Jerusalem—In honor of the beginning of Elul Zeman at the Acheinu Yeshiva for Baalei Teshuvah in Yerushalayim, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Hevron Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, recently participated in a pesichas hazeman event—a siyyum on the entire Masechta Kesubos.
Rav Cohen, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, and Rabbi Zev Hofstedter, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Acheinu, tested the bochurim on the Masechta. Last year the bochurim spent their bein hasedorim finishing the perakim in the masechta they were unable to learn during the yeshiva’s regular sedarim. In addition to weekly tests, they also took a final, massive test on the whole masechta on the first day of Elul Zeman. As the bochurim, all baalei teshuvah from non-religious homes were taking the written test, Rav Dovid Cohen and Rav Dovid Hofstedter entered. Rav Dovid Cohen began to test the boys orally starting with the beginning of the masechta and hopping around, asking questions from all its parts.
The smiling countenance of Rav Cohen showed how pleased he was with the knowledge that the bochurim displayed. The siyyum was made by one of the talmidei hayeshiva. After Kaddish, the entire room erupted in song and dance. The simcha of Torah was tangible. Fathers, brothers and uncles of the bochurim, first cautiously joined the circle of dancers and then were swept up in the unique simcha shel mitzvah.
Another pesichas hazeman eventtook place at the Acheinu Yeshiva Ketana in Kiryat Sefer, an absolutely unique mossad. Whereas the Yeshiva Hakedosha in Yerushalyim is for baalei teshuvah who hail from irreligious schools and backgrounds, the yeshiva in Kiryat Sefer is for bochurim who have graduated the Chinuch Atzmai network of schools from communities throughout Eretz Yisrael. They are religious boys who have learned Gemara in school but who come from homes, neighborhoods and backgrounds that make it difficult for them to undergo the transition to a regular yeshiva ketana.
The yeshiva mainstreams its bochurim, enabling them to graduate into some of the best, most coveted yeshiva gedolos in the country. The highlight of the event was the shiur pesicha on Masechta Sukkah delivered by Rav Dovid Hofstedter—an in-depth, intricate shiur on the masechta to 200 bochurim, who in a q&a session, precipitated a remarkable give-and-take.
Rav Michoel Berlin, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Acheinu Yeshiva in Kiryat Sefer, said, “Seven years ago, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, asked Acheinu to open the yeshiva stating that there was a dire need for such a yeshiva and it would save hundreds of boys from attending regular high schools. At the time, we never dreamed of the size, scope and success that the yeshiva would be. Today, elite yeshiva gedolos are asking for our bochurim. That is the Acheinu revolution!”
By Yosef Sosnow