July 23, 2024
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Avreichim in Pinsk, Belarus Spend Vacation Taking Dirshu Tests

One of the greatest manifestations of the ideal of “Netzach Yisrael lo yishaker—The eternal nature of Yisrael will never cease,” are the seeds and blossoms of Torah growth in the former Soviet Union. After more than 70 years of communist, dictatorial rule, Torah is once again being learned there. Even more impressive is that in Belarus, just miles away from Radin, the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim—both his Mishnah Berurah and Shmiras Halashon—are being learned daily in the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’ Halacha program. Moreover, an entire group of yungerleit is also taking the Dirshu tests monthly! Who would have believed that communist, atheist, Russian-born and -educated Jews would be devoting a significant part of their day to learning Mishnah Berurah and reviewing it numerous times so that they—like their counterparts in Eretz Yisrael and all over the world—can take the monthly tests?

Today, in the city of Pinsk there are about 300 Jewish families. Most are not shomrei mitzvos. In the yeshiva in Pinsk there are 12 avreichim and four bochurim, nearly all of whom learn and take the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha tests.

This month, Dirshu’s hanhala received an unusual request from the Dirshu chabura of Pinsk. “Because at the end of the secular year in Russia,” began the query, “the whole country goes on vacation, we have extra time to learn. Would it be possible for us to learn ahead [during that time] and next month take the test on the material for both Chodesh Teves and Chodesh Shevat?”

Yes! The Dirshu learners of Pinsk want to use their free time on vacation to go further and dedicate themselves to better learning and reviewing the Mishnah Berurah.

This is the degree of dedication of the lomdei Dirshu who live in Pinsk, Belarus, all of them baalei teshuvah! What a profound Kiddush Hashem!

By Chaim Gold

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