Yeshiva Toras Chaim/Toras Emes Academy of Miami
Yeshiva Toras Chaim Spotlight
Welcome to the first edition of the new YTC Spotlight! Reading the Spotlight is a great way to keep up with all the goings-on here at YTC.
Message from Rabbi Mordechai Palgon, Rosh HaYeshiva
We see an interesting phenomenon in Sefer Yonah.  It is the only time in all of Nach, where a Navi is commissioned to admonish a city of non-Jews.  There is no mention of K'lal Yisroel whatsoever.  If so, why is it included as part of our Kisvei Kodesh?
The Radak answers that Sefer Yonah's inclusion was indeed intended for K'lal Yisroel.  The story of Sefer Yonah teaches us that Ninveh, a city of non-Jews, capitulated and that the people were chozer b'tshuva after hearing tochacha from the Navi, Yonah, just one time.  This would serve as a model for K'lal Yisroel, who had received multiple warnings from the Naviim to no avail.
There is an amazing message here for us!  What Naviim were unable to accomplish - despite being the great tzadikim and teachers that they were - could be accomplished merely by seeing somebody else - even a city of goyim - do it first.  We see from here that exposing and surrounding ourselves with good role models is paramount for our growth.
For decades, Olympic runners competed unsuccessfully to break the 4-minute mile.  In fact, an Australian named John Landy in 1950 ran the mile 4 times in 4:02 minutes.  With doctors at his side explaining why it was humanly impossible to break the 4-minute mark based on small lung capacity and wrong skeletal structure, he said "It's like a brick wall"; that it couldn't be done.
Yet in 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile.  And just 46 days later, John Landy - the man who declared it "humanly impossible" - did it.  Within 24 months, over 400 runners broke the 4-minute mile.  Of particular note is that this was accomplished without any changes in training, eating habits or field conditions.
As we are mekabel the Chag of Succos, let us surround ourselves this year with proper role models.  We will inspire ourselves - and others - to do more chesed, to learn more and to daven better.
Wishing you all a Chag Someach!
Rabbi Mordechai Palgon 
D'var Halacha by Yaacov Entin, Grade 12
As heard during our morning D'var Halacha from Rabbi Binyomin Luban, Rosh HaYeshiva
Here in Florida, thunderstorms occur frequently.  Upon seeing lightning, one should recite the brochah of  "Oseh Maaseh Breishis", and upon hearing thunder, one should recite the brochah of  "Shekocho u'Gevurasoh Molei Olam".

If they occur within the short time frame of "Toch Kdai Dibbur", meaning that the thunder is heard immediately after the lightning, then only the brochah of "Oseh Maaseh Breishis" should be said over both the lightning & thunder.

If the clouds haven't cleared, halacha defines it as one storm even if it doesn't rain continuously. Consequently, no new brochos need be said. An exception to this rule is when the storm continued through the night, in which case one should recite new brochos upon hearing thunder and seeing lightning in the morning.
Yeshiva Happenings
Our new Z'man is off to a great start. The Kol Torah has returned to our Yeshiva and our classrooms are again filled with young men who are growing in Torah and middos tovos. Yeshiva enrollment has grown tremendously over the past few years and is currently at an all-time high. We now have close to 100 students in our high school and over 65 in our Bais Medrash. Our High School Dormitory program has also expanded to accommodate additional students. Our students hail not only from South Florida, but from all over the United States and overseas as well.
Rabbi Dovid MayIn order to accommodate this influx of students as well as to enhance our ever-improving academic program, we have recently acquired several outstanding faculty members. The Yeshiva proudly welcomes our new High School Rebbe, Rabbi Dovid May. Rabbi May was an extraordinary High School Rebbe at the Chofetz Chaim branch in Brooklyn before assuming the position of Educational Director at the Hebrew Academy of Palm Beach. He moved to South Florida two years ago with his wife Ayelet and their 3 children - Mordechai, Sari and Ada. Rabbi May, who gives the 11th grade shiur, has a true love for chinuch and for being a Rebbe. The Yeshiva is very excited to have him on board.

The Yomim Noraim are truly inspiring here at YTC. The Yeshiva kicked off this season of renewal with our Motzei Shabbos Selichos Program on the first night of Selichos. The young men started the Yemei Selichos with Shiuri Torah from their Rabbeim and a Mussar Shmuess from Rabbi Binyomin Luban. Rabbi Luban stressed to the more than two hundred  people assembled, that good intentions are not enough; that one must take positive steps to bring himself to teshuva.

Many talmidim joined the Yeshiva for davening on Rosh HaShana. Many found participating in the Tefilos in their own makom Torah, with their Rabbeim and chaveirim, to be an uplifting and inspiring experience.

One of the hallmarks of Aseres Yemei Teshuva at YTC has been a session with Rabbi Gedalya Glatt. Rabbi Glatt has been inspiring our talmidim with yearnings for teshuva before Yom Kippur for more that two decades, and this year was no different. He wove the words of Chazal and poignant vignettes into a tapestry that was delightful for the ears and stirring for the soul. He challenged the talmidim to deal with others not as they act toward us, but rather, to deal with them as Hashem acts toward us - with unbridled chessed and compassion. Rabbi Glatt's wisdom seems to be surpassed only by his wit, and we hope he continues to inspire us for many years to come.

Secular Studies Update
Welcome back to all of our returning students and families, and welcome as well to all of you joining us at Yeshiva Toras Chaim for the first time. The high school is experiencing record enrollment this year, more than doubling in size over the past six years! This has allowed us to create additional class sections and introduce new courses. As we grow, we are determined to maintain the high level of personal attention and care for each of our talmidim that has come to be identified with Toras Chaim. 

The record enrollment has also allowed us to increase the hours of two popular teachers from part to full-time. It is wonderful to have Mr. Michael Aquino and Mr. Billy Richardson join Mr. Mark Agenor, Mr. Aaron Gillego and Mr. John O'Toole as full-time Secular Studies faculty. Rounding out the teaching staff are Dr. Adalberto Burke, Mr. Gary Feilich, Mr. Alfonso Livingston and Mr. Michael Shuman.  Under the dedicated and talented leadership of Secular Studies Principal Rabbi David A. Levine, the professionalism, creativity, dedication and stability of our Secular Studies staff is one of the great strengths of our Yeshiva.

We await with much anticipation the completion of the current phase of our school renovation project. The imminent return to the renovated wing will provide us with a brand new science lab, newly-furnished spacious classrooms and faculty offices, a remodeled High School Bais Medrash/Auditorium and a greatly expanded Media Center and Computer Lab. The students and teachers will all benefit from the new facilities. We are especially looking forward to the availability of the new Media Center for individual and class study and computer time, and the use of our growing reference and circulation collections in both Judaic and Secular studies.

Immediately after Yom Tov, all of our 10th and 11th grade students will be taking the PSAT exam. In each of the past four years, at least one of our students has placed in the National Merit Scholarship Competition as a commended student, semi-finalist or finalist. Baruch Hashem, our quality program and serious learning environment enable students to attain significant levels of accomplishment in all curricular areas.

The new school year is off to a strong start. We hope and anticipate that the momentum and inspiration of meaningful Yomim Tovim will carry over after Yom Tov and throughout the year. We encourage a high level of communication between the Yeshiva and the home, and look forward to sharing news of our continuing progress and accomplishments throughout the school year.
Wishing you all a Chag Someach!
Upcoming Events
Everyone is invited to our Annual Simchas Bais HaShoavia/Succos Experience on Monday evening, October 5th at 8:30 PM. Please join us for much ruach, dancing, live music and refreshments.

Our annual Hoshana Rabba Alumni Shiur will take place Thursday night, October 8th in our Bais HaMedrash. The Bais Medrash will be open for learning, and a Shiur will be delivered by one of our Roshei HaYeshiva. The program begins at 9:00 PM.
Rabbi Dovid Sharfman's Sunday "Rise and Learn" shiur will resume Sunday, October 19th. Come for Shachris at 7:45 AM followed by refreshments. The shiur begins at 8:45 AM and concludes at 9:45 AM.