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Spirit program offers yeshiva-style learning

May 2013 Spirit orientation at the Rabbinical Seminary of America in Queens, N.Y., with Rabbi Israel Becker (right) and three members of this year’s Spirit team (left to right): Nosson Yeshaya Schwartz, Yaakov Tokayer, Shlomo Zalman Minkowitz
May 2013 Spirit orientation at the Rabbinical Seminary of America in Queens, N.Y., with Rabbi Israel Becker (right) and three members of this year’s Spirit team (left to right): Nosson Yeshaya Schwartz, Yaakov Tokayer, Shlomo Zalman Minkowitz

The Southwest Torah Institute’s long-running Dr. Paul W. Hoffert Spirit Program returns to Tucson Sunday, July 28 through Friday, Aug. 9, at Congregation Chofetz Chayim.

The Spirit program offers two weeks of Jewish learning for Jewish men and boys, ages 8 and up. Participants may study virtually any topic of Jewish interest with Rabbi Israel Becker and five rabbinical students from the Rabbinical Seminary of America in Queens, N.Y. Subjects include the five books of the Torah, Talmud, the Prophets, history, ethics, prayer and Hebrew skills.

“The headline for this year’s advertising materials for the Spirit program is ‘Discover Gold — Don’t Bother, We Have Something Better‚ and It’s Free,’ emphasizing the value of Torah learning in our everyday lives,” says Becker.

“Psalms 119:32 tells us ‘The Torah… is better for me than thousands in gold and silver.’ This is a theme for all time and for all Torah learning,” he adds. “My mother, of blessed memory, always shared the European belief that when you come to America, the streets are paved with gold and you just sweep up the gold with a broom. In truth, the Torah is that gold. The Torah is open to every Jew. You take the Torah and its yours.”

The Spirit program offers yeshiva-style learning in a flexible setting, with sessions lasting 15 minutes to two hours. Participants may study individually or in a group. Morning sessions run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and evening sessions from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.

The program is sponsored by and dedicated in loving memory to Dr. Paul W. Hoffert, a long-time supporter and avid participant, with additional support from the Torah Umesorah-National Society for Hebrew Day Schools SEED program.

For more information and registration, contact Becker at 747-7780 or [email protected].