The streets of Crown Heights were full this past Sunday. Wherever one looked, there were elementary and high school students, some carrying balloons, others walking with parents, all heading to graduations in their respective schools.
A few blocks away, a very different type of graduation was taking place. A lawyer from Boston, a neurosurgeon from Florida, a shliach from Texas, and a professor of poetry from Cincinnati were just a few members of the unique group who gathered to celebrate.
These men had all finished their official education years beforehand, some in yeshiva, some in college, and others in prestigious medical and law schools. Each was accomplished in his field, yet still felt a desire to grow in another field: Torah study.
The diversity of the group was marked. A young yeshiva student completed smicha together with his uncle; a father utilizing his time to work towards his smicha encouraged his son and son-in-law to join him, resulting in a tripled celebration. Men of different ages, different backgrounds, and from different locations gathered together for the single purpose of honoring the Torah and those who study it.
The new Rabbis are: Aaron Calvo – Brooklyn, NY, David Caplan – Cincinnati, OH, Raffy Filler – Montreal, Canada, Shmuel Helisnky – Boston, MA, Dovid Lipszyc – Brooklyn, NY, Nechemia Miller – Brooklyn, NY, Leible Morrison – Troy, NY, Simcha Morrison – Troy, NY, Zvi Nachman – Woodmere, NY, Raphy Sasseini – Flushing, NY, Tal Shaul – S. Antonio, TX, Pesach Walter – Boston, MA, Steven (Shaya) Weinshel – Bradenton, FL, Leon Weissberg – Cooper City, FL, Yehuda Yaron – Los Angeles, CA.
Online Smicha is a rigorous learning program headed by Rabbi Nachman Wilhelm. Partnering with the Shluchim Office and the Shluchim Online School, Online Smicha utilizes the wonders of technology while still maintaining yeshiva style in depth learning, allowing men from any corner of the globe to join a virtual yeshiva.
The program is unparalleled; it allows one to feel as if he is sitting in a classroom with Rabbi Wilhelm, who makes the holy words of the Shulchan Aruch and its commentaries come alive as only he can, with clear explanations, charts and visual aids.
At Online Smicha, getting a diploma is not the end goal. It is the Torah learning that is the ultimate accomplishment. With that in mind, Online Smicha offers other learning programs geared toward many different levels.
Foremost among them is the KitzurLive program, offering twice-weekly classes in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. Through these classes, participants have the opportunity to learn halacha and gain vital knowledge for anyone living a Torah life. Also popular among the students is the option to continue their learning after smicha with the OLS Choshen Mishpat track, studying the complex halachos of Jewish courts.
In response to a growing demand, three new initiatives were announced at Sunday’s celebration. First, there will be a monthly shiur open to the public; these shiurim will be given by guest lecturers who are experts in their various fields in Halacha. Second, KitzurLive is launching a new cycle of learning Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, from the beginning.
The third and most notable is the anticipated launch of Yeshiva Live, set to begin in the near future. The curriculum will include shiurim in Mishna, Gemara, Chassidus, Halacha, Parsha and more! This initiative will bring Torah learning into your home or office, transforming them into the yeshiva you wished you had attended, or sorely miss.
For more information about any of these programs or to be kept informed of upcoming shiurim and news from Online Smicha, contact [email protected] or visit OnlineSmicha.com.