Memorial Evening 2022

As is our tradition of years past, we held a memorial evening for Etta Z'l, with Divrei Torah and a guest speaker. This year the lecture was held on Zoom on Motzei Shabbat Mishpatim, 29 January 2022.


Memorial Evening 2020

The Memorial Evening of Learning to mark the twenty-fifth Yahrzeit of Etta Ehrman Kossowsky z.l. bat moreinu haRav Zvi Ehrman z.l. was held on 22 February 2020 in Bet Shemesh.


Chanuka 2011

The Etta Kossowsky Fund News Update
Chanuka 5772/2011

Dear Friend,

I hope that you like the enclosed bookmark, professionally designed by my granddaughter, Aliza, and researched by two other grandchildren, aged eleven and thirteen.

bookmark - English bookmark - Hebrew

If you read the story on the English side of the bookmark, you will see that it is an example of the classic disputes between the students of Hillel and those of Shamai,  and that Bet Shamai is being more stringent than Bet Hillel. That is fine for a bookmark.  If you were to study the texts, you would find that there are two versions of the story, with a few significant differences.  To understand  the context, you would need to read around it, to look at comments made by Rashi and at the commentary on the relevant Mishna by the  modern commentator, Kahati. You would then be led to enquiring into the subject of Temple sacrifices, at least to the extent that they explain the text; all of this after you have found the meaning of several uncommon words and phrases. In other words, texts, certainly old texts, are not self-explanatory.  You may need the techniques of a historian, a linguist, perhaps a philosopher, to understand the message. Those are not the techniques that most of the women learning Torah use in their daily life. All, however, are more than happy to turn scholars for this purpose.

The rewards for this kind of research are certainly clear in the evident enjoyment of Rabbi Silberg's Gemara class in Jerusalem.  The current topic in Tractate Kiddushin is whether one may betroth a woman with something that has been dedicated to the Temple.  Can it be redeemed? Is it then yours? Can something exchanged for something redeemed ever be yours to use? The intricacies are endless.

Here a a few comments from some of the Etta Kossowsky Study Groups:

Sara, in Bet Shemesh, writes:
"This year the Givat Sharet group has taken the challenge of learning Ramban  in depth and his deep insights on events in the Parsha. We learnt about the fundamental concept of  'ma'asei avot siman  la banim', the deeds of the Fathers prefigure later events, an idea that recurs throughout Sefer Bereshit. In the near future we shall study concepts such as 'bechira chofshit', free will, in relation to Pharaoh and  'nisim nistarot ve nisim gelu'im', hidden miracles and overt miracles, which the Ramban highlights inSefer Shmot,  about the special 'hashgacha', Divine care, that exists in  Eretz Israel only, about the 'ta'amei ha korbanot', the reasons for  sacrifices,  and his famous  disputes with the  Rambam as well as  fundamental concepts dealing with questions of faith that run as a general  theme throughout Ramban's commentary."

Another group in Bet Shemesh, from Paula:
"The Nofei Aviv Etta Kossowsky Women's Shiur is continuing with our learning of Sefer HaChinuch. Each Shabbat a different talented  neighborhood teacher presents a mitzvah, adding her special insight to our learning. On special Shabbatot, such as Chol HaMoed or Shabbat Chanukah, the shiur takes a break from our regular learning of Sefer HaChinuch and learns a topic relating to that specific time of the year.

During the long summer Shabbatot as many as 20-25 women attend the shiur. When our Shabbat afternoon is shortened by winter 10-15 women give up their long Shabbat rest to come learn together. We all benefit from coming together for this very special shiur. We learn, shmooze, and even nosh a little. Newcomers are always welcome. The Etta Kossowsky Shiur is a very important part of our Nofei Aviv Shabbat afternoons."

I hope to read a few other reports at the annual Etta Kossowsky Evening of Learning, on February 18th, motzaei Shabbat Mishpatim.  I shall send out details nearer to the time, BEH.

As always, we thank everyone who has sent us the many donations that keep the Etta Kossowsky Fund going.

Chanuka sameach,

Esther Ehrman