Regarding the Shabbaton for Parents of Overseas Talmidim at Yeshiva
Parashat VaYeshev, December 23, 2006

As parents we approach a Shabbat at the Yeshiva as an opportunity not to be missed. The significance of the physical location of the Yeshiva is not lost on us. The Yeshiva stands on the road of our forefathers, with one eye to the south looking at Hebron and one eye to the north looking at Yerushalayim. For most of us, it was a first chance to observe our sons after four months of immersion in a Torah atmosphere.  The questions and doubts melt away as soon as we arrive on Erev Shabbat. What is clear is the growth, maturity and the happiness of the talmidim at Yeshiva. Educators often admonish parents that the time will fly by and we must make sure to stop and "smell the roses and enjoy the ride." This Shabbat was an opportunity to do just that - a time to spend learning, reflecting and observing our children in their new surroundings.

From Friday night when we davened in the Beit Midrash, then danced with the Ramim and the students in the Yeshiva's mevoah, we realized that this was going to be a special time. We ate Seudat Shabbat with our children at the home of Ramim and enjoyed the Oneg Shabbat. The mothers were able to handle the shock of seeing their sons serve and clear off the tables.  On Shabbat day, it was a continuation of spending quality time in an environment of Torah. We heard shiurim and had a question and answer session with Rosh Hayeshiva Harav Aharon Lichtenstein.

The weather was typical of a winter day at the Gush, raining and cold. It seemed (and not by chance) that the warmest room was the Beit Midrash. It was Mark Twain who wrote that the coldest winter he spent was a summer in San Francisco. It appears that in his travels to the Holy Land, he didn't have a chance to stay at the Gush in the winter. The weather only inspired us more for we all know that the winter rain will give way to the beauty of spring. And as spring approaches, we realize that not only the flowers blossom, but also our sons, as they grow and become Bnei Torah under the continued guidance of the Roshei Yeshiva and Ramim.

Steven and Renee Adelsberg, Brooklyn, NY
Parents of Har Etzion talmidim David '01 and Sammy '05