Chief rabbis, speakers from Orthodox spectrum in online study session

The event was organized by Yeshivat Hakotel and Rabbi Reuven Taragin, who expects upwards of 100,000 viewers to tune in to the online proceedings

yeshiva study  (photo credit: Courtesy)
yeshiva study
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Seven chief rabbis and at least 10 senior yeshiva deans, along with several dozen leading rabbis, rabbanits and lecturers from the modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities will all be delivering lessons in a massive online study event via video conference this coming Sunday.
The event is being promoted by several large Jewish organizations, including World Mizrachi, the Orthodox Union, the Aleinu organization the South Africa Chief Rabbi’s Office, Aish Latin America, as well as synagogues, yeshivas, seminaries and schools across the English-speaking world.
The event was organized by Yeshivat Hakotel and Rabbi Reuven Taragin, dean of overseas students at Hakotel and educational director for World Mizrachi, who expects upwards of 100,000 viewers to tune in to the online proceedings.
Among the participants are Israel’s chief rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and former UK chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks.
Some of the leading women lecturers in the Orthodox Jewish world will also be speaking, such as Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi, Rabbanit Shani Taragin and Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller.
The event has been scheduled for next Sunday to coincide with the new month of Sivan, the date on which the Bible records that the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai before receiving the Torah six days later, an event commemorated by the upcoming Shavuot holiday.
Most lectures and talks will be pre-recorded to avoid technical difficulties, although some will be live-streamed and many speakers will be present in online forums to answer questions at the end.
“There has never been an event when so many yeshivish [ultra-Orthodox] and modern Orthodox speakers from all over the world have all come together to speak in the same event,” Taragin said.
He explained that the specific date had been chosen because of an interpretation given by the famous medieval commentator Rashi to the verse in the Bible recording when the Israelites arrived at Mount Sinai, saying that they came “as one person with one heart.”
“The Jewish people are looking to come together right now and are looking to connect more with each other, because at a time when you are isolated and feel alone you naturally want to feel more connected,” said Taragin.
“No one is interested in what divides us, but instead want to see what unites us.”
Taragin said that the massive growth of online, live study programs and initiatives due to the COVID-19 pandemic have opened the door to such events and made people more interested in participating in them, as a result of the dearth of physical study opportunities because of the public health crisis.