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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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“When we come upstairs after 120, we will be asked, ‘Where is the Shulchan Aruch, the Mishnah Berurah?!’ Dirshu empowers us to have and realize that dream of completing Shas and Shulchan Aruch!” exclaimed Rav Zev Smith at a recent Dirshu gathering in Flatbush.

Later this winter, lomdei Dirshu will be celebrating a major milestone with the Dirshu World Siyum marking the completion of the second machzor of six chalakim of Sefer Mishnah Berurah in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program, where a page of Mishnah Berurah is learned daily with chazara on weekends and monthly tests.

In preparation for the upcoming World Siyum, a remarkable chizuk event was held earlier this month in Flatbush in the beis midrash of Kollel Dirshu led by Rav Shlomo Cynamon. Prominent Brooklyn rabbanim together with Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggidei shiur joined to give chizuk to participants in the program and to celebrate the tremendous breakthrough that tens upon tens of thousands the world over are celebrating as they bring daily halachic observance into every aspect of their lives.

The event was addressed by Rav Shlomo Cynamon, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, nasi Dirshu, Rav Moshe Weinberger, rav of the Agudas Yisroel of Flatbush and R”M at Mesivta Shalom Shachne, and Rav Zev Smith, Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggid shiur.

The Rachmastrivka Rebbe: Dirshu Represents Achdus Through Torah

In addition, Dirshu’s nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, paid two special visits to prominent admorim in Boro Park, the Rachmastrivka Rebbe, shlita, of Boro Park and the Kossover Rebbe, shlita, to personally invite them to the upcoming Dirshu World Siyum. Rav Dovid was joined in both visits by Dirshu representatives of varied chasidishe communities in Brooklyn who have seen the transformative effect on their kehillos brought about by participation in Dirshu’s programs.

The first visit was to the zekan ha’admorim, the elder chasidishe Rebbe of Boro Park, the venerated Rachmastrivka Rebbe. The Rebbe received Rav Hofstedter with great warmth and went out of his way to thank him. Why? Because several of his own grandsons are avid participants in Dirshu’s programs and take regular tests. In fact, one of the Rebbe’s grandsons has taken tests on the entire Shas!

A fascinating talk ensued wherein the Rebbe showed his deep admiration for Dirshu serving as an organization that reaches the entire cross-section of Torah Jewry with participants representing many different chasidic groups, Litvish and yeshivish, American Yidden, Ashkenazim and Sefardim.

Rav Hofstedter then invited the Rebbe to the upcoming Dirshu World Siyum on the second machzor of the entire six chalakim of Mishnah Berurah in Dirshu’s popular Daf HaYomi B’Halacha daily Halacha and mussar program that will be held on March 3, at the Cure Insurance Arena.

The Kossover Rebbe:
‘It is Not a Segulah!’

Another fascinating, inspiring visit was that of the Dirshu leadership led by Rav Dovid Hofstedter to the Kossover Rebbe, Rav Shraga Hager, shlita.

Rav Hager, one of the distinguished Rebbes in Boro Park who deals with countless contemporary challenges in chinuch and shalom bayis in our communities, greeted Rav Hofstedter with tremendous joy and fondness. The Rebbe, with a warm smile, quipped to Rav Hofstedter, “You are putting me out of business!”

He then explained, “Sadly, much of my time is occupied with addressing shalom bayis issues between couples. I have found, however, that when a husband learns in a Dirshu program it is a solution to any shalom bayis problems. You see,” the Rebbe continued, “it is not a segulah, rather it makes utmost sense logically. A yungerman who learns in Dirshu and takes the tests is part of a structured program, thereby bringing tremendous structure and discipline to his life and promoting a deep sense of respect between the two spouses.”

The meeting concluded with Rav Hofstedter inviting the Kossover Rebbe to attend both the major World Siyum event in New Jersey this coming March and the earlier European event in Radin where numerous gedolim will visit the Chofetz Chaim’s kever and spend Shabbos in Vilna.

The Flatbush Asifa

At the Flatbush event for rabbanim and maggidei shiur, Rav Shlomo Cynamon, the host rav, opened the event by highlighting the tremendous kiddush Hashem being made by Dirshu throughout the world. He noted Dirshu’s global reach and the fact that Torah-observant Jews from all over are positively impacted by Dirshu’s programs. “Dirshu is truly a klal Yisrael organization!”

Rav Cynamon then gave over a powerful message about the commitment and obligation to Torah learning and Torah knowledge afforded by participating in Dirshu’s programs.

“...The secret of Dirshu’s success. The motif of Dirshu is commitment, not just to learn with a plan but to learn with a commitment, an obligation, a clearly defined plan. That obligation transforms a person and his family into a new metzius, creating simcha, hatzlacha and protection.”

Rav Hofstedter spoke about the importance of the upcoming siyum. “The siyum is important not only because it will celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of lomdei Dirshu for completing the entire Mishnah Berurah through sustained daily learning, but also in the message that it sends to all of klal Yisrael by expanding the borders of what it means to be a baal halacha and an ish halacha, for whom halacha observance permeates their very essence.”

Rav Hofstedter brought out a lesson from Avraham Avinu highlighting how bringing halacha into our daily lives and not making a move without thinking of the halachos that one must observe empower a person to bring the Shechinah into their daily lives. Halacha enables you to live with the Shechinah as Avraham Avinu did. “Our entire life, our every action at every hour and every minute is dictated by halacha. If we don’t learn halacha daily, we will not be able to live halacha daily.

“We must all strive to live with the Shechinah, to bring the Shechinah into our daily lives. Being part of the Dirshu worldwide movement and learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha in the Mishnah Berurah and the Chofetz Chaim’s other sefarim in the mussar portion of the program is all part of that mission.”

Rav Moshe Weinberger, rav of the Agudas Yisroel shul of Flatbush, said, “There is nothing that gives a person more clarity in what he is learning than knowing that he must take a test on the material. To really know halacha you must completely immerse yourself into it and take tests on it. It is such a chizuk to come to a Dirshu test and see so many who have learned with such clarity that they can take a test on what they learned! Rav Dovid,” Rav Weinberger ended, “I want to give you a yasher koach on behalf of klal Yisrael!”

The final address was given by Rav Zev Smith who concluded with a personal story. He was once compelled to take an unscheduled emergency trip to England. Jumping into a taxi, he dashed to the airport and made it to the counter with barely minutes to spare. The clerk asked for his passport, and it dawned on him: he had forgotten his passport at home! No describing how important his trip was could make the clerk change his mind. He would not be allowed on the flight without his passport.

“Shas and every halachah in Shulchan Aruch is our passport to Gan Eden!” Rav Smith thundered, “Lomdei Dirshu are the ultimate manifestation of “Ashrei mi shaba’ah l’kan v’Talmudo b’yado. As we approach the siyum on the entire Mishnah Berurah, we must thank Dirshu and its nasi for giving us the opportunity to reach this milestone!”

By Chaim Gold

 

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