July 21, 2024
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July 21, 2024
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Gedolei Yisrael in America and Eretz Yisrael Host Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Siyumim

There are few times during the year that are busier for roshei yeshiva and poskim than the week before Rosh Hashanah. Nevertheless, leading luminaries such as HaGaon HaRav Yeruchem Olshin, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govohah of Lakewood, shlita, the Biala Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Mir Yerushalayim, the well-known Sephardic rosh yeshiva and mekubal HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Hillel, shlita, as well as the children and talmidim of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, and HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, cleared their schedules and opened their homes that week to participate in the siyum of Chelek Daled of Mishnah Berurah and the start of Chelek Hei.

One of the remarkable events was the siyum held for Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggidei shiur at the apartment of Rav Yeruchem Olshin. Rabbi Ahron Gobioff, Dirshu’s North American director, related, “In an effort to avoid imposing on the distinguished Rosh Yeshiva, I brought cake and drinks to his house so that we could have a l’chaim in honor of the siyum. I was flabbergasted when I arrived at the Olshin home! I found the table beautifully set with fresh cake baked by Rebbetzin Olshin herself. The Rebbetzin and the Rosh Yeshiva deemed it a special zechus to participate in such a siyum with the more than 10 Daf HaYomi B’Halacha maggidei shiur representing hundreds of lomdim.”

At the siyum, Rav Olshin related, “When Rav Shlomo Heiman came to America in 1935, he rejoiced greatly in every siyum. At that time, siyumim weren’t common in America and they engendered great simcha. Baruch Hashem, today, siyumim are more common, but a siyum on the difficult Chelek Daled of Mishnah Berurah with maggidei shiur representing many mesaymim is not common at all and is a tremendous simcha!”

If one wanted to be exposed to rabbinic royalty, that is what greeted the gathering in their visit to the storied home of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l, just before Rosh Hashanah. His son and successor, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Wosner, shlita, together with his greatest talmidim, all leading poskim in Eretz Yisrael, gathered to give chizuk to those beginning Chelek Hei. All of them spoke about how much Rav Wosner valued Dirshu, viewing it as an organization that was responsible for perpetuating Torah and halacha in our time.

At the siyum at the home of the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, the participants remembered how much encouragement HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, gave to Dirshu, going above and beyond his kochos and even attending and addressing their massive siyum in Tel Aviv when he was over 100 years old and in an extremely weakened state. Rav Shteinman also gave tremendous chizuk to the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha.

Rav Avrohom Broide, a prominent Daf HaYomi B’Halaha maggid shiur, also addressed the siyum, relating an incident that he had personally heard from Rebbetzin Rishel Kotler, a”h, wife of the Lakewood Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Shneur Kotler, zt”l. “The Rebbetzin told me that when Rav Aharon Kotler passed away in late 1962, the Lakewood yeshiva had 140 bachurim and 40 kollel yungeleit. Everyone thought that Lakewood was finished. Rav Shneur Kotler became rosh yeshiva and, despite all odds, he not only sustained the yeshiva but expanded it exponentially. When he passed away 20 years later there were 1,500 bachurim and 1,000 yungeleit! Today there are some 9,000 talmidim in the yeshiva.”

Rav Yaakov Hillel focused on the greatness of the sefer Mishnah Berurah. “What Dirshu has done by promoting a daily Mishnah Berurah program is a colossal chesed for klal Yisrael. The Mishnah Berurah is not just a halacha sefer, it is sefer that builds the life of every Jew. The Chofetz Chaim spent over 25 years writing the Mishnah Berurah. Until you really learn it, you cannot appreciate the work that went into it. Dirshu has given all of us a window into the greatness of this sefer.”

By Chaim Gold

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