A Breath of Fresh Air in the Mountains of the Shomron

Archive for February, 2012

IDF Chief Rabbi visits us

Rav Ronsky

Rav Ronsky

As part of a city-wide Torah-learning initiative, Rav Avichai Ronsky, immediate past Chief Rabbi of the IDF and Rosh Yeshiva in Itamar, gave a shiur at Ohel Efraim Shul to a captivated audience.

Over 90 people in Ariel have committed to learning every day with the aim of finishing the whole of Shas (mishnayot and gemarot) by the end of the year.  At 6 intervals through the year, the group meets for a shiur by prominent Rabbanim.  On 22 Shvat it was Ohel Efraim’s turn to host and Rav Ronsky was invited by Rav Hillel to speak about Seder Nashim.

After presenting a fascinating survey of the inner strength of Jewish women throughout the Torah, Rav Ronsky revealed to the audience some of the halachic and ideological issues that face the religious IDF soldier today.  The evening concluded with a siyum and, obviously…food!


Growth and Excitement at Ohel Efraim on Tu Bishvat

Reading Chanan Haganan

Our annual Tu B’shvat Event was a big success.  The shul was full of more than fifty children with over half being from families that regularly daven at Ohel Efraim.  The younger group started off with an Israeli classic story: “Chanan HaGanan”.  The children discussed their favorite fruits.

Making Shivat Haminim Medallions



This was followed by a craft project celebrating the Shivat Haminim, the special fruits of Eretz Yisrael.

The older kids started off thinking about the parallels between themselves and trees with Rav Hillel.  They discussed what their roots (parents) gave them, what they have in their trunk (themselves) and what they can give to others (leaves and fruit).

The tree and me!

Then they made recycled bottle planters with Yael Lockerman planting צנון radish and כובע הנזיר nasturtium.

Bottle planters







Thanks to Yael Maizels, Yael and Shlomo Lockerman, Lior Weiss, Mark Dver and Rav Hillel Maizels.

Women’s Rosh Chodesh Evening

The monthly Ariel Women’s Rosh Chodesh evening for the month of Shevat was held in Ohel Efraim this month.  Rebbetzin Yael Maizels delivered a fascinating shiur examining a midrash about Yetziat Mitzrayim.  Shmot Rabba 12:1 was analyzed based on Simi Peter’s technique of analyzing midrashim.  This midrash compares Hashem to a Kohen who has lost his Teruma in a graveyard and chooses to defile himself rather than abandon Klal Yisrael.  By weighing Chazal’s choice of metaphor and wording the shiur evoked much discussion and participation among the audience.

Keeping with the “green” theme of Tu Bishvat the women then held a “second-hand clothes swap” resulting in a satisfying win-win situation: “One [wo]man’s trash is another’s treasure”.

Stay tuned for the Tu Bishvat Kid’s event:טו בשבט מודעה תשעב

Chodesh Tov!