In celebration of Shabbos Yud-Zayin Tammuz, Yeshiva Torah Ohr of North Miami Beach enjoyed a Shabbaton led by visiting campus shliach Rabbi Odom Stein from Chabad at Stony Brook University, Long Island.
Rabbi Stein has developed a unique approach to “Living in the Moment” as a way to “live a life devoid of stress, worry and anxiety”, based entirely on key concepts in Chassidus, hisbonenus, and the avoda of being a “pnimi” as outlined in the sicha of Parshas Pinchas 5751.
He has been teaching this to students at Stony Brook University for several years, but in the last year, he developed it into a much more structured system of very accessible hisbonenus and formally taught over four hundred students in an eight-week program.
Rabbi Stein attributes the popularity to being a sign of the times: “With the popularity of the non-Jewish approach to ‘Living in the Moment” through ‘mindfulness’, teaching how to ‘Live in the Moment’ by being a ‘pnimi’ is a natural draw.”
Before Kabbalas Shabbos in Miami, Rabbi Stein arranged a collection of sichos for the bachurim to learn about how a pnimi “lives in the moment” – for whatever he does, he is “there” and there” alone – without thought or worry as to what will come next.
Elazer Kyazimov, age 28 from Sheepshead Bay, commented that, “After the ‘Living in the Moment’ class, I davened better – because every word is but one moment.”
After Friday night services, Rabbi Immanuel Storfer, the director of Yeshiva Torah Ohr, hosted a grand Shabbos seudah in his home, where Rabbi Stein farbrenged about the Friedieker Rebbe being the ultimate “pnimi” and demonstrated that with stories connected to the recent Chag HaGeulah of Yud-Beis/Yud-Gimmel Tammuz.
Shabbos morning Seder Chassidus was spent learning about how to do hisbonenus from the sefer “HaMashpia R. Shlomo Chaim” (p.292-293), culminating in a guided hisbonenus session focusing on how Hashem creates the world at every moment, this hisbonenus being the first step of the “Living in the Moment” program at Stony Brook. Many bochurim found that this hisbonenus helped them daven and put them in a better mood.
One of the new bochurim in yeshiva this summer, Yitzchok Peters, age 21 from Denver, found the hisbonenus very powerful. “After Rabbi Stein’s hisbonenus class, I was in a good mood the entire day.”
Mendel Karp, age 22 from Cincinnati relates, “In yeshiva, I heard a lot about hisbonenus, but I was never actually taught how to do it. Now that I’ve learned how to do it, this will help me internalize the message of Chassidus.”
After Shabbos, the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yisroel Geisinsky hosted all the bochurim for a Melave Malka in which Rabbi Stein continued the Shabbos inspiration by sharing Shlichus stories about working with students on campus, with a particular focus on stories of the students who have taken part in the “Living in the Moment” program.
Other noted Rabbis who have recently led Shabbatons, given shiurim, or farbrenged with the students this year are Rabbis Chay Amar, Manis Friedman, Ephraim Piekarski (Morristown), Leibel Schapiro, Yirsoel Spalter, and Michoel Seligson.
Yeshiva Torah Ohr is a full-time yeshiva open to students with a limited formal Jewish education seeking to discover the beauty of Yiddishkeit. The yeshiva currently has 25 bochurim, a mix of college-age kids growing in their Yiddishkeit and bochur-shluchim that help guide them in their growth.
For more information about Rabbi Stein’s approach to being a “pnimi” by “Living in the Moment”, see his website at www.RedefineTime.com. Rabbi Stein is available for Shabbatons and speaking engagements. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.