Dear Aish Family,
As I was traveling this week in Pennsylvania, someone made a well intended comment about Aish that fell short of its mark. Many people recognize me from this email and when we start up a conversation they almost always tell me about their history with Aish. It is hard to meet any Jew that does not have an Aish connection; whether it was attending a Discovery Seminar or visiting Aish.com every Friday in preparation for Shabbos, it seems every Jew has an Aish connection.

This young man approached me and exclaimed, “you’re the “Aish guy,” (a title I wear with pride). I told him that I was indeed the “Aish guy” and we started to talk about Aish. He said “I love you guys. Especially how you are so focused on Kiruv.” I told him that we are indeed focused on reaching out to our Jewish brothers and sisters who have limited Judaic knowledge. Yet, our focus does not come from obsessing with outreach.

Aish HaTorah was built by Rav Noach Weinberg zt’l around the core message of “Taking Responsibility.” We believe that a Jew must look around the world, explore what needs to get done, and get it done!

It is in this vein that I am so proud of the students of our Yeshiva. They started an initiative this week to take the extra food from Aish and bring it to the needy people around the Old City of Jerusalem. Given that Aish HaTorah serves well over a thousand meals a day, we specialize in leftovers.
This is the leadership philosophy that we instill in our students. If you see a problem and no one is stepping up to solve it, then it becomes your responsibility. Our talmidim (students) saw that there were hungry people just down the street from Aish and they took it upon themselves to request the extra food and handle the distribution.

It would have been much easier to just pass the issue off to a food bank. Except for the fact that access to the Old City is not simple. So Aish took responsibility. May the Almighty bless our students and all of you with the drive and desire to “Take Responsibility” for making the world a better place.

Good Shabbos!

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