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Dirshu Embarks on Third Machzor of In-Depth Kinyan Halacha Program

There is a thirst for yedias Halacha, for knowledge of in-depth Halacha, in klal Yisrael that defies the imagination. Thousands of yungeleit, numerous entire kollelim, have undertaken to join Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha program. Kinyan Halacha is Dirshu’s in-depth Halacha program that serves as a foundational learning syllabus that ultimately produces legions of poskim muvhakim. The third machzor began this week.

This past 29 Nisan/April 25, Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha program held its final test, completing the second machzor of its five-and-a-half-year Kinyan Halacha program. Nearly 1,000 talmidei chachamim who have been toiling over the most intricate sugyos in horaah over the past five and a half years and taking comprehensive tests as well as chazara tests every half year have now completed the program and have amassed the tremendous amount of knowledge that will enable them to serve klal Yisrael as poskim muvhakim for decades to come.

In addition, for those who have finished the five-and-a-half-year program that covers all of the major areas of horaah, Dirshu also has an advanced second-track five-and-a-half-year program of Kinyan Halacha where additional important sugyos in Halacha from Yoreh Deah, Even Ha’Ezer and Choshen Mishpat will be learned with the trademark attention to detail, constant chazara and testing. Thus, the lomdei Kinyan Halacha who began with the first machzor in 2006 have now completed 11 years of sustained halacha b’iyun!

HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, a talmid muvhak of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, rav of the Ohr Hachaim neighborhood of Bnei Brak and posek of the Mayaanei Hayeshua Hospital, related that in the 11 years since its inception, the Kinyan Halacha program has wrought a transformation in the way Halacha is learned in kollelim the world over.

“Certainly, before Kinyan Halacha there were many kollelim learning Halacha and horaah, but it was often not done in an orderly, comprehensive fashion. It was possible for a yungerman to learn with great diligence in a Halacha kollel for 10 years and still not possess the clarity in the corpus of Halacha needed to become a moreh horaah. Yes, he learned everything necessary with hasmada and iyun, but not in the proper order, not with constant chazara on what he had already learned, nor with constant tests. Thus, even though he had learned everything he did not retain it in a way that he could use it to pasken. What Kinyan Halacha has done,” continued Rav Klein, “is that it has infused the learning of Halacha with clarity and seder. Each area of Halacha is learned comprehensively, it is reviewed and there are tests every half year. On every test, in addition to questions on the new material, there are questions on the material previously learned and tested as well. Budding poskim who participate in the program become cognizant of the tremendous responsibility not just to learn with diligence but to constantly review. It is clear that in the zechus of Dirshu’s Kinyan Halacha program there are hundreds of talmidei chachamim who have become truly proficient in the halachos that they have learned.”

Before the program’s inception in 2006, when HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l, was presented with the details of the Kinyan Halacha program by Dirshu’s hanhala led by its nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, he was extremely impressed saying, “…Learn [Halacha] with Tur and Shulchan Aruch, for these are the essentials of [gufei] Torah.” He went on to recommend that an optimum way to learn Halacha is by learning the Tur with the Bais Yosef’s commentary prior to learning Shulchan Aruch. In this way, one can discern how the halacha evolved into the final psak halacha of the Shulchan Aruch. Learning in-depth and following the trajectory of the halacha from the Gemara through the Rishonim, the Tur with Bais Yosef and onto the Shulchan Aruch with its commentaries provides a person with the gufei Torah, the essentials of Torah. This was the message that Rav Elyashiv imparted. At that time, Hagaon Harav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, and ybl”ch, Hagaon Harav Nissim Karelitz, shlita, also enthusiastically hailed the program.

Rav Shmuel Wosner played an instrumental role in guiding the program from its inception, even giving the pesicha shiur together with Rav Nissim Karelitz in the month of Nisan 2006 at the Heichalei Malchus Hall in Bnei Brak.

At a recent gathering marking Rav Wosner’s second yahrzeit held at the home of Rav Shmuel Wosner and attended by his son and successor HaGaon HaRav Chaim Wosner, shlita, rav of Zichron Meir and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, together with a number of his most prominent talmidim including HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, rav of the Ohr Hachaim neighborhood of Bnei Brak and posek of the Mayaanei Hayeshua Hospital, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita, the av beis din in Rav Wosner’s beis din and a dayan in Vizhnitz, and HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, rav of Western Bnei Brak. These giants of Torah and horaah reminisced about Rav Wosner’s role in setting forth the hashkafa upon which the program was based.

In addition, Rav Shmuel Wosner’s impact in transforming the world of psak was highlighted. Rav Wosner’s son, Rav Chaim, was asked how his illustrious father was able to have such a profound impact on the world of psak. Rav Chaim answered, “The fundamental principle that my father established and that his great talmidim sitting here have continued is that there is no motive other than actually trying to pasken the halacha. He never received any reward for his piskei halacha. He never took any money or had any ulterior motive other than ‘What is Hashem’s desire? How do we rule on this through the prism of Hashem’s Torah?’”

Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern was asked about the deep bond that Rav Wosner had with his talmidim and the secret of his ability to connect with his talmidim and groom so many poskim. Rav Shmuel Eliezer replied, “The Gemara says, ‘If one sees a student who is having difficulty understanding or explaining what he has learned, the reason for this is that his rebbi is not smiling at him and encouraging him.’ Our rebbe, Rav Wosner, infused us with such love, with such encouragement! He cared about us and worried about us, akin to the way a mother treats her child. The love that he infused in his talmidim created an unbreakable bond between us and him.”

As the lomdim in the second machzor took their last test this past 29 Nissn/April 25, Dirshu’s hanhalah has been overwhelmed by requests to join the third machzor of Kinyan Halacha that begins this week, Rosh Chodesh Iyar.

According to senior Dirshu hanhalah member Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, over 3,700 people have signed up for the third machzor!

As Dirshu embarks on the third machzor of Kinyan Halacha and scores of elite talmidei chachamim join the comprehensive halacha b’iyun program, Rav Wosner’s great talmidim expressed their deep satisfaction that their rebbe’s effort into helping launch the program and the trust that he placed in Dirshu to properly execute his wishes has resulted in a tremendous revolution in the world of limud Halacha and will ensure that klal Yisrael will have the halachic guidance that it needs.

By Chaim Gold

 

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