By: Elazar Abrahams  | 

From the YSU President’s Desk: United in Our Mission

A wise woman once said that “August slipped away into a moment in time.” And indeed, this past summer flew by, leaving us right in the thick of our first semester back on campus.

I’ve been meaning to write this column for a while now, but, like many of you, have gotten hit hard with the transition back to in-person classes. Papers, tests, Canvas discussion boards and the like have prevented me from properly welcoming back all the returning students and newcomers. Finally, three issues into this year’s volume of The Commentator, I had the time to sit down and write. Let’s imagine this article had actually been published around Sukkot time.

Halakhically, if you don’t have all four of the arba minim, the four species we wave during Sukkot, your partial set cannot be used. For example, if you have a lulav, hadassim and aravot, but no etrog, then you can’t shake the three species present. This law is unique to this mitzvah –– we know that regarding things like tefillin, if you have just your shel rosh but not your shel yad, you should still put on what you have. Clearly, there is something inherently special about the arba minim such that they can only work in unison. We know that each of the four species represent a different kind of Jew, and I’d like to suggest that this halakha is emphasizing a message of unity and coexistence.

Similarly, the four Wilf campus student councils need and rely on each other. There is no YSU without SOY, and there is no SOY without YSU. SYMSSC needs YCSC and vice versa. The four of us are all interconnected and constantly working together to give YU students a phenomenal year. SOY facilitates spiritual growth and Jewish experiences outside of shiur, while YCSC and SYMSSC fight for students’ academic success. YSU oversees all the social and communal aspects of campus life, and it represents our diverse study body to the university administration.

It’s important to remember that Yeshiva University is not Brandeis with kosher food. This is a whole different ball game. And your student councils are here to make your time in Washington Heights the best it can possibly be.

I’m blessed to be working with the greatest group of guys possible to achieve this. My fellow council presidents, Yoni Laub, Jonah Chill and Akiva Poppers, are extremely passionate about their roles and have already accomplished so much in the two months we’ve been working together. Within YSU, the university as a whole is so lucky to have Baruch, Michael, Joey, Yisroel, Menachem, Eli and Jake representing them, planning great events and enacting change where it matters. I also want to shout out our Beren counterparts, Talia Leitner, Abigail Lerman and Suzanne Rabinovitch, not only because I will never hear the end of it if I don’t, but because they continue to kill the game every day.

There’s so much coming up that I’m excited to share with you. Chanukah week is going to be insane. The Seforim Sale is finally back. Swag is in the works. Club events are popping. Unfortunately, the Dunkin still closes at 4 p.m., so I guess we can’t have everything we want. But more than anything, it’s been so amazing seeing everyone back in one place. I didn’t realize how much I missed the packed second floor of Glueck until my shiur was finally in person before Rosh Hashanah. Let’s continue to stay safe, and hope for the day when restrictions can be completely loosened.

I can be reached at with any questions or concerns. YSU is here to help, and no problem is too small. Looking forward to a great year!

Photo Caption: Students at Wilf Campus orientation

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University