The Yeshiva L’rabbonus Pretoria has once again completed a year of a grueling yet satisfying learning curriculum, leaving the newly ordained rabbis tired, yet inspired, with the tools they need to pry open difficult sections of halacha.
But the musmachim have also left on a high note, due to the transformation they brought about in the lives of other yidden, an impression they will no doubt retain to catapult themselves into fulfilling the Rebbe’s mission of hafotza and outreach.
The transformative experience of both the musmachim and those who were influenced by them was expressed in the lineup of speakers at the event: Rabbi Gidon Fox, the Menahel Ruchni of the yeshiva and Rav of the city, chaired the event which included words of thanks by community officials from the shul and the senior citizens home.
“Today’s semicha graduation ceremony could be described as a celebration of the transformative year of 5777,” remarked Rabbi Fox.
A community member spoke from the heart when she thanked the bochurim for keeping herself and family close to yiddishkeit, despite their physical distance from the shul. Rabbi Chaim Finkelstein, the Rosh Yeshiva and chief examiner, compared the graduation ceremony to the mitzva of bikkurim, a moment of immense joy after an anxious period of investment, realizing that what was sown and cultivated with much toil has resulted in so much success and that the graduation ceremony too is indeed a time to thank the Aibeshter for reaching a point of fullness in life.
After the certificates, signed by the rabbonim of the yeshiva and Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Yerushalayim, were awarded, the bochrim themselves spoke of their year and their own transformative experience, an experience which was too impossible to put into words but was more accurately conveyed by a video presentation.
The mood was festive and Rabbi Fox closed the event with words of encouragement to the new musmachim saying that life in the twenty first century is frought with challenges not encountered by previous generations but can be overcome by the same time tested method of always looking to give to others both materially and spiritually - a recipe the Rebbe always prescribed.
Semicha graduates are Mendel Jedwab, Mendy Strassberg, Mendel Niasoff, Shmuli Karp, Shalom Yemini, Yossi Chriqui, and Yankel Greene.
The year of 5778 sees an addition to the already existing semicha program, viz. A pre semicha program, a halacha readiness year to prepare bochrim for embracing the sea of Gemara and poskim by delving into areas not usually covered in the semicha year, in a chassidisher environment with the same staff of the Yeshiva L’Rabbonus Pretoria.
On offer for the first time is also a full scholarship for the semicha program for the year 5778 to bochurim who are looking to spend their lives in kodesh, be it shlichus, education or communal leadership positions.