[Photos below.] Forty baalei batim and unaffiliated college students travelled to Utah for the Ohr Somayach International Ski and Study Mentors Mission. The world class Silverado Hotel in the Canyons Resort served as the base for this unforgettable weekend.
Thursday evening’s opening banquet was at the Bistro restaurant. Immediately following dinner, everyone made their way to the shul for the mentor/student chavrusah learning. This has always proven to be the highlight of previous Mentor Missions and this time was no different. After Maariv, there was a very moving kumzitz in the snow at the outdoor fire pit; toasting s’mores, drinking hot apple cider and listening to stories from mentor R’ Elchanan Schwarz accompanied by mentor R’ Avromie Prawer on the guitar. The outdoor pool and hot tubs were reserved for the group and the attendees headed over there for some late night swimming, hot tubs and cholent; shmuzing until well past midnight.
Rav Chaim Gross, a rebbe at Ohr Somayach, sent everyone to the slopes Friday morning with an analogy that can be derived from skiing. Just as is the case with regards to skiing, one can accomplish far more than you think in yiddishkeit if you push yourself to the limit. After a full and tiring day of skiing, it was amazing to see everyone show up to learn an hour and ten minutes before mincha. Not only that but two different unaffiliated yidden heard about the program in the resort and they too joined in the learning session. After a spirited kabbolas Shabbos, Rav Avrohom Reisman, Rosh Kollel of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, spoke about the Arizal bringing his students out to the fields to be mekabel Shabbos in order to leave the city which is a place of much mundane matters and enter the world of spirituality. After more zemiros and dancing at the Friday night seudah, mentor R’ George Karasick spoke about the need for the students to take a real step in their journey back to yiddishkeit as they are at a crossroads in life. A Friday night tisch then followed where Rav Reisman took questions from the students. The students’ rapt attention to the dialogue and the animated nature of some of the back and forth discussion showed the seriousness and interest that the students have in living a frum life and understanding it. The discussions lasted until late at night. Apparently, everyone was pushing themselves to their limits even off of the slopes.
Mentor R’ Sruly Rosenfeld spoke at Shabbos lunch about the mishkan being bisoch kol echod v’echod of every yiddishe neshama. Shabbos afternoon presentations were given by Rav Gross, Rav Bentzy Schechter and Rav Reisman. During shalosh seudos, mentor R’ Yisroel Zlotowitz made a siyum on Meseches Shabbos and spoke about his father establishing the Artscroll library, making limud hatorah in general and Daf Hayomi specifically, accessible to so many people. After a soulful havdalah, melava malka was served and Mentor Missions founder R’ Danny Lemberg called up each student to say a few thoughts. The baalei batim truly struck a deep chord in the hearts and neshamos of the students and this was expressed passionately by the students.
See below for photos:
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