Even before its official opening, a new Kollel in London is attracting much attention from the local community.
A program titled “A taste of Yeshiva” was arranged for a recent Bank Holiday, when many people have off from work. This was attended by as many as 40 members of Anash of the Stamford Hill community and beyond.
Starting with a Chasidus Shiur at 8am given by the world-renowned lecturer and beloved local Mashpia, Dr. Naftali Loewenthal, the participants learned about the exalted relationship between a king and his people, the difference between elected exaltation and essential exaltation – a Maamar of the Rebbe Rashab, part of the famous Hemshech “Ayin Beis”.
After the Shiur and Davening, a sumptious breakfast was served, kindly sponsored by Mr. Ephraim Potash and Mr. Baruch Davidoff.
The first Halacha Shiur was given by Rabbi Hillel Gruber, Rav of Welwyn Garden City Synagogue. He addressed the issue known as “Oni hamehapech bacharara”, snatching up an article that one’s fellow had already been actively pursuing, or: gazumping. He discussed whether that is that a moral issue or a legal one? Does it apply to purchases or only to “Metzias”? May an employer attempt to entice an employee of a different firm to move to his firm? Is one permitted to offer his services to an employer in an attempt to oust a colleague who is already employed by him for that purpose?
The following Shiur was given by Rav Akiva Osher Padwa, head of Kashrus Research for the London Beth Din. His mission entailing extensive travel, Rav Padwa related how he has met many Chabad Shluchim at their posts, and that he had indeed assisted some Shluchim in establishing local Kashrus facilities. He proceeded to explain the various laws instituted by Chazal with regards to non-supervised dairy products. Although cheese can only be produced from milk of Kosher species, “Chazal” were concerned that non-kosher milk might get mixed in. (He related how ‘mixed milk’, i.e. of various species, is still common today in the Far East).
Butter was traditionally seen as different to cheese, and was considered Kosher even without any supervision, since its solid texture precludes the presence of any non-kosher milk. Nowadays – he explained – the process has changed, and the coagulants used to solidify the butter are often of non-kosher origin. Due to this as well as other technological innovations,we cannot follow the leniency of the Shulchon Oruch and butter should not be consumed without supervision.
The final Shiur of the program was given by Dayan L Y Raskin.
He illustrated how deciding the correct location for affixing a Mezuza may sometimes be quite challenging, and indeed the correct position for affixing a Mezuza could be rather surprising to the layman. Using a projector, the Dayan shared with the audience a selection of Shaalos he had received in the form of digital photographs, regarding various doorways and entrances, showing which ones needed Mezuzas and where they were to be affixed.
The program was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and the participants went away feeling more knowledgable in numerous areas of Torah. And with the request: When is the next such event?