Dear YULA Family,

“My nation” says Hashem to us in Yeshayahu (26:20), “Go! Enter your rooms and lock the door behind you. Hide out, for just a moment, until the rage has passed.”

Rashi tells us that this means that Yeshayahu was told to tell the Jewish people to retreat into their Shuls and Batei Midrashim . Rashi also cited the Midrash Tanchuma who says that this means to enter into the depths of one's heart and awaken feelings of Teshuva.

As is generally the case in Torah, these two approaches are both true. They are indeed two sides of the same coin. Learning Torah and focusing on Tefilah are all about becoming even better people, and more committed Torah Jews. “The whole goal of wisdom of Torah is Teshuva and good deeds!” ( Brachot 17a, see Rashi ad loc s.v. tachlis)

Much like financial analysts are speaking of how to make money when there is uncertainty in financial markets, those who are focused on spiritual growth must always attempt to seize any opportunity to find messages, methods and routes to spiritual growth in any situation. We must always be thinking “How can this experience in my life be one that fosters growth in my quest for spiritual enlightenment and connection to Hashem?”

“Lock the doors and delve into the study of Torah and Tefilah ,” says the Prophet! As our daily interactions with the outside world are dwindling, and our private lives begin to take center stage, what will truly comfort us and fortify us in ways that we need most are our Tefilot and our studying of Torah.

As a community, YULA High Schools, our students, faculty, alumni and families, are all invited and encouraged to participate in something truly meaningful. We will be completing Tanach and Mishnayot as a community, and hope that all of you will pick something to learn. Please choose something off of this spreadsheet to learn and learn it well; there is no rush. Learn it in depth! We hope to finish this learning by the 1st day of the month of Iyar, Shabbat April 25.

We look forward to completing this all together and celebrating this accomplishment as a community devoted to always growing in our faith and Judaism, no matter what comes our way! It is this dynamic spirit of the Jewish people throughout the ages, responding to challenges with renewed vibrancy and passion, always looking for how we can grow and thrive despite it all, that have kept our nation alive. It is the Torah that is the tree of life for all those who cling to it.

Shabbat Shalom and may we hear B'Sorot Tovot soon ,
Rabbi Joshua Spodek
Head of School
YULA Girls High School
Rabbi Arye Sufrin
Head of School
YULA Boys High School
Rabbi Elchanan Shoff
Rebbe
YULA High Schools
P.S. looking forward to seeing everyone at our Zoom Musical Havdalah this Motzei Shabbat (see flyer below)
YULA Girls High School | 310-203-0755 | www.yulagirls.org