Last week, the boys from Yeshivas Lev HaTorah in Beit Shemesh spent their last day before going home to America at Ashdod's gorgeous beach. Before they hit the surf, they came to visit me - all forty five of them with their Mashgiach, Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan. I spoke to them about taking Eretz Yisroel back home in their hearts. It's amazing to see what a year in Israel does for an American young man.
Before Shabbos, I received the following email from Rabbi Kaplan:
Dear Rabbi Lazer Brody,
On behalf of the Lev Hatorah staff and students, thank you for agreeing to speak with our students. The boys were inspired by your display of warmth, energy and simcha towards Avodat Hashem. Many of the boys remarked to me afterwards that this was the "best" speaker of the year.
It is rare to find a person who is a Chaddishe Jew and who has also served in Israel's elite forces.
Your "Mashalim" from the Army to Avodat Hashem were something that the boys will never forget. B'ezrat HaShem, they will be able to apply all these lessons in their day to day life in the future.
I was personally impressed how well you were able to relate to the guys. Although this is the first time you met our boys, you were able to display warmth and understanding of each guy, almost as if you had known them from before.
The boys were flying high after meeting you and will remember this for years to come.
I hope this meeting is the beginning of a close and ongoing relationship between you and Yeshivat Lev Hatorah.
Hashem should bless you and give you strength to keep on inspiring Klal Yisrael, using all the great talents that Hashem bestowed on to you!!!
Thank You Mikol Halev Hatorah, Mordechai Kaplan
Thank you, Rav Mordechai. Letters like this - as well as your blessings - are very dear to me.
It's easy to love the Lev HaTorah boys - they're the future of our people. If you have a son in high school that you'd like to see flower into a beautiful young man - inside and out - think about sending him to Israel for a year; you'll never regret it.