a Perek of Tehillim and answered questions on Parshas Hashavua. He was also impressed with the high level of English taught even at this young age.

The Dayan also spoke to the 9th grade girls and answered their Halachic questions. One girl asked about using hot water on Shabbos, another about heating up food on Shabbos for both Ashkenazim and Sefardim, Hilchos Basar Bechalav and other topics. One girl asked the Dayan about Bishul Akum, as she mentioned that her mother had baked a cake together with a goyische friend. In his response the Dayan amused the girls mentioning that years back in Kollel when he dealt with the Kashrus of tuna fish, he somehow obtained information from Buckingham Palace as to whether tuna is defined as “Oleh al Shulchan Melachim” (Bishul Akum is only Assur for foods that are Chashuv and eaten by monarchs). He found out that indeed it is “Oleh Al Shulchan Melachim”, but never from a tin…

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The Dayan then told the girls that over the years he had seen queens, princes and many other Chashuve people, “yet you’re no less Chashuve! Every Bas Yisroel is a Bas Melech!”

Rav Gutterman also introduced the Dayan to the school’s principal, Mrs. Batsheva Kepler and to the School Rabbi, Rav Chaim Arousi who updated him about the Kiruv of the School Rabbis Project. One girl illustrated the effectiveness of the School Rabbi telling the Dayan that her father had not put on Tefillin for many years and had even forgotten how to do so. One day though the School Rabbi Rav Arousi showed up at their house with a pair of Tefillin and showed the father how to perform this Mitzvah. The daughter confirmed that since that day her father hasn’t missed a day of Tefillin!

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The Dayan was also very impressed with the integration of the many different backgrounds under the same roof. Indeed, although Shuvu was founded 23 years ago for the Russian population, over the past few years many native Israeli and other parents saw the unique Chinuch provided and the Derech Eretz of the students, and wanted their children to join the network as well.

Upon the conclusion of the visit the Dayan promised that when he returns to the UK he will do whatever he can to promote Shuvu.

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