Ariel David is studying at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah in Ramat Beit Shemesh. He grew up in New Rochelle and attended SAR for elementary school and high school. In the summers, he’s attended Kayitz BaKibbitz, a summer camp on kibbutz Shluchot just outside the of city Beit Shean, Israel. His family davens at Young Israel of New Rochelle.
His next stop? Cornell University.
Why did you choose to study at Lev HaTorah?
I chose Lev Hatorah because I felt like its location and surrounding community would be the perfect place to aid my personal growth.
What kind of goals do you have for the year?
Going into this year, my major goals were to improve my Gemara reading and comprehension abilities, as well as seek to further understand the core Jewish values that I have been taught my whole life.
What have been some of the highlights of your year so far?
A highlight of the year for me has been our three-day Negev Tiyul, during which we climbed several mountains in the Eilat area. However, what made the trip extra special was the fact that several different rebbeim joined us on this tiyul. By giving speeches and divrei Torah throughout our time there, the rebbeim made us truly appreciate the importance of the ground we were standing on and hiking through.
What kind of challenges have you faced coming to Israel?
I think my biggest challenge so far was getting used to the drastic schedule change from what I was used to in high school. Going from 40 minutes of daily Torah earning to about 7-8 hours a day was a huge adjustment. Thankfully, Lev HaTorah has done an excellent job helping adjust me into this new lifestyle.
How has your year been different from your expectations?
Lev Hatorah has blown my expectations out of the water. It was difficult at first, but they have really pushed me beyond my comfortable limits and have shown me how I can truly benefit from the result of hard work.
Where is your favorite place to go for weekends/Shabbat so far?
My favorite place for Shabbos has been arat HaMachpela during Shabbat Chayei Sara. Seeing every kind of Jew gathered at the resting place of our forefathers was truly an inspiring sight.
Who is a teacher at Lev HaTorah whom you connect to especially well?
I connect especially well with my morning Seder rebbe, Rav Cytrin. He has really opened my eyes to the beauty of the Gemara, and has taught me the skills to contemplate complex halachic arguments from differing points of views.
Which is one of your favorite classes at Lev HaTorah?
My favorite class this year has been learning the Kuzari with Rav Dudi Winkler. The Kuzari is a complex philosophical work written by Rav Yehuda HaLevi, and carefully unpacking its complicated messages and ideals has been one of the highlights of my day of learning since yeshiva has started.
What are you most looking forward to for the rest of the year?
I’m looking forward to becoming closer with my rebbeim as well as fellow talmidim, to create relationships that will last a lifetime.
By JLNJ Staff