This past Sunday, 15 Elul, saw the Pretoria Yeshiva celebrating the granting of semicha to 19 bochurim, כן ירבו, some of whom have been in the Yeshiva for two consecutive years.
Those who were present for both years received semicha on the ‘regular’ components, while the semicha of those who had joined the ‘pre-semicha‘ included areas of halacha such as tefilla, mezuza, tevillas keilim and other practical areas of halacha.
Having sat a grueling final test some two weeks ago, which included all areas studied for semicha, the bochurim received a semicha signed by the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Finkelstein, Rabbi Gidon Fox, Rabbi of Pretoria Hebrew Congregation and a teacher in the yeshiva, as well as Harav Hagaon Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Eretz Yisroel.
The graduation ceremony was preceded by an uplifting Shabbos shared with the many parents who traveled from far and wide to be part of this momentous occasion in their sons’ lives. From Crown Heights to London, Vienna to Brazil, and everywhere in between, the parents were struck by the warmth of the community, the knowledge acquired by their sons and the valuable opportunity and experience the yeshiva offered.
Present at the event were the other members of Hanhola, Mashpia Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Kesselman and Mayshiv Rabbi Simcha Frenkel. The Yeshiva Board, headed by the internationally acclaimed Louis Pearlman and Rabbi Mendel Goldman, creators of “Chayenu,” and Mrs. Susan Fine basked in the radiant light which the yeshiva shines on the community of Pretoria and Southern Africa in general.
Tribute was paid to the Em Habayis, Rebbetzin Aviva Fox, whose dedication and care for the bochurim provides not just a home away from home, but a mother away from home.