May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Beit Midrash of Teaneck Exceeds Learning Expectations

We all know the miracle of Chanukah. We also know that dreams do sometimes come true.

In the case of the Beit Midrash of Teaneck, which only began several short months ago, both dreams and miracles are taking place. Twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., approximately 50 men, many of whom who have not entered a beit midrash for a significant number of years, are now rejuvenating themselves by attending shiurim. Shiurim presented by renowned rebbeim, learning b’chavruta with marei mekamot, with translation provided both online and on paper, has contributed to the success of the program. The Beit Midrash was born and cultivated by local residents Carl Feit, Lenny Grunstein, David Jacobowitz, Simcha Katz and Tim Levart. Their hope was that the retirees in the community would avail themselves of this opportunity. It appears that the Beit Midrash has surpassed their wildest dreams in its success thus far, and perhaps that success can itself be considered a miracle.

The days are divided into three modules. First in the morning is preparation with a chavruta, followed by an interactive Gemara shiur in Masechet Brachot led by Rabbi Ronen Dvash, a rebbe at Heichal Hatorah. That is followed by a rotating group of scholars composed of local rabbis or other YU rabbis teaching halacha or hashgacha. The final part of the morning is a shiur given by Rabbi Chaim Angel on Ezra. A schedule is provided informing the “talmidim” of who will be giving the shiurim and what the topic will be, providing them with the necessary marei mekamot.

The fulfillment of a real miracle took place on the first day of Chanukah in the Beit Midrash. It was on that day that the bachurim from Heichal Hatorah’s upper classes welcomed the “retirees” to their beit midrash. After the younger bachurim prepared together b’chavruta with the seniors, everyone listened to a shiur given by Rabbi Michael Parness, rebbe at Heichal Hatorah, on the topic of Chanukah. Many of the elder members of the group were startled at the similarity that Rabbi Parness has to his father Rabbi Yehuda Parness, who was their esteemed rebbe at YU for many years. His mannerisms and similarities brought many happy memories to the fore.

Prior to and after the shiur the opportunity arose for the younger talmidim to question the older “talmidim” with whom they had learned about what they did “after” their days of learning: what direction their lives had taken, how many years they had spent in the beit midrash prior to joining the real world, etc. It became a dialogue that touched many and in fact brought to mind that a miracle that had not been envisioned was taking place.

The senior beit midrash members expressed their extreme gratitude to Rabbi Stechler and all of the administrators at Heichal Hatorah for welcoming them so warmly to the yeshiva.

By Nina Glick

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