Ohr Somayach International Mentors’ Mission to Yerushalayim: Hashem Believes In Every Yid – Rabbah Emunasecha…

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kever rochel mentors missionBy Rabbi Binyomin Schonblum

[Photos below.] In Modeh Ani, we say “rabbah emunasecha,” that Hashem believes in us. Wouldn’t it seem to make more sense to say rabbah emunaseinu”– as the mitzvah of emunah is for us to believe in Hashem? This is the question that Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz asked in his pre-Shabbos introduction at the Churva shul. The answer which he quoted in the name of the seforim hakedoshim was clearly evident throughout the five day Mentors’ Mission. Indeed, we need to have emunah b’Hashem, but every morning we need to internalize that HKB”H believes in us. Every single yid has the trust and belief of Hashem that he can accomplish greatness. This realization can help you achieve the seemingly unimaginable…

The Mentors’ Mission opened with a VIP tour of Ir Dovid on Tuesday afternoon followed by a lavish banquet at the Begin Center where mentors and students were formally introduced to each other. The following morning, mentors and students sat down for the first learning session together. The learning was followed by a mentor panel discussion. Panelists Zecharia Fruchthandler, Ali Scharf and Paul Volosov answered the students questions of what it’s like to be a Torah Jew in today’s workplace. The give and take between the mentors and students provided important lessons and tips for the students that were culled from firsthand experiences.

During the discussion, Daniel, a student from Florida who is also a real estate agent, asked how one can keep Shabbos if he has real estate deals that need to be tended to on the weekends. He felt that as a young agent, he is not important enough to tell a potential buyer or seller to wait until after Shabbos. Mentor Mordy Weinberg, a real estate agent from Toronto engaged Daniel with firsthand tips and support on how to deal with this seemingly difficult struggle. At the farewell dinner, Daniel stood up and announced that he is committed to learning at Ohr Somayach after the Mentors’ Mission. Everyone can come back. Rabbah Emunasecha

Later that evening, near the crackling bonfire at Eretz Bereishis, in the still of the dark Judean desert night, Rav Yakov Asher Sinclair delivered a non-fictitious dramatic tale of Jonathan, a successful movie producer who made his way back to yiddishkeit because of the pinteleh yid deep inside of him. No matter how far away one is, he can always come back. Hashem believes in us. Rabbah Emunasecha

Early Thursday morning, the group went hiking through the beautiful springs at Ein Fuar and then headed to Mitzpeh Yericho where the learning session took place in the Bais Medrash Hamerkazi overlooking the picturesque Dead Sea and surrounding area. During the afternoon, the mentors davened at the Bais Olam in Bnei Brak and went to visit Rav Yakov Edelstein, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, and Rav Aron Leib Steinman. Rav Aron Leib was visibly moved upon hearing that the group had taken off of work and traveled to Eretz Yisroel to spend time and learn the sugya of eidim zomemim together with not yet religious college students.  Rav Yakov extolled the virtue of both the mentors and students coming from North America to Ohr Somayach to gain from the ruchniyus of Eretz Yisroel.

After swimming and a barbeque at Nes Harim Water Park, Abish Brodt and Ali Scharf led a hartzige kumzitz which generated feelings of inspiration that accompanied the group as they made their way to Kever Rochel. The sight of students deep in prayer, faces buried in the famous vishavu bonim ligvulum paroches that conceals the kever was enough to bring goose bumps to the onlooker.

Gabriel, a student from California, never had a bar mitzvah before. During the Shabbos morning davening at Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, he was called up for his first aliyah and for his official bar mitzvah. After the aliyah, candies were thrown at him and everyone broke out into a spontaneous joyous dance. As I looked to my right, I saw tears welling up in Gabriel’s eyes as he took in this defining moment in his life. Gabriel’s mentor Sruli Notis mentioned that Gabriel committed to keep his first Shabbos that week. That Shabbos, he did not smoke, he entered his hotel room only with the Shabbos key and removed his earring for the remainder of Shabbos. Everyone can come back. Rabbah Emunasecha

After leaving the Blind and Deaf Museum in Cholon on Sunday and heading towards the Barkan Winery, David, a student from New York, was tying the strings together on a new pair of tzitzis that he had bought with his mentor in Meah Shearim on Friday. He explained that he was tying them together himself as the mitzvah means more if you exert more effort into it. Rabbah Emunasecha

As the Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Nota Schiller stated, “The world says ‘don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees’; at Ohr Somayach we say,’ don’t lose sight of the trees for the forest.” Hashem‘s emunah is rabbah for every yiddishe neshama. Twenty students from the Mentors’ Mission have decided to stay on to learn at Ohr Somayach. Trees are sprouting with roots that connect them to the landscape of their ancestors.  Vishavu Bonim Ligvulum

Everyone can come back; Rabbah Emunasecha


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  1. It doesn’t say He believes in every Yid. He believes in all Human Beings whom He is constantly creating them with wonders upon wonders.

  2. I personally attended a previous mission and it was such an enjoyable and uplifting trip! I couldn’t make this years summer trip but I look forward to the winter mission. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to inspire and be inspired!

  3. I was learning in Mir when I was invited to join the mission for Shabbos in tzfas. One of the founding mentors invited me and some friends to come and help with zemiros for Shabbos. Well let me tell you they didn’t need us!! The zemiros and ruach from the baale batim was unbelievable! We were happy to be there with them!!! I look forward to joining future missions after I get married.

  4. This Mentors Mission in which you are discussing is manmash the bewest of the bewest organIzations.
    I went on the winter mission and every detail is so engraved in my mind it hurts.


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