July 23, 2024
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Amud HaYomi Siyum Rouses Mexico

HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi and HaGaon HaRav Raphael Abuchatzeira address massive united gathering of Mexico Torah observant community.

Festive dancing at the Dirshu Siyum in Mexico.

“What a special maamad of kavod haTorah! Dirshu’s siyum yesterday was without precedent in our community! It was a maamad that made an impact on many hundreds of people, who themselves will influence and impact many thousands, and spur them to advance their Torah knowledge, take tests on what they learn and enhance their yiras shamayim. I am so thankful to you and your entire team for the amazing work that you have done. May Hashem enable you to expand even more and enrich every makom Torah in our city with your wonderful programs.” Those words were sent by Rav Nissim Betech, Rav of the Monte Sinai Community, in a note to Rabbi Moshe Perets, Dirshu’s Mexican Director.

Rav Betech was referring to the tremendous kiddush Hashem and chizuk derived by the entire community of Mexico City at the recent Dirshu Amud HaYomi Siyum on Masechta Brachos held at the Camino Real Hotel in Mexico. The event was graced by guest Rabbanim, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Mir, HaGaon HaRav Rapahel Abuchatzeira, shlita, and Rav Dovid Hofstedter shlita, Nasi Dirshu. They were joined by tens of prominent local Rabbanim including Rav Avraham Shabot, Rav David Choueka, Rav Michael Perets, and Roshei Yeshiva, Rav Menachem Juni and Rav Shmuel Badoush.

One of the most gratifying aspects of the event was the fact that virtually every one of the city’s prominent Rabbanim came to the event and urged their kehillos to attend. Another treat for the community was the amazing musical inspiration presented by the phenomenal singing of Rabbi Baruch Levine and Rabbi Shlomo Cohen, accompanied by a large orchestra. The kumzitz at the evening’s culmination was a deeply moving, inspiring event. Simply put, the large crowd just didn’t want to leave, despite having already been there for well over four hours.

 

“A New Kabbalas HaTorah
For the Community of Mexico”

HaRav Avraham Shabot, shlita, Rav of Kehillas Keter Torah, one of the most prominent Rabbanim in Mexico City who leads a cheder and yeshiva with close to 1,600 talmidim addressed the crowd. Rav Shabot related that when he heard the mind boggling figure that more than 250,000 people have taken a Dirshu test since Dirshu’s inception, he said, “We are not that far away from 600,000. That will be more than the number of people at Matan Torah! This event,” said Rav Shabot, “is like a new Kabbalas HaTorah for the community of Mexico.”

The event was also addressed by HaRav David Choueka, shlita, Rav of Kehillas Aram Sovah, and HaRav Shaul Credi, shlita, Rosh Midrash Keter Torah.

HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, HaRav Raphael Abuchatzeira and Rav Dovid Hofstedter at the siyum in Mexico.

Rav Yitzchok Ezrachi: A Celebration of Amalei Torah!

A highlight of the event was the address by the venerated Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yitzchok Ezrachi. With great passion, Rav Ezrachi emphasized the paramount nature of ameilus baTorah, toiling in Torah. Chazal teaches us that Hashem is misaveh, has a taavah that Yidden should be amelei Torah. The Gemara tells us that a person cannot achieve selicha, forgiveness without toiling in Torah. That is what we are celebrating tonight! We are celebrating the myriad of people in this community who are amalei Torah!

 

Rav Raphael Abuchatzeira: “Torah Is What Unites Us All!”

The words of Rav Raphael Abuchatzeira also made a profound impact on the assemblage. Rav Raphael began his remarks by focusing on the tremendous achdus in the kehillah and how important achdus is. “It is very appropriate that this gathering is taking place during the week of Parshas Vayakhel,” he said. “Parshas Vayakhel is the only time in the Torah that we find that Moshe gathered the entire Bnei Yisrael together. When did Moshe gather them all together? When he erected the Mishkan. The lesson is clear. The central part of the mishkan was the Torah, the aron. Torah is what unites us all!”

Rav Abuchatzeira, a grandson of the Baba Sali and son of the famed mekubal Baba Meir Abuchatzeira, spoke not only about the importance of learning Torah but also about the importance of learning Torah b’kedusha. He explained how Torah learned b’kedusha has the ultimate potency. He said, “We live in a generation when there is such an assault on our kedusha, but when we possess yirat shamayim and learn to overcome these challenges, this enhances our understanding of Torah and the kedusha that we carry enables the Torah to have the maximum impact.”

 

Rav Dovid Hofstedter:
“Our Machatzis Hashekel
Is an Amud Yomi, Half a Daf!”

Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of Dirshu, gave a comprehensive address, wherein he straddled three languages, Spanish, Hebrew and English. With great pain, Rav Hofstedter asked a burning question. “We know that, boruch Hashem, in our time there is a tremendous increase in Torah learning all over the world. Perhaps there is more learning in Klal Yisrael now than at any time since the churban habayis. Torah, chazal teach, protects and shields us. Why then have we recently seen such a terrible massacre of Jews?! Why are we living in such challenging times of rabid antisemitism and violence against Jews? Yes,” he continued emotionally, “We are learning! The question is whether or not our Torah is being learned in a complete way. Are we learning Torah in a way that we truly want to understand every nuance, in a way that we want to remember it and retain it and have a true kinyan in it? Perhaps Torah fully protects only when it is done from the depth of the heart and with true ratzon?”

Rav Hofstedter ended with a charge and a challenge. “This week,” he explained, “we are leining parshas Shekalim where the passuk teaches us that every single Jew must give exactly half a shekel. The rich cannot add and the destitute can not minimize. Now,” Rav Hofstedter exclaimed passionately, “it is our turn to give a machatzis hashekel! What is our machatzis hashekel? An amud yomi, half a daf! The ‘rich’ person, who is a talmid chochom, should still learn the amud yomi! The ‘poor’ person, who is not a talmid chochom should also learn it, each person at his level! Let us take this machatzis hashekel and let us spread the Amud HaYomi from Mexico to Melbourne, from Montreal to Monsey. Let us forge a true inner bond with Torah from the depth of our hearts!”

Perhaps the words of Rabbi Moshe Perets, Dirshu’s Director in Mexico, encapsulated the impact best when he said, “Since the siyum, everywhere I go Jews stop me and say, ‘Wow! What a kiddush Hashem Dirshu made…!’ and then they add, ‘We want to join. How can we set up a shiur in our shul? How can I join Amud HaYomi and/or Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. I want to have a true kesher with Torah!’”

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