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Please don’t take offense, but the issue of whether you agree or disagree with using WhatsApp or what people use for their profile picture is irrelevant. The real issue here is that you invaded your mother’s privacy by looking where you shouldn’t. After your zoom session, you should have given her back the phone without snooping into her WhatsApp and seeing conversations that might have been private.
If you can’t control yourself from looking, then using an alternate method of connecting to zoom (or using the teleconference method) would be in order.
Gadol, that’s kefira. Mashiach can come at any time.
If I may be so bold as to recommend Nachman Marcuson’s Guide to Lashon Hakodesh, both books. One book is subtitled Mastering the Basics, and the 2nd book is subtitled Mastering Hebrew Verbs. It’s a do it yourself program and may be helpful to you.
In terms of actual learning from a sefer, I find it helpful to use a good hebrew english dictionary. Yes, it’s tedious to look up so many words at first, but eventually the ones that I looked up several times eventually stuck.
The most important thing is to be patient with yourself and maintain a positive attitude. Fluency in translation will not happen overnight, but you’ll be surprised how much you can absorb by looking up words in a dictionary. True, sometimes modern dictionaries don’t have the biblical and/or mishnaic terminology, but in those cases where they don’t, you can use an English translation of that sefer to help you out.
Gemara learning is challenging for many of us, and Understanding The Talmud by Rabbi Feigenbaum, as well as the Practical Talmud Dictionary by Rabbi Frank are excellent resources for learning the terminology and translations of key words and phrases in the Gemara.
Don’t be concerned with “how you look” or “how you rate” compared to others’ level of learning. Just keep your eye on your goal of improving, and keep yourself headed toward growth in learning, no matter how slow it may seem. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
My personal favorites are MBD’s Just One Shabbos, Judaea – World To Come, which was early Yerachmiel Begun work, and Shwekey’s Kolot is certainly the best recording from the past 15 years in terms of song quality, and arrangements.
The first Aish album, Journeys 3, and Dveykus 2 also rank as favorites.
Perhaps I made an unfair assumption that if you went to a BY high school, your exposure to various Torah outlooks might be limited. Of course, one can be exposed to various approaches through your shul, social circles, your parents’ friends, etc. I merely meant to make you aware that you would have the ability to learn from and gain an appreciation of the various paths in the Torah world, which you may not have been exposed to in BY.
No arguments from me regarding the stage of life issue, but I don’t know Rebshidduch’s age. Again, most of the students at MR are 22-23 and up, but I had a friend who went to Darche Noam as a 21 year old, and did very well there.
Ultimately, one’s choice of seminary (or yeshiva) should be based on what is best for your own growth in Avodas Hashem.
In terms of shidduchim, I don’t know if there is a specific type of girl that a Darche Noam boy looks for. I would like to think that each boy, being intelligent and on a path of growth in Yiddishkeit, would be looking for similar qualities in a prospective shidduch.
I would not call Midreshet Rachel modern orthodox, which aside from being a term I dislike immensely, is also extremely vague and subject to broad interpretation. Having attended Darche Noam/Shapell’s (Midreshet Rachel is the women’s school) for 3 years, and having benefited tremendously from what they had to offer, I think that the educational staff is first rate. Being that you come from a Bais Yaakov high school, you should be aware that the staff comes from all segments of the Torah world, from Litvish yeshivish to chassidish, and from YU to Dati Leumi. The beauty of having such a diverse staff is that you, as a student, can explore which derech is right for you and your avodas Hashem. It’s not just picking the derech, but also being able to understand WHY that derech is the best one for you.
Perhaps the most beautiful part of Shapell’s (and Midreshet Rachel by extension) is that Jews from varied backgrounds and experiences come together to learn Torah side by side, in an atmosphere that is permeated with Ahavas Yisrael.
In terms of the students, based on the guys who were there when I was there, practically all of them were committed to living a Torah based life, although they were certainly on various levels.
This is just my opinion, based on my humble experience. Best of luck in choosing the right seminary for you!
You might want to try Midreshet Rachel. It’s located in Yerushalayim. I know the Rosh Midrasha personally, and he’s an excellent teacher, as well as a phenomenal resource if you need advice on any issue. Most of the students are ba’alei teshuva, but some are FFB’s. They are known to have a solid program with levels from beginning to advanced learning. I don’t know your age, but most of the students have finished a first degree, so are in their early twenties and up.