Rabbi Mois Navon
Yeshiva Mercaz Harav Kook
I first learned of Livnot through my then-to-be wife, Deena nee Laufer, who had done a Livnot program and was very enthusiastic about its positive influence on her view, Jewish beliefs, and practice. After we were married, we came to Israel to learn for a year, and our first stop was Livnot where we took on the role of madrichim for program T24. We were both at the beginning of our journey back to Judaism and Livnot provided us with a fresh and relevant approach.
In spite of our being at the beginning of our journey, I had spent the prior 3 years reading quite a bit about Orthodox Judaism, slowly incorporating it into practice and so we were Shomer Shabbat when we arrived for our year of learning. This put me in a position where one might apply the aphorism, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” That is, I had certain views about Judaism, and though I might have had a hard time defending them, I believed them exclusively. This got me into heated discussions with participants and teachers alike. My passion was wholly welcomed, and I was able to work through much of my “raw” philosophy. Aharon especially helped me think through numerous “thorny” issues with his signature sound and subtle responses.
Though I am a computer Engineer by profession, I have always been passionate about Jewish learning and teaching. From the time I started learning, I also started trying to teach (informally). This drive to learn and teach has brought me to the place I am now, where I have recently received semichat harabbanut, and I also teach a weekly outreach class at my place of work (you can see the topics and source sheets on my web site: www.divreinavon.com). There is no question that the attitudes and approaches I learned while at Livnot helped me to apply myself in these venues.
Yeshivat Mercaz Harav Kook
Originally published in the booklet Livnot Chevre-Rabbis, 2009