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Mission Accomplished! 25 Balabatim Return From Mentors Mission

YW-Mentors Mission-001.jpg“Citizen Soldiers”, as Ohr Somayach refers to the mentors that come on the bi-annual Mentors Mission. They spend a worthy week learning one on one and touring with young American college boys who have come on a school break to taste and see what it means to live a Torah filled life.

Three years ago Co-founders Mr. Danny Lemberg, Lakewood, Mr.Yaakov Kaplan, Toronto, Mr Shmuel Rothman, Monsey and Mr.Shmuel Dov Vogel, Montearl, initiated a new concept in Kiruv…bringing the citizen soldier to the forefront of the war waged up until now by the kiruv professional. Rabbi Avremi Neuhaus, Director of Mentors Mission sums it up, “The frum businessman is uniquely positioned to showcase the Torah Lifestyle”.

[CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS] And that is why the concept has taken off in such a great way, with so much active participation and excitement. Twenty – twenty five businessmen from frum communities around the U.S. are invited to join the Mentors Mission. They treat the young men to an exclusive week of one on one learning and touring together.  This gives the boys a first hand glimpse how these frum businessmen can be successful in the workplace and be true Torah Jews.

This summer mission, which was held from Monday, July 7–July 13, 08 did just that and perhaps even more.  As on each mission, it is centered around a nucleus of, four-five Bal-abatim that are invited to participate and they in turn invite friends and business acquaintances to join them. The mission was led jointly by Reb Abish Brodt, Reb Zecharia Fruchthandler both of Flatbush, Reb Tzvi Weinrib of Boro Park, and Reb Danny Lemberg of Lakewood. The mentors that joined them were strong and united in their hopes and desire to truly be Mekadaish Sheim Shamayim.

The surreal week was highlighted with many memorable events.  The group was fortunate to meet and speak with many Gedolem such as Harav Eliyashiv,  Harav Dovid Abuchatzeira, Harav Zundel Krieser, Harav Gamliel Rabinovitch and the Roshei Yeshiva of Ohr Somayach Harav Mendel Weinbach, and Harav Nota Shiller. They were also treated to noted speakers, Rav of Moshav Mattisyuhu Rabbi Zev Leff and Rabbi Dovid Gottleib – who spoke to the group at Ohr Somayach.

Although so much Ruchnius passes through and fills this highlighted week, it is also one filled with so much more. The Opening Dinner where the Mentors and the Ohr Somayach boys met was held on a rooftop overlooking the Kosel celebrating this momentous event. 
During the week there were hikes, a VIP tour of Eir Dovid and the Mei Sheiluach.

Thursday evening in Kibbutz Lavey as a delicious dinner waited, the Mentors and their Chavrusahs stopped all and learned together for a resounding hour.  After dinner they made their way down to Teveria and enjoyed a boat ride on the Kinneret late into Leil Shishi with a uplifting and heartfelt kumzitz by Reb Abish.

Friday morning was spent together at the Dalton Winery where they were given a tour of the plant, enjoyed the wine tasting and all made plenty of L’chaims wishing all their boys much Hatzlacha in their journey up ahead!

Ah!  The Shabbos spent up in Tzefas is the highlight of all Shabbosim spent in E”Y.   Nothing can duplicate a breath taking Kabbalos Shabbos in the courtyard of the Arizal’s Shul, Shabbos Seudahs filled with tremendous Ruach and fascinating mid-night tours in the dark alleyways of this mystical and majestic city of old.

Shabbos morning, after a delectable Kiddush Rabba, there was a one on one learning session that nobody wanted to bring to a close!  The seudah did finally get underway if only almost an hour off schedule.

Shabbos ended much after the Zeman with much singing and dancing which brought with it a unique aura of Kedusha.  On Motzaei Shabbos they traveled to Meiron and had a grand Melave Malkah at the Tzion of R’ Shimon Bar Yochei, where they were treated to the band Simply Tzefat who added to the already great Ruach.  Rav Gamliel Rabinovitch led the boys in dancing at this auspicious time.

Sunday Night was the farewell dinner at which time it was noted by Rabbi Chaim Selinger of Ohr Somayach that a student and mentor were off to the side engrossed in learning wanting to utilize the opportunity one last time.

Taking it a step further when all return to the U.S. they have gained a close friend and mentor who remains in contact via phone, e-mail, weekly learning sessions and of course joining the family for a rejuvenating Shabbos at the Mentor’s home.

“To get a call from a past mentor that he has successfully navigated the road for his chavrusah to return and learn in Ohr Somayach for an indefinite amount of time, gives us the reassurance we need to remind us how vital our work is.  We can make a difference and B”H the Hatzlacha is tremendous.”

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