Who We Are
Smadar Yaniv

1. When were you at Hadar?

I was at Hadar twice. The first time was summer '10 , the second was the year program '13-'14

2. Where are you now (physically)?

I live in Oxford City, UK.

3. What are you up to now?

I'm up to lots of teaching and not enough studying.

4. Is there a beautiful piece of Torah from your Hadar days that you keep close to your heart?

Yes! This is one of the first pieces of Torah I learned at Hadar. It is a 'simple' Talmudic story about Rav Rehumey who used to come home to his wife from his studies once a year, on Yom Kipur. One year he got too excited about his studies and didn't return to his wife. She waited for him yet he didn't show up… I won't reveal the end of the story, but I'm attaching it here and hope you will read it yourself. It is an amazing story. The story becomes more and more relevant to me in the last few years, and I believe it is relevant to most of us in the point of life when the tension between the urge to develop a meaningful career and fulfil oneself, isn't always compatible with being a 'good' family person. The story has a very clear, sharp message (though the starting point, coming home once a year for a day to be with your wife, doesn't leave a lot of room for Rav Rehumey to make mistakes). Yet life itself is more complicated. The dilemma, anyway, is very much present.

This is as it is related about Rav Rehumi, who would commonly study before Rava in Mehoza: He was accustomed to come back to his home every year on the eve of Yom Kippur. One day he was particularly engrossed in the halakha he was studying, and so he remained in the study hall and did not go home. His wife was expecting him that day and continually said to herself: Now he is coming, now he is coming. But in the end, he did not come. She was distressed by this and a tear fell from her eye. At that exact moment, Rav Rehumi was sitting on the roof. The roof collapsed under him and he died. This teaches how much one must be careful, as he was punished severely for causing anguish to his wife, even inadvertently. (translation from Sefaria.org)

כי הא דרב רחומי הוה שכיח קמיה דרבא במחוזא
הוה רגיל דהוה אתי לביתיה כל מעלי יומא דכיפורי
יומא חד משכתיה שמעתא
הוה מסכיא דביתהו
השתא אתי השתא אתי
לא אתא
חלש דעתה
אחית דמעתא מעינה
הוה יתיב באיגרא
אפחית איגרא מתותיה
ונח נפשיה                                                           

5. If you could describe your experience at Hadar in one word what would it be (feel free to elaborate beyond a single word)

Different than anything else I'll ever do.

6. Can you tell us a little about your micro grant work?

My micro grant project was simple and fun. My husband Daniel (also a Hadar Alum '13-'14) and I organized a study group where we brought pieces of Tora on different subjects, very much like the one I talked about earlier. We tried to bring things that are relevant to our lives. We studied, talked about life and had a great time. The group was very multicultural with people from around the world with different backgrounds, which is very 'Oxford' like. It made our sessions exciting and sometimes stormy.