Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

"So, You’re Frum?"

Yisroel Besser

Thirty years ago people expected Ponevezh protégé Rav Moshe Goldstein to become a rosh yeshivah. They just didn’t think it would be that kind of yeshivah. But Sha’arei Yosher didn’t disappoint him or his mentor, Rav Shach, and three decades later Rav Goldstein is still fresh and inspired — but with one stipulation for the changing times, to insure he has open hearts to work with: mind-numbing Smartphones are banned. Because if you’re plugged in, you’re out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The term “Shabbos clothes” is relative. If it means starched white shirts and pressed suits, then the bochurim in Sha’arei Yosher weren’t dressed for Shabbos. But if it means nicer than the weekday, with a clear attempt made at keeping button-down shirts tucked in, then they were Shabbosdig indeed.

Kabalas Shabbos had just started, and while a small minyan near the chazzan davened earnestly, many of the talmidim sat gathered around tables chatting. Others read books and a few sat by themselves, contemplating one thing or another.

But then, moments before Lecha Dodi, a current seemed to zip through the room, a palpable sense of anticipation. Chairs shifted, bochurim sat up a bit straighter, many rising to their feet.

Oy oy oy oy Lecha dodi …” The sound was full; everyone in the beis medrash joined to welcome the Shabbos. It was as if come the Seventh Day, it made no difference who they were, or where they’d been, during the previous six.

Sitting with Sha’arei Yosher’s rosh yeshivah, Rav Moshe Goldstein, I reminisce about my Kabalas Shabbos experience at this unusual yeshivah inJerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. “Yes,” he agrees, “Shabbos is special by us.”

Then he reaches into his briefcase and hands me a CD. Produced by the yeshivah, it features various Shabbos niggunim sung by the bochurim themselves. Later, when I put the CD into the player, I could still hear the same enthusiasm and vibrancy I’d experienced that Friday night. In their song, white shirts or stripes make no difference — what you hear is the eternal, unbreakable bond between each individual Jew, wherever he is, and his Creator.

And while Rav Goldstein isn’t in the music industry, he is in the business of revealing that bond, the force of a neshamah being prodded to wake up.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"