On Tuesday, November 5, MTA’s sophomore Yeshiva Fellowship cohort and their mashgiach, Rabbi Pearl, had the incredible opportunity to tour the Passaic eruv with expert Rabbi Micah Shotkin. Rabbi Shotkin, who has built eruvs for communities across the country, explained the intricate laws of building and maintaining them. Each step taken presented halachot that gave talmidim a new and increased understanding of the eruv building process. Rabbi Shotkin showed talmidim the different places along the Passaic eruv where he had to be creative and blend the eruv into its surroundings. He also shared the tools he uses, including a laser to ensure that the measurements are exact, and allowed talmidim to try out the equipment. Rabbi Shotkin presented the challenges in building an eruv in an urban city and the tactics he uses to work around them, such as building part of the Passaic eruv using the inside of the local train station and camouflaging it to make it almost invisible. He also described the various stringencies and leniencies involved in an eruv and how he tries to incorporate all of the chumras when building an eruv in a community so that everyone feels comfortable using it.
Learning truly came alive for the talmidim, as they discovered the real life application of the eruv in this hands-on learning experience, which is unique to the Yeshiva Fellowship program, an exciting initiative that provides talmidim with additional opportunities to grow in Torah and to develop both communally and individually. Talmidim benefit from the personal guidance of a dedicated mashgiach for each cohort and also participate in special trips like this one, programs, shabbatons, and melave malkas. With the participation of Rav Hershel Schachter, distinguished posek and RIETS rosh yeshiva/rosh kollel, and Rav Mayer Twersky, esteemed RIETS rosh yeshiva and head of the Yeshiva University Masmidim Honors Program, Yeshiva Fellowship talmidim take full advantage of being part of RIETS, which includes following a special Halacha curriculum, hearing chaburot from other RIETS roshei yeshiva and a weekly night seder.
By Yaakov Weinstock (‘22)