Wednesday, May 28, 2014

From Kiryas Yoel to Law School! Inspiration for Israel's Charedim!

I think that hasidishe people should get more education and moreover, there are so many kids rejected from hasidishe schools for reasons that aren’t worth risking having them go off the derech. Parents and kids need to know that the world doesn’t end in Kiryas Joel or Borough Park and there are other options to explore. Hashem [God] knows what he is doing and the answer might be to find a different school,” Wagschal said.


"Kiryas Joel, NY - Take one look at Elimelech Wagschal and he looks nothing like the typical Yeshiva University graduate.  With his black payos and bekeshe,  the 22 year old Kiryas Joel man does not fit the classic Yeshiva University mold, yet he found his experience at the school to be nothing but a positive experience and he hopes that others who find themselves in a similar predicament will follow in his footsteps.

Despite being a straight A student from his earliest days in yeshiva, Wagschal found himself denied admission to Kiryas Joel’s yeshiva gedola.

“I could have gone to a different yeshiva, not in my hometown, but my family and I decided that the thing to do was to go to YU,” Wagschal told VIN News.

Given his minimal background in secular studies, Wagschal was hesitant to apply to Yeshiva University, and instead spent one year at Touro College where he earned straight A’s.  Buoyed by his academic success, Wagschal transferred to Yeshiva University, where he completed a degree in business management with an above 3.5 grade point average.

Although he came from a different background than most of his classmates, Wagschal found that he was accepted with open arms and felt absolutely no pressure to change in order to better fit in with YU’s student body.

“I am a very strong chosid and that is something that you are at heart,” said Wagschal.  “It isn’t superficial and a chosid can fit in anywhere. At no point in time did I ever have to compromise even a single drop on my values or beliefs.”

Wagschal, who got married last semester, made the hour commute daily from his home in Kiryas Joel to YU’s Washington Heights campus and he hopes that his experience will inspire others.

“I think that chasidishe people should get more education and moreover, there are so many kids rejected from chasidishe schools for reason that aren’t worth risking having them go off the derech,” explained Wagschal.  “Parents and kids need to know that the world doesn’t end in Kiryas Joel or Borough Park and there are other options to explore.  Hashem knows what he is doing and the answer might be to find a different school.”

Wagschal’s wife, parents and siblings were all in the audience at his graduation at the Izod Center on May 22nd.  Wagschal, who earned a full scholarship to law school, plans to resume his studies in the fall.
In an interview with VIN News, Rabbi Kenneth Brander, Vice President for University and Community Life and the David Mitzner Dean at Yeshiva University, Said Wagschal’s experience at the college was not atypical.
“Mr. Wagschal represent an idea at Yeshiva University, as well as for young women at Stern College, that they can grow in their Torah learning, in a Torah atmosphere and to be educated on the highest level so that they can blaze their own pathways as Torah Jews in the world.”


At May 28, 2014 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With you, I hope there can be some middle ground between haredim and other kinds of orthodox Jews.

CDG, Yerushalayim

At May 29, 2014 at 8:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
1 Iyar 5774 (April 30, '14)

"L’Shanah Haba’ah B'Yerushalayim"

Time is moving on and speeding up. I can’t say that we’re moving at the speed of light, but we’re moving on. It’s like a tank, a large tank that moves slowly but is very deadly and we are moving onwards forwards into the Nevuas of Hashem. Now we can see much more clearly what is on the horizon and if we look closely through our binoculars we can see clearly destruction and death, Shelo Naida.

We can see clearly how every single prophecy is coming true. On one hand it’s very frightening. On the other hand it gives us hope. It gives us hope that finally, finally we’re coming to the end of this terrible Golus; this most difficult time in all of our history, running from country to country every time the Goyim started killing us, trying to find a place where we could live in peace and worship Hakodosh Boruch Hu in every way without being attacked. We had to move from place to place and we had to reestablish ourselves financially so that we would have bread to give our children, our families. We suffered the fear of going upwards and then falling downwards in our spirituality. All of this will soon be over and it can be seen already with the naked eye, so-to-speak. Maybe we need the help of the binoculars, but we can see it already. We can smell the smoke of war and we can taste it as well.

We can understand now in our minds how two thirds of the world can be destroyed and we can be so depressed with this thought that we hopefully can forget our extreme Gashmiusdik world and decide finally to do true Teshuva. So I think my fellow Jews that it is time. It is time right now before the real troubles start. It is time to do Teshuva and to learn to depend only on Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Hashem is giving us many incentives for this, and many ways to learn to come so close to Him, so that you will fear nothing but Him. It’s our job to start to learn, how to be true Avdai Hashem and Ovdai Hashem. I hope and I pray that all Am Yisroel, every single one of Am Yisroel, will take my message seriously and stop with all the nonsense that most of you are occupied with. Push it all aside. See it for what it is – emptiness, and come closer to Hashem which is everything, all-encompassing, which is totally spiritual in nature and come close to the only Truth which is so absolutely Divine, so absolutely beautiful and pleasant and wonderful and all-encompassing that you will soon forget the hard grimy materialistic world and be swept up in the beauty and the holiness of the spiritual world of Hakodosh Boruch Hu, Hakol Yachol, the Creator of all existence.

Can you just imagine looking up and seeing the third Bais Hamikdosh looming above us, inviting us to come and bring Karbonos, finally after so many years? Can you imagine that? It will turn from a dream to reality, but we have to really desire this. We have to really long for it in order that we will also be Zoche to be part of it. L’shana Haba’ah B’yerushalayim, Yerushalayim Habenuyah!

Sefiras Haomer this year, is part of the countdown. We are going now from slavery to freedom and we are going to see many miracles on the way so between when we began counting until Shavuos there will be many changes in this world, difficult changes. It will be hard to understand maybe for many, but in the end all of the pieces of the puzzle will be put together and we’ll see a clear vision of what Hashem wants from us. We will also be aware of what this distorted world has taken away from us. Everything will be clear, pristine clear, clear as can be. We will have no doubts. We will trust Hashem completely.

I feel that Lag Baomer this year is going to symbolize the end of a certain way of doing things. I feel that things are going to change drastically after Lag Baomer, in Eretz Yisroel and generally in the world. We are looking for tremendous changes after Lag Baomer, and by Shavuos and after Shavuos, tremendous changes.


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