Yeshiva University Runs 75 Hours of Learning in Support of Israel
YU ran a 75-hour-long global learning and mitzvah initiative in support of Israel last month, with students learning without interruption.
75 for 75, corresponding to the 75 years since the foundation of the State of Israel, was run from Oct. 19 to 22 by The Office of Student Life and the YU student government and organized and implemented in large part by Moshe Nasser (SSSB ‘24) and Rabbi Herschel Hartz, program director for Undergraduate Torah Studies (UTS).
The program encouraged students and other members of the YU community to pledge to do a particular mitzvah or study a section of the Torah during the 75 hours. The initiative aimed at finishing the entire Talmud, Mishna and Tanakh over the course of the program.
Nasser told The Commentator that this program was a way for the broader YU community to “help give back” and support Israel during the ongoing conflict while focusing on the importance of learning Torah. He also explained that the idea stemmed from a section in Masechet Megillah that discusses the importance of having someone learn Torah at all times.
YU sent out emails about the program to alumni, Yeshivas in Israel and shuls around the country. The program was also promoted through the YU Torah website.
Roshei Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Goldwicht and Rabbi Herschel Schachter publicly supported the initiative through video messages uploaded to YouTube and other social media platforms. In his remarks, Rav Godlwicht stated that this program was an “opportunity to become part of the war” in Israel and enabled students to “give [a] shoulder to their brothers.” Similarly, Rav Schachter encouraged students to participate in the program in the merit of Israeli soldiers fighting in the war.
In YU itself, many rebbeim and Roshei Yeshiva gave shiurim during the 75 hours, including Rabbi Schachter and Rabbi Goldwicht, as well as, Rabbis Josh Blass, Daniel Feldman, Aryeh Lebowitz and Mordechai Willig. The nearby Shenk shul also hosted some shiurim for Beren students as part of the program.
Reflecting on the importance of 75 for 75, Rabbi Hartz told The Commentator, “Our spiritual learning can have a physical impact on the safety of our soldiers,” and that the initiative was a great way to show our connection to the situation in Israel.
“We have to do our part to help connect ourselves to Eretz Yisrael, the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, and to help support them in whatever way we can,” said Hartz. “We are all united. We are all connected.”
Photo Caption: YU ran a 75-hour-long global learning and mitzvah initiative in support of Israel last month.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Levin / The Commentator