Friday, January 21, 2022

Gedolei Yisrael Address Record Crowds at Major Locations in Eretz Yisrael,
Across North America, as well as sites in Europe, South Africa,
South America, Russia, and Australia

How is it possible to describe a kiddush Hashem of such magnitude, a kiddush Hashem that simply had to invoke rachmei shamayim, Divine Mercy. Approximately 30,000 people throughout the world—yes, tens of thousands!—took Dirshu tests this past Friday and Sunday. Think for a second. Many tens of thousands of Yidden have joined the ranks of being shoneh halachos b’chol yom by participating in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program and taking the first test in the Machzor Sheini that began at the beginning of this past month of Nissan. Tens of thousands of bnei Olam Haba learned a daily daf of Mishnah Berurah this past month and reviewed to the extent that they could take a test. If that is not a colossal kiddush Hashem that has the power to invoke rachmei shamayim and immeasurably enrich Klal Yisrael, what is?

“I walked in and what I saw was a davar niflah, a wondrous occurrence. Such a rabbim, so many people, taking tests on halacha! It is not a simple zechus. We are living in the time of geulah. The Gemara says that Ben Dovid, Moshiach will come on Sheviis or Motzaei Sheviis, in a Shmittah year or right after a Shmittah year.” These were the heartfelt words of HaGaon HaRav Dovid Schustal, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, upon seeing legions of lomdei Dirshu taking tests at the Dirshu testing site in Lakewood, NJ.

Converging on the Worldwide Testing Sites in Droves

In Eretz Yisrael, where tens of thousands have joined the family of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, the extent of the way that Klal Yisrael has embraced Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is clearly visible.

In Bnei Brak as one came close to the hall was filled with an ocean of Bnei Torah surging towards the Dirshu testing center, the Armanot Chen Hall. The cavernous room was rapidly filling up with a never-ending stream of people taking their seats around the tables, test papers before them. Thousands of people were assiduously filling out their tests as the air buzzed with the quiet hum of knowledge being transferred from mind to paper. HaGaon HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, a close talmid of Rav Wosner addressed the assembled, after which Rav Dovid Hofstedter rose to speak. In Kiryat Sefer the HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Finkel, shlita attended.

In Yerushalayim many thousands gathered at the cavernous Belzer Hall in Kiryat Belz, and at the Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok Beis Medrash where HaGaon HaRav Tuvia Weiss addressed the assemblage. On the surface, Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok was a replay of the other sites, except that the men wore the striped kaftan of the Yerushalmi Yid and conversed animatedly in Yiddish. Outwardly different in appearance, there was nothing different about their obvious appreciation for Dirshu’s style of learning and the place of prominence it occupied in their lives.

One thing was obvious.

Dirshu knows no borders.

Exponential Rise in Participants Worldwide

Similarly, in America and Europe as well, Dirshu has seen an exponential rise in Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learners and test takers. Nearly 500 tests were taken at that Boro Park site alone!

Monsey, Williamsburg, Flatbush, England, France, South America, South Africa, Russia, and Ukraine similarly experienced tripling, quadrupling, and often more of test takers as Daf HaYomi B’Halacha began its Machzor Sheini—embraced by all of Klal Yisrael in its diversity with tremendous love and dedication.

“Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is a Constant Companion a Constant Connection to Hashem”

In Boro Park, when the test was at its peak, the test takers merited a visit by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, who delivered short words of Torah and brachah.

In his words, Rav Hofstedter hailed the beauty inherent in the fact that Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is something that lomdim constantly have on their minds. They learn it in every spare minute, before davening and after davening, bein hasedorim and during lunch break at work, at night, before supper, after supper. “It is a constant companion, a constant connection and gift to Hashem,” Rav Hofstedter said.

Rav Hofstedter also visited the Flatbush site in the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway. Rabbi Dubin, a veteran test taker, related that in his many years of taking tests he had never seen such numbers and so many new people flocking to a Dirshu test.

“This Can Bring the Geulah Closer”

The Lakewood testing site was truly unique. In his public remarks, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Schustal, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, said, “The people taking the test are talmidei chachamim muflagim!”

Rav Schustal said that Dirshu and Rav Hofstedter have merited a zechus that few have merited. First they enhanced the learning of Talmud Bavli in a wonderful way with their Daf HaYomi programs and now they have gone a step further by strengthening the learning of Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Berurah and so many important additions [in the Biurim and Musafim in the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah]. The fact that there is a program and a framework to properly learn practical halacha is something that can bring the geulah closer.”

In Williamsburg, too, at the Dirshu testing a massive crowd came to take the test. In the middle of the test, the lomdim merited a visit from the distinguished Vienner Rav, HaGaon HaRav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita. Rabbi Chaim Shloime Adler related that, “the Rav was clearly moved as he observed the unusually large crowd quietly taking the test.”

The unprecedented numbers of people at the testing site in Shikun Skver merited hearing words of bracha from the Skverer Dayan, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Yisroel Eisenberg, shlita.

The Quietest Revolution

Rabbi Gobioff concluded, “It was the quietest revolution that one could find. In every city, Lakewood, Brooklyn, Monsey, Houston, Texas, and of course Yerushalayim, Bnei Brak, London, Paris, Johannesburg and so many others, thousands upon thousands were sitting with their pens, brows furrowed, quietly writing answers to the questions on halacha and mussar that they learned over the past month. Who knows, it is very likely that when we will finally be zoche to that ultimate day for which we are all waiting, those tens of thousands of quiet test takers and the aggregate millions of halachos learned, implemented, and practiced will have had an instrumental role in finally bringing the geulah!

By Chaim Gold

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