Gedolei Yisroel express joy and excitement over new program.
(Courtesy of Dirshu) This past Rosh Chodesh Iyar, history was made in klal Yisrael, as the Dirshu Chaburas Shas iyun kal program was launched beginning with masechta Bava Kama. This program enables avreichim to become proficient in the entire Shas with a wide-ranging knowledge of Gemara, Rashi, Tosafos and the primary rishonim and acharonim b’iyun. The program covers an amud a day, two and a half blatt per week, placing avreichim on a trajectory where they can complete Shas with iyun kal, in a matter of 20 years!
Last week, senior members of Dirshu’s hanhala led by Dirshu Nasi Rav Dovid Hofstedter, visited numerous gedolei Yisroel, including HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, shlita, rosh yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva; HaGaon Chacham Shalom Cohen, shlita, rosh yeshivat Porat Yosef; the Sanzer Rebbe, shlita; and HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, rosh yeshiva of the Chevron Yeshiva.
Rav Dovid Cohen: “Keep on enriching klal Yisroel with programs that encourage limud haTorah at the highest levels!”
An indication of the importance that Rav Dovid Cohen attaches to the program is that he met with the hanhala of Dirshu, although as was widely reported, upon his return to Eretz Yisroel from America, he was hospitalized with heart difficulties. He spent Shabbos in the hospital and underwent the procedure early the next week. After returning home, he insisted on not rescheduling the appointment and held a comprehensive meeting with hanhalas Dirshu. Rav Cohen has been instrumental in giving guidance and spending untold number of hours helping to design the program.
Rav Cohen was extremely pleased to hear that the special kuntress published by Dirshu each month with maarei mekomos of the primary rishonim and acharonim on the sugyos being learned in the Chaburas Shas program has been extremely well received by the, some 2,000 participants. In fact, the Rosh Yeshiva expressed his tremendous satisfaction that there has been such a demand to join the program. The program is not an easy program, it was hardly advertised and still there is such a demand!
Indeed, not only are the members of the program using the maarei mekomos and related material but so many have contacted Dirshu’s hanhala with ha’aros and questions on the kuntress. This shows how much they are involved in the program.
Rav Cohen was also pleased to hear that the program has become accepted among the many different sectors of klal Yisroel—Ashkenazim, Sefardim, yeshivish types and Chassidim.
Rav Cohen related, “This type of program is one that will be mosif v’holech. It is so well structured and fills such an important need that you will see that these 2,000 new participants are just the first offering. It will go far beyond that.”
Rav Cohenconcluded by saying that creating this program and offering it to klal Yisroel is an incalculable zechus and zikui rabbim. He then gave the hanhala of Dirshu his warmest bracha saying, “Hashem will give you tremendous hatzlacha and siyatta d’Shmaya. Keep on enriching Klal Yisroel with these wonderful programs that encourage limud haTorah at the highest levels!”
Born at the Recent Dirshu Convention
The Chaburas HaShas program was announced by Rav Dovid Hofstedter at the siyum melava malka of the most recent Dirshu convention this past Chodesh Adar in the main ballroom of the Armon Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut.
He said, “Amonthly tests on all material learned.” fter much consultation with numerous roshei yeshiva and with the bracha of the gedolei hador, the consensus is that we need to start a new program, a program of limud haShas b’iyun. It has been our minhag to announce new Dirshu programs at the culminating melava malka of a unique Dirshu Shabbos. Tonight, we are be’ezras Hashem, launching the new Dirshu Chaburas HaShas Initiative! The basic structure of the two-track program will be: Track I Gemara, Rashi and Tosafos. Track II Gemara, Rashi and Tosafos with ikker rishonim and acharonim. The program will require learning one amud a day, five days a week with Friday and Shabbos consecrated for chazarah. Of course, there will be
The Sanzer Rebbe: “You don’t need my bracha! Torah is the greatest bracha!”
The visit with the Sanzer Rebbe, shlita, in Netanya was also a fascinating one. Rav Hofstedter related that the Rebbe told him that his father, the Shefa Chaim of Sanz, would say that learning Gemara is the neshama of klal Yisroel. “This means,” said the Sanzer Rebbe, “learning with iyun. Even if a person is devoting much of his time to learning in-depth halacha, he should never neglect the learning of Gemara because that is the neshama of klal Yisroel.”
When the Rebbe was asked to give his bracha to the new program, he of course gave his enthusiastic bracha but commented, “You don’t need my bracha. The Torah itself is the greatest bracha. You can’t compete with success and Dirshu already has a track record of success with their various programs that strengthen limud haTorah among all segments of klal Yisroel. Indeed, it is important to continuously create new programs. Thus, someone who has already participated in one program can progress to an even more challenging program. So many people want to learn iyun. Many have already completed Shas on a more superficial level and want more. There are others who find it hard to learn superficially. This program will provide new goals for so many.”
The Rebbe then added that creating new goals for which to strive bring out latent strengths that were buried. “So many more hours of limud haTorah are added when someone participates in a program with a defined goal and tests. When a person has a goal, he finds hours in the day that he didn’t realize he had. I remember,” the Rebbe then reminisced, “my father, the Rebbe, zy”a, would rail against the fact that Fridays and motzoei Shabbosim when there was no official seder were being squandered. He created all kinds of programs to ensure that those hours would be properly utilized.”
“Dirshu has done a remarkable thing,” the Rebbe concluded, “They have been instrumental in ensuring the Divine Promise that ‘Torah will not be forgotten among Yisroel.’ That itself brings the greatest bracha!”
Rav Shalom Cohen: “Ashreichem!”
When Dirshu’s hanhala came to visit Rav Shalom Cohen in his apartment in the Old City of Yerushalayim to tell him about the new program and ask for his bracha, Rav Cohen was very pleased and said, “Not only do you deserve a bracha but I must also give a bracha to those who are actually learning in the program. I give them my bracha that they should learn the material and know it! Hashem should help you to merit increasing Torah learning in the best way possible!”
With tremendous warmth, Rav Shalom Cohen concluded, “May you succeed through these programs in infusing cheshek, desire for learning so that they will want to learn and learn and keep on learning.