For the full story (and updates) see Chana's post, as well as this tehillim Facebook page.
In my own way of contributing, I will post some divrei Torah I heard from Rav Schachter and Rav Reichman the Shabbos of Chana and Heshy's Shabbos Sheva Brachos which ASoG and I had the pleasure of attending.
May the merit of these Divrei Torah, as well as all the other zechuyos being performed on Batya Shira bas Chasida's behalf bring her a reufah shelayma bimheira.
(Note: Rav Shachter's dvar Torah was from a parsha shiur given on Shabbos morning, while Rav Reichman's was spoken at the Sheva Brachos itself).
Rav Hershel Shachter on Parshas Shelach:
Yaakov Avinu asked for all the idols his family had in their possession and decided to bury them. Chazal (I think) ask why, especially if he had already had a non-Jew deconsecrate them, thereby making benefit from the statues and whatnot permissible. Rav Shachter explained (from I forget who) that Yaakov was being machmir. Why was he being machmir? Because he was out and involved in the real world, having interactions with people like Lavan – whenever you are out in the world and being part of society where harmful influences exist, that’s when you need more gedarim and to take on chumros to protect yourself.
The guys sitting in kollel and learning all day, surrounded entirely by an atmosphere of kedusha should be the most maykil ones, what do they need to be worried about? Today’s society is entirely backward, with the full-time learners trying to our-frum each other with unnecessary chumros, while many people out in business try to do the most minimum to get by halachically. Definitely something to think about.
Rav Reichman's Dvar Torah at Chana and Heshy's Sheva Brachos:
I, along with ASoG, had the distinct pleasure of attending the Shabbos night sheva brachos of Heshy and Chana (of Curious Jew fame). The entire celebration was absolutely wonderful, with Chana retelling the dvar Torah she gave at the wedding dinner, and everyone going around the table and offering words of Torah and bracha to the chosson and kallah. I particularly want to share the dvar Torah / bracha that Rav Reichman shared with us.
Rav Reichman noted, as had most everyone else, that the merger of the Bobov Chassidic Heshy and Modern Orthodox Chana is quite unique. Rav Reichman himself, as he explained is also a distinct Rosh Yeshiva at YU since he also embodies a distinct mixture of Chassidus and Modern Orthodoxy, which he indicated by pointing to the pictures of gedolim from both worlds (and then some) on his wall: A painting of the Shem Mi’Shmuel next to Rav Soloveitchik, The Lubavitcher Rebbe near Rav Kook, Rav Moshe Feinstein and others.
Rav Reichman said that in years past, the communities of Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Misnagdim, Yekkes, Chassidim, Bucharian, etc all lived in very separate communities and had nothing to do with one another. He recalled remarks he heard from Rav Soloveitchik about non-Chassidim’s view of Chassidim. The Rav said that the Jews in Lithuania were not big fans of the Chassidim and would not speak so fondly of them, but when he went to Germany, the then Hirschian Modern Orthodox German Jews said they felt they had more in common with the German gentiles than with Polish Chassidim!
Many people think that Yeshivish people have more in common with Chassidim than Modern Orthodox do. Both Yeshivish and Chassidim wear primarily black, whereas you see Modern Orthodox wear white (and other colots). In actuality, Rav Reichman said, Modern Orthodoxy has far more in common with Chassidim.
The roots of Chassidus, as founded by the Baal Shem Tov, is to go out into the world and find the sparks of holiness in everything that surrounds us. In other words, the intention is to elevate the mundane into the service of the holy. Modern Orthodoxy also believes that Jews should go out into the world, utilizing the secular/mundane and changing the world for the better, essentially doing the same thing. Those with hardcore Yeshivish beliefs are of the opinion that it is better to simply sit in the beis medrish and learn, ignoring the world at large.
Rav Reichman said we are zoche to live in an amazing generation. Since the churban of World War II, HaShem has very masterfully arranged two “chulent pots” of Jews; one in Israel and the other in America. In these two places, quite unlike what occurred in the past, all these different kinds of Jews from all sorts of different backgrounds live in close proximity – close enough to learn from one another. And that’s how it should be! Heshy and Chana’s union is a beautiful example of this. They are two people with very different backgrounds, upbringing, and experiences who have come together to build a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael.