Shabbat Parashat Tzav| 5765
Close to four years ago, when we began Hemdat Yamim and explained the significance to us of P’ninat Mishpat, we brought the following two paragraphs of backgound. Eretz Hemdah has been running the kollel away from the public eye for 17 years. From time to time, it is appropriate to remind our readership about our mission. As we will mention at the end, at this time we have some very good news in this regard that we are proud to share with our readership.
The cornerstone of Eretz Hemdah is our kollel for dayanut (training Rabbinical Court justices). It is our conviction that a critical element in the further, spiritual development of the State of Israel is an effective Rabbinical Court system. Our core philosophy in educating young rabbis is that a rabbi (dayan or other) is a leader. For him to function best, there should be mutual respect between the leader and the community. This approach is reflected in our selection of kollel fellows (all I.D.F. members) and the fact that all of them volunteer weekly in a variety of communal activities serving a broad spectrum of Israeli society. Dayanim with such a background can more effectively bridge the gap with the general Israeli populace within the sensitive atmosphere of the Rabbinical Courts.
We regret that the practice of going to a din Torah (adjudication at a Rabbinical Court) to resolve disputes is avoided by most, and not because they are able to work out their disputes alone. Part of the blame belongs to the Rabbinical Courts, which have not succeeded sufficiently in representing the Torah in a more attractive way to society at large, while remaining true to halacha. Another major problem is the community’s lack of awareness and appreciation of the vitality and relevance of our timeless Torah laws to a modern society.
We just received the results to our young rabbis’ examinations at the Chief Rabbinate toward receiving the prestigious degree to enable a rabbi to serve as a rabbinical judge (kosher l’dayanut). The subject matter was all of Even Haezer, making the examination arguably the most difficult and important of the five tests. Out of the 23 of our students who took the examination, 22 passed (96%). The national average, excluding Eretz Hemdah, was 54%. More than half of our young rabbis received a high grade, compared to just over 10% nationwide. We wish the entire Eretz Hemdah family to continue fulfilling the charge of “yagdilTorah v’ya’adir,” to glorify the Torah and spread it.
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