Every day, the talmidim of Yeshiva Ketana of Long Island spend hours poring over their chumashim, mishnayos, and gemaras under the guidance of their rebbeim. This past week, the talmidim had the opportunity to learn Torah from another community leader and Torah voice: Rabbi Eytan Fiener, the new morah diasrah of West Lawrence’s historic White Shul.
At the yeshiva, the rav spoke to the talmidim about gemalim, or camels. The parshios of Sefer Bereishis are full of references to women, such as Rivka Imeinu and Rochel Imeinu, watering camels or riding on camels.
The students were mesmerized as Rabbi Feiner elaborated: The loshon hakodesh word for camel, gamal, shares its root with the word for giving, as in gemilus chassadim. With each mention of a gamal that is tied to one of our imahos, the Torah alludes to their tremendous capacity for giving and gemilus chessed. And our talmidim know that this level of giving is not limited to our imahos, who serve as role models to all women, but to all mothers who work to emulate our matriarchs.
“It’s important for our talmidim to learn in our classrooms,” says Rabbi Zvi Bajnon, menahel of the yeshiva, “but it’s equally important for them to learn from the rabbanim and gedolim in the shuls and yeshivas around us. We are so happy that they heard Rabbi Feiner’s words of Torah and that they see him as a role model in the community whom they can follow. We hope that the students take the lesson that he imparted and give their mothers, true gomlos chessed, real hakaras hatov for all that they do.”