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Bachurim Around the Globe Are Deeply Immersed In the Dirshu ‘B’Zechus HaTorah’ Program

Yes, a worldwide pandemic has infiltrated virtually everywhere…

Now, there is a worldwide antidote that is illuminating and firing up thousands of bachurim the world over!

The worldwide antidote? Dirshu’s “B’Zechus HaTorah” program that has been especially designed for bachurim who are living through the COVID-19 pandemic and desire a structured limud for the month of Av.

The program began on the first day of Av, and the way bachurim all over the world have taken to it, has been nothing short of remarkable.

“I must confess,” Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, a senior member of Dirshu’s hanhalah, related, “initially, I was not sure how successful this new program would be. For decades, Dirshu has been at the forefront of providing learning opportunities with comprehensive goals and monetary stipends. If anyone could succeed, they could. That being said, our bachurim have been through a lot in this pandemic. Many have not been able to attend yeshiva, and even those who have been able to have had their learning interrupted, suspended and disrupted numerous times. Now that Chodesh Av, traditionally the month of bein hazmanim, has arrived, I was wondering how much interest there would be.”

“What can I say? I am thrilled that my skepticism was unwarranted! Thousands of bachurim worldwide, literally worldwide, have joined the B’Zechus HaTorah program and are learning up a storm, listening to shiurim from some of the greatest roshei yeshiva and admorim in the world! They are having a summer of true shteiging.”

There over 100 chaburos of bachurim learning in B’Zechus HaTorah in communities all across Eretz Yisrael, but that is only where it starts. Bachurim throughout America are participating in the program as well as chaburos in France, London, Gateshead, Manchester, Argentina, Panama and yes, even Venezuela!

The program’s limud is Perek Keitzad Mevarchin, the sixth perek of Masechta Brachos, which is a very practical, geshmake limud.

Every weekday, the participants learn one amud of Gemara with Rashi and Tosafos, with Friday and Shabbos consecrated for chazarah. Thus, two and a half blatt are learned weekly, and all ten blatt of the perek will be completed by Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Another component of the program is the daily mussar learning with Dirshu’s Kinyan Chochma program. The limud is the fifth perek of Pirkei Avos, with the commentary of Rabbeinu Yonah and the sixth perek with the commentary of Rashi.

There will be a test on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, and Dirshu will be giving a very substantial stipend for excellent results.

Numerous gedolei Yisrael from both Eretz Yisrael and the United States have enthusiastically backed and encouraged participation in the B’Zechus HaTorah program. They have not just sufficed, however, with an encouraging word. They have shown the importance that they attach to the program that is in essence a hatzalah, a spiritual life jacket, for many bachurim by agreeing to give shiurim on the sugyos.

Every day a different gadol gives a shiur via telephone on a sugya in that day’s limud. For example, the venerated senior rosh yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, was slated to give a shiur on 14 Av. HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Ponevezh, gave a shiur on 12 Av, and the Modzitzer Rebbe, shlita, gave a shiur on the morning of erev Tisha B’Av. Other shiurim were given by HaGaon HaRav Boruch Mordchai Ezrachi, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Feinstein, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, shlita, and HaGaon HaRav Boruch Dov Diskin, shlita.

In America too, some of the most prominent roshei yeshiva and rabbanim are delivering shiurim. They include HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Miller, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Yissocher Frand, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Reisman, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Goldberg, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Felder, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Nissim Kaplan, shlita and the Nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita.

This is in addition to daily blatt shiurim given by Rav Chaim Weg and Rav Eliyahu Pam in English, and Rav Avrohom Shlomo Yavoh, the Lemberger Rav, in Yiddish.

Another amazing development was the special event held recently in France to launch the program. France is home to a very large community of bachurim who have been home for a long time. As is understandable, being away from yeshiva is not optimum for any bachur. Dirshu in France, however, arranged a get together of hundreds of bachurim in a large tent on the outskirts of France where they were addressed via video by numerous gedolim including HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Ponevezh, HaGaon HaRav Shraga Shteinman, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Orchos Torah, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, nasi Dirshu, and HaGaon HaRav Shimon Galei, shlita. The event was arranged by Dirshu’s directors in France, Rav Naftali Levi and Rav Shlomo Elhadad.

HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron, sent a special letter to be read at the event. He wrote, “I was so happy to hear that my dear friends Rav Naftali Levi and Rav Shlomo Elhadad are investing such effort to ensure that bachurim are remaining steadfast in their learning and their avodas Hashem. It is a tremendous mitzvah to bring together all the bachurim in France. No bachur should feel that he is alone, which in and of itself is a spiritual danger. Every bachur should feel that he belongs, that he is part of something great and important together with other like-minded bachurim.” Rav Dovid encouraged those who are able, to safely return to their yeshivos in Eretz Yisrael in Elul. Those who cannot, should discuss with a spiritual mentor the best way to spend the upcoming Elul zman in France.

Rav Shimon Galei addressed all participants in the worldwide program, saying, “It is such an important segulah to make brachos properly. It brings great bracha to the world. The way, however, to ensure that one invests proper kavanah in making brachos is by learning brachos. When one learns the perek Keitzad Mevorchin in Masechta Brachos, the importance of brachos penetrates his very essence.”

The words of Rav Shraga Shteinman, a son of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, made a profound impact and applies to all bachurim the world over. Rav Shteinman said, “We are living in very difficult times. Because of the upheavals of the coronavirus, and the fact that many bachurim were not able to be in their regular yeshiva setting, there was a rifyon, a weakening in limud haTorah among many. Not all the yeshivos and batei midrash are open and it is much harder to learn. Nevertheless, whoever strengthens himself and learns despite the adversity earns the reward of everyone. The Yerushalmi says, ‘If a person learns when everyone is neglecting to learn, he receives the entire reward that was designated for everyone!’”

Rav Baruch Dov Diskin, shlita, a rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Orchos Torah who helped design the program, related, “The carefully planned, constructed program by Dirshu is a great yeshuah for bachurei yeshivos. Every bachur wants to shteig, no bachur wants to have a yeridah, especially now during this difficult period for klal Yisrael, but the lack of a framework and the fact that so many of our bachurim are not in a structured environment means that a program such as this can be both a tremendous way to grow in Torah while serving as a profound yeshuah for bachurim.”

As the program enters its third week, Rav Diskin’s words seem almost prophetic.

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