In an uplifting and inspiring evening, close to 300 Atlantans attended the Semicha ordination of eight Bochrim at the Chabad-Beth Tefillah center, headquarters to Chabad of Georgia, on Wedensday, 25th of Sivan
Shortly before the event, the students were tested in their fifth and final examination of the year. The test was administered by the ordaining Rabbi, Rabbi Dovid Schochet, leading international Chabad Rabbi and head of Beis Din in Toronto. The 4 hours-long test was on the laws of Shabbos, Koshering dishes, and the complicated laws of salting meat. Various aspects of the other laws studied throughout the year – such as forbidden mixtures, dairy and meat – were also discussed during the rigorous test.
The daily schedule of the Bochrim during the course of the year is quite intensive. Over the past few weeks, however, the Bochrim have been studying for many hours, deep into the night, in order to review
the material as many times as possible. Their phenomenal success in their final test truly shone.
The Atlanta Semicha program has just concluded its fourth year. Headed by Rabbi Yossi Lew, under the auspices of Chabad of Georgia and its head Shliach, Rabbi Yossi New, the program selects eight highly qualified students whose mission is to simply study all day. In their spare time, as well as on Shabbos, the Bochrim study with dozens of local people and families. The Atlanta Semicha Program is unique and exclusive, in that in addition to the actual Smicha studies, it also offers courses in the areas and skills in which a Lubavitcher Rabbi and Shliach must be efficient. The program, therefore, provides courses in public speaking, counseling, financial management, Chevrah Kadisha, Safrus, Milah, life-cycle
events, Shechita, marriage and other courses.
This year’s graduating students were: Dovi Barber (Melbourne), Zalmy Futerfas (Crown Heights), Yale New (Atlanta), Nochum Pinson (Crown Heights), Nachi Rabin (Johannesburg), Getzy Raskin (Crown Heights), Fitz Shpiegelman (Montreal), and Moshe Vogel (Rochester).
The Atlanta Semicha Program is named for David and Gertrude Silver Z”L. The graduating ceremony was hosted and chaired by their son, Samuel Silver. David and Gertrude were pioneers in establishing institutions for Torah learning.
Many of the large number of the people attending the graduation on Wednesday were those who had been touched and affected by the newly-ordained rabbis, mainly through personal classes, discussions and
After words of greetings from the city of Sandy Springs, in Atlanta, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of Chabad’s educational and social services division and delighted grandfather of one of the graduates,
was introduced. In his keynote address, Rabbi Krinsky related that Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah said of the Rebbe how there was not a single moment that the Rebbe was not in complete control of himself. “In your mission to educate people and continue the Rebbe’s work and lifetime goals,” said Rabbi Krinsky, it is incumbent to also focus on continuing to focus inward, educating yourselves, growing, and being in control of your destiny.”
The graduates were then called to receive their Semicha. Before each graduate approached the podium, he was introduced by a grateful study-partner who explained how the student impacted his or her life.
Mr. Allen Daniels movingly described how his weekly sessions with one of the graduates provided spiritual meaning even in his mundane and physical life. Another speaker thanked a graduate for his bond with her son, a Friendship Circle member. Other speakers told of how their children were so saddened to realize that “their” Bochur was departing, yet happy that the Atlanta Semicha Program will continue next fall, with eight special students.
As the evening ended, the Bochrim, their parents, some community members, and almost all 15 Shluchim to the state of Georgia sat down to a Farbrengen with Rabbi Krinsky, who related many stories of the Rebbe, especially as they pertain to the Rebbe’s incredible and outstanding care for the Jewish people, all humanity and particularly the Shluchim.
Mr. and Mrs. Sabi Varon, prominent members of the community hosted this special Farbrengen that continued till past 2:00 a.m.