Dear Aish Family,
It is hard to describe what a Yom Kippur prayer service is like at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah. In our Beis Medrash (Torah study hall) you will find those that have prayed at Aish for the last 40 years and those that are experiencing their first Yom Kippur. Admittedly, I split my time between the Western Wall, which I found personally inspirational and the Yeshiva. I want to relate one conversation that I had post-Yom Kippur with one of our new students.
At the end of Yom Kippur we all went out to the Yeshiva terrace to break our fast. I saw one of our new students standing to the side. I approached him and asked him how his first Yom Kippur was. His response taught me a lesson that I will never forget.
The student said with tears in his eyes I want to thank you and Aish HaTorah from the bottom of my heart. I came here from a very limited Jewish background. We weren’t anti-Jewish per say, we just didn’t know anything about it.
When I came here and took the Aish Discovery Seminar I realized that I had a Father in Heaven. I didn’t know what that meant or what the ramifications were but I understood that I needed to learn more.
I continued on to the Aish Essentials beginners program and I quickly realized that I had a lot of catching up to do. I continued to study yet I was still struggling with connecting to G-d.
Today, on Yom Kippur, you have given me the ability to speak to my Father in heaven in a way in which my soul had, unbeknownst to me, always been yearning to do. I feel such a deep connection to the Almighty that I need to make sure it stays with me for the rest of my life. Aish gave me this gift and I will always treasure it.
I was left dumbfounded. No truer words have ever been spoken by a Jew. While we all know that we have an Almighty Father in heaven we need to learn how to talk to him. How to rely on him. How to cry out to him. This is what prayer at its basic level is all about. As Jews, we have so much to ask our Father for. May we all have the power and passion of this young Aish student to continue to talk and love the Almighty.
Click HERE to see the video of Selichos at the Kotel from the Aish HaTorah Dan Family World Center.
Monday night was the last night of Selichos before Yom Kippur. There were tens of thousands of people from all over the world coming to say Selichos, prayers of forgiveness at the Kotel. Aish HaTorah was at the epicenter of it all as Galei Zahal, the army radio show broadcasted live from the rooftop of the Aish HaTorah Dan Family World Center to tell the world about the incredible energy that was going on by the Kotel.
Rabbi Yehuda Weinberg hosted the head officers as well as the Minister of Interior Defense along with other head officials of the country on the rooftop during the Selichos services.