Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Blog !!

This blog is outdated !

Wanna see what's new at Sharfman's ?

This is a link to our current blog :


Enjoy !

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All Good Things Must Come To An End

To the roughly 2,000 people who visited these pages - Goodbye and Thank You !

Your feedback, your enthusiasm, your responsiveness are things that will be treasured always. I am thrilled that this blog was able to share so much and reach so many in such a short period of time - proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the BTI spirit is as indomitable as always.

I will sorely miss this and any other zany project that has been sent your way - my only wish is that we all continue to assimilate the goodness that was achieved into our personalities and into our actions.

Wishing you Hatzlacha Rabba in all your endeavors,


Rabbi Yoav Druyan
the (formerly phantom) BTI Reporter

p.s. please keep in touch !
ydruyan at gmail dot com

Monday, July 2, 2007

We Will Be Strong !!

Just a few pictures and an mp3 of the shiur from Lisa Okun's pow wow "How to stay strong in America" ( featured previously on the BTI Blog! ).

Enjoy !

- Regards from BTI

Friday, June 29, 2007

Everyone's Gonna Be There !!

On Sunday, July 1st. At 9:30 pm at the Ohr Naava Seminary at 2201 East 23rd Street Brooklyn, NY 11229. HaRav Dovid Oratz will speak - the title - "Could Rav Yochanan Ben Zakkai have saved the second Beis Hamikdash"

It promises to be an enlightening evening.

Comments from excited alumnae who were contacted include :

"OMG, OMG, OMG ....."
"I'm, sooo excited - this is sooo great - I can't wait"
"aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh ....."
"That's incredible, I mean amazing, I mean ..... wait, this isn't going on the blog, is it ?!?!"

********************** Coming Soon *********************

Last week's shiur and general pow wow at Lisa Okun's - caught on tape ( mp3, whatever ) and a special thank you to Shira K. for editing the file and getting it over here.

'till next time,

- Regards from BTI

Friday, June 22, 2007

Food, Folks and ... ( you thought I was gonna say fun - didn't you ? )

Well, the feedback is in.
Last Thursday the Grand Gala Gezunt fest at dougies was a huge success ! According to several eyewitnesses - there was enjoyment everywhere.
Mrs. Fuld spoke about the value of Torah while Tziporah Rabinowicz ( BTI '03-'06 ) introduced the graduates to an entire spectrum of chessed and worthwhile activities that are available in their areas.
The general consensus preferred the fire-poppers to the wings, but all acknowledged the ribs as king.
Much excitement is also building up towards the new alumnae pow-wow at the house of Lisa Okun.
The address is 75- 08 172nd St. in Hillcrest, NY. The activities start at 7:30 pm.

We would like to post pictures - but WE HAVE NONE ! If you have good pictures please email them to SharfmansAlumni@gmail dot com !

Monday, June 18, 2007

With these words - we send you out into the world !

Banquet for the shanna betters was a lavish affair ! There was everything you could imagine in a banquet - food, inspiration, food party hats, food, in short, everything !

At the the real Shanna Bet Banquet (not pictured so as not to flaunt the fancy catered affair, tzniyus, you know. ) Rabbi Sharfman gave words of chizzuk and vision.

Part of his message to the graduating students focused on how we accomplish goals in our life and what role siyaata dishmaaya plays.

And the best news is ... it's the newest added shiur on the right taskbar !

Listen and enjoy !

Hope you're having a great summer !

- Regards from BTI

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Shout out to Mrs. Fuld !

This Thursday night ( June 14th ) at 8pm the right honorable Mrs. H. Fuld will be leading an evening of gala fun and misty memories at the extremely fancy Dougies BBQ of Brooklyn ( 18th Ave ). More details ( about Dougies ) available at their web site www.dougiesbbq.com.

It promises to be an unforgettable evening !

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Banquet Series Part II

The Best Medicine ...

As always, to balance out the seriousness, the BTI Banquet is resplendent with humor. This year was no exception. The sister tag team of Miri & Liba Loeb kept up a lineup of humor that had us rolling out of our seats and into the aisles !
Pictured here is Liba getting some last minute advice from Rabbi Kahane on exactly how the upcoming jokes would affect the kabbalsitic powers of spirituality in the room.

The skits were a rousing success - as you can see !

The real challenge, however, was for Rabbi Sharfman to try to keep a straight face while Shoshi Goldstein returned for an encore of her arab cabdriver routine ( with Rabbi Borinstien portraying a shana alef'er ). We were all pleased to see Rabbi Borinstein's character give up on her several boyfriends and in general mature. The cabbie, though, seemd to be getting worse - he actually sold a wife ( Sara Manasseh ) and made it onto the CIA's most wanted list, again.

And so we wish the cabdriver the best of luck and bid continued hatzlacha to all.

Still to come - banquet part III, IV and beyond !

in the meantime ...

- regards from BTI

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Banquet Series Part I

Flash, Work, Transcendence.

Those were the ringing words of inspiration from our very own Leiku Perles. In an emotionally charged speech, Leiku postulated that life is a series of challenges that take this pattern. Flash - the initial inspiration and motivation behind any project that we choose to undertake. Work - the day-in-and-day-out grind that has to happen before our dream can become reality; the actual making it happen. Finally, Transcendence- the incorporation of this accomplishment into ourselves. A moving on, if you will, without leaving it all behind.

"Our year in Israel", she said, "takes this form."
"The flash was when we decided to come here, to Sharfman's".
"Mine took place when speaking to a friend. I challenged her, 'What do I have to lose by not going to Israel - nothing!' "
"You have everything to lose", she replied, "you have yourself to lose"
"Then the work."
"The months of classes, projects and Beis Medrash that forced us to live up to that flash.
Finally, the transcendence. Taking this year and re-creating ourselves to include all we've gained."

"However, we can also see the greater cycle. This whole year is a great big flash. We have made a decision to live a certain type of life, the life of an eved Hashem. The work comes when we get off that plane and move on with life. And the transcendence, that is the final transcendence from this world."

Inspiring words ... a challenge for all of us to take to heart.

- Regards from BTI

Sunday, June 3, 2007

It's the end of world as we know it ....

The last day of classes is upon us ! Aieeeeeeeeeeee !

End of the year sentiments are always tearful. We've had reports of students crying (unsubstantiated - but probably true) even teachers (Rabbi Borinstein, you're just a big softie!)

In particular, Mrs Haymann ( BTI '90-'07) was seen dabbing several tears off her face while saying "I just want to teach them all summer, is that so wrong ?".

[editor's note - In reality, when approached for a quote Mrs. Haymann said "whoohoo" but we thought that the aforementioned was nicer to put in]

I think the real feeling of the day was best expressed by Sarah Bain ( BTI '05 - '07 ) and Tamar Gafni ( BTI '05-'07 ) "There are some alumni out there who have really made it - they were able to really stay strong" "I really hope I can be one of those people".

[editor's note - "really"]

- Regards from BTI

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New Shiur !

Rav Orloweck - Feeling the Pain Of Others

On the sidebar ( thataway --> )
just click to listen

- Regards from BTI

Monday, May 28, 2007

My Shavuos

By Tzippy Kay

Yom tov started out with a meal at the Sharfman household where something fun and exciting is always going on. (It just gets a bit embarrassing when 7 year old Ezzy knows more answers to the Shavuos questions than you do).
The holiday continued with some learning in the Beis Medrash, followed by three inspirational speakers. Rabbi Kahane, in particular, impacted us with his message of the cyclical nature of the Jewish calendar. He said that on Shavuos we are actually reliving the receiving of the Torah - and just like the occasion at Har Sinai - Hashem goes around and asks us if we want to accept the Torah. The question in our times, therefore, is whether we are willing to give up all of the follies and other things that interfere with us truly connecting to Hashem? This definitely lead to some soul searching in all of us.

By 4:30 am we started walking to the Kotel. The scene was indescribable! The closer you got to the Old City the bigger the crowd swelled. Streams of people became rivers of Jews all heading for one spot - it reminded me of Aliyah L'regel. You really felt like you were part of a bigger picture. When I saw the crowd at the Kotel - filling the plaza all the way back and up into the stairs - I really felt as if I, personally, was accepting the Torah again - it was the perfect culmination to a night of learning and preparation. I will cherish the memory always.

(picture not taken on Yom Tov - duh !)

- Regards from BTI

Monday, May 21, 2007

Greatness !

The BTI Blog has received over 150 visitors in the past 5 days !! You guys are great !!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I know it seems backwards ...

I know it seems backwards that a symposium on tzniyus should be publicized ... but we'll do it with subtlety and taste.
This annual event here at BTI is an in depth look at a topic that focuses on the shallow ( or rather on how to avoid shallowness in our personal conduct ).
A highlight of the symposium ( or "yom iyun" as we call it ) is the panel that is addressed with all sorts of questions.
We caught up with Mrs. Chana Silver, the event's organizer, while drinking her second cup of coffee ( "only two so far", she mentioned, before sheepishly adding "it's only 10:30, though.").
"This yom iyun is fantastic !" she said " it's really enlightening to discover the many different dimensions of tzniyus - it's really a way of life as opposed to a dress code."
Mati Buchsbaum ( BTI '05-'06, '06-'07 ) pondered aloud "I really appreciate the new self awareness I'm learning - the lectures are interesting and thought provoking." Whereupon a nearby student commented - "provoking ? I thought you were gonna say provocative - that would be totally against the point !"
Other common quotes by students were :
"great", "amazing", "incredible" and, of course, "Hey, Breakfast is great !"

ahhhh life at BTI goes on - just like you remember it ....

- Regards from BTI

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Different Sides of the Beis Medrash

The Lighter Side :

The Brighter Side :

- Regards From BTI

Thursday, May 10, 2007

בין אדם לחבירו by Jeanie Bryskman

We are in the midst of ספירת העומר . Each and every one of us is called upon to make an effort to achieve the goal ואהבת לרעך כמוך.

There are so many instances in a single day where we either blurt out something hurtful that we don't mean, or say something caring that could "make someone's day."

Once, a student and a teacher studied a פירוש together. The young woman read a long paragraph an when she finished, the teacher "happened" to comment: "Wow, it was such a pleasure to hear you read. You did a beautiful job!"

YEARS later, that student came back to tell the teacher, "I have to thank you. I always had a reading problem, but I once read something to you and you complimented me on my reading." (The teacher had no idea that there was a reading disability- she wasn't her regular teacher.) "From that day on," the student continued, "the wall fell down and I never had a reading problem again!" Astounding - what a few kind "unintentional" words can do!

There's a story about the Chofetz Chaim. A young man went off the derech and started smoking on Shabbos. The Chofetz Chaim called him in for a "talk," and after awhile, everyone saw the change. There was so more smoking on Shabbos and the man became a בעל תשובה גמור.

Years later, the story was told in America of how the Chofetz Chaim had such a powerful impact on the bochur, yet no one knew what the Chofetz Chaim had actually said.

After the drasha, a man approached the speaker and said, "I was that bochur!"

"What was it that the Chofetz Chaim said to you?" asked the speaker.

"He didn't really say much. He took my hand in his and kept repeating through his tears, 'Shabbos! Shabbos!' His holy tear touched my hand and it has been burning me ever since!"

Know the power of a word!
The כח of a tear!
The השפעה of a smile!

- Regards from BTI

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Lag BaOmer in Meron !

As part of another splendid, all-out, two day tiyul extravaganza, BTI went north ! Lag BaOmer in Meron was described as being "an intensely holy experience." Pictured here are some of this year's Shana Bet as well as several onlookers ( who are no doubt basking in the reflected kedusha of either Rashbi or BTI Shana Bet ).

The tiyul also continued to Amuka, burial site of the Tanna Yonason ben Uziel. After parking the bus, the driver got up and stretched his legs - while the bus rolled a bit
back up the hill !! Again the power of kedusha gravitation defeats physics. Wow.

More photos and tiyul testimonials ( there are unconfirmed reports of a wading pool that gave the ability and inspiration to burst into song to several Shana Alef-ers ) coming soon ....

- Regards from BTI

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Inspiration !

On the bulletin board this week :

"Before you utter a word - you control it, once you say it aloud - it controls you."

When I cornered Rabbi Sharfman at the coffee machine and asked for inspiration while I balanced one leg ( I don't have such great balance ) - I got this quote :

"It's never too late to become the person you'd like to be"

- regards from BTI

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"How Do You Feel About Torah ?"

The survey results are in !!!

In a brief poll around the Beis Medrash students were asked, point blank, "How do you feel about Torah ?"

A few answered a shy "good", some an enthusiastic "great !". A few "I love it"'s were heard.

A popular sentiment was echoed by a student who tiredly replied "good, but I haven't had my coffee yet - so it's not as good as it could be (or my ability to grasp it's goodness is severely impaired right now)"

Pouring over a Ramban, one student expressed that Torah is "the focal point of your life" before going back to her learning, while her chavrusa reflected that Torah "can be misconstrued - [one learning Torah] needs guidance".

When was the last time we asked ourselves how we feel about Torah ? When was the last time we did anything about it ?

-Regards from BTI

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's here !!

Just to give you a heads up on all the wonderful things that are going on here at BTI !!

Check back often for new posts - pictures - and clips of the inspirational Torah and wonderful student life here in SeminaryLand. Enjoy.

This is a chance for parents to tap into their daughter's experience and for Alumni to recharge and plug into a source for all things good and holy - 27 rechov Yam Suf.