75-year-old earns 'smicha' from YU

Not every day do you become a rabbi - especially when you are 75.

bleich 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bleich 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Reuven Bleich got a haircut and bought a new shirt on Sunday for the occasion. Not every day do you become a rabbi - especially when you are 75 years old. After officially becoming Rabbi Bleich he said he had mixed feelings about the ordination ceremony. "On the one hand I was kind of swept off my feet by the whole thing," said Bleich, a father of six. "However, as an older man I have had a lot of significant experiences, and I wouldn't say becoming a rabbi ranks up there at the top. Besides, what is so special about taking so long to become a rabbi?" he asked. Bleich, who grew up in New York's Bronx neighborhood in a non-Orthodox home, was one of 32 graduates of Yeshiva University's rabbinic program who are living in Israel. The ordination ceremony, which took place at the university's Jerusalem campus, is part of a week-long Torah U'Mada Symposium. The symposium began over the weekend with a Shabbaton and culminates Thursday evening with the awarding of honorary doctorates to four recipients: Efrat's Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Bar-Ilan University President Moshe Kaveh, Victor Geller, who supervised rabbinic placements from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and Malka Bina, head of Matan, The Sadie Rennert Women's Institute for Torah Studies in Jerusalem. Approximately 3,000 Yeshiva University alumni live in Israel.