Rav Belsky To Deliver Keynote At Brooklyn Parlor Meeting
By Yosef Sosnow
It was an incredible scene. Rav Moshe Tzadka, shlita, the distinguished rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Porat Yosef, with an open Gemara, Maseches Sukkah, in front of him. All of the talmidim of Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha sat with great yiras ha’kavod as Rav Tzadka fired one question after another on the masechta. Each question was answered with lightning speed by the talmidim. Rav Tzadka was clearly moved by the sight, especially in light of his knowledge that in the recent past, these boys had not been religious at all!
Acheinu, the kiruv arm of Dirshu, has used Dirshu’s template—a system of limud haTorah with accountability that has transformed Klal Yisrael and enriched them with Shas Yidden, poskim, and daf hayomi b’halacha Yidden who truly know and retain what they learn. So too, Acheinu has devised a unique kiruv system with a success rate of more than 93%.
From Public School
The major test and siyum at Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha was the culmination of a year of hard work invested by the talmidim and their devoted rebbeim. The yeshiva instituted a “Marah d’Sukkah” campaign to encourage every talmid to learn the entire Maseches Sukkah and to be tested on it. For these boys, it was the first siyum of their lives! Just a couple of years ago, these yeshiva bachurim were secular public-school kids immersed in pop culture.
The siyum was attended by Rav Moshe Tzadka, shlita, and the nasi of Dirshu, Rav Dovid Hofstedter. A particularly moving moment was the sight of the parents of the talmidei ha’yeshiva, all of them secular but so proud of their children’s accomplishments.
Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha plays a prominent role in the overall success rate of Acheinu. Acheinu’s pe’eilim, all bnei Torah who learn at least half a day, work with teens from non-religious homes. As these teens came closer to Yiddishkeit, ultimately making the life-altering decision that they wanted to go to yeshiva, they were faced with a problem. On the one hand, they were not yet at the level, academically or socially, to join a regular yeshiva. On the other hand, there was no proper framework al taharas ha’kodesh that they could join. Acheinu therefore decided to open its own yeshiva, headed by Rav Zev Hofstedter. Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha is tailor-made to serve as a bridge to a regular yeshiva. All of the talmidim are eventually mainstreamed to regular yeshivos throughout Eretz Yisrael.
After Rav Tzadka, Rav Dovid Hofstedter also tested the bachurim. Later, Rav Dovid gave a powerful derashah outlining the difficult situation in which Jews find themselves throughout the world and the terrible nisyonos posed by the yetzer ha’ra. “The only way to detach ourselves from the bad is through learning Torah,” he said. Then, turning to the parents, he said, “It is such a z’chus for parents to merit sons who are learning Torah in a holy yeshiva.”
A poignant moment came when every bachur who made a siyum was called to the podium accompanied by his father. The fathers—most of them non-religious—beamed with joy, as did the mothers, who watched from an adjacent room on a closed-circuit hookup. The bachurim received a certificate from Rav Hofstedter congratulating them on finishing Maseches Sukkah as well as a brand-new Gemara Bava Kamma, the next masechta that the yeshiva will be learning.
‘I Would Have Sent
All My Children Here!’
One of the most powerful speeches was given by Shaul Maimon, president of the Chevel Ha’aretz Company. Mr. Maimon is a successful businessman. His son learns in the yeshiva and was one of the bachurim who made a siyum. Mr. Maimon spoke openly about how it was initially difficult for him when his son became religious but now, he said, “I cannot tell you how happy we are and how proud we are of him! He illuminates our entire home. The light that he brings is the light of Torah. It was missing from our home. If I had known before what the Yeshiva Hakedosha does, I would have sent all of my children here!”
After the siyum, the fathers danced with their sons, as the mothers, fathers, and even the boys shed tears of joy on their personal simchas Torah.
From Eretz Yisrael
In Eretz Yisrael, Acheinu’s name is known far and wide as a kiruv organization with an enviable record of results. In recent years, its name and, most importantly, its success has spread to the United States as the kiruv movement that develops bnei Torah who remain dedicated to limud haTorah.
This year’s annual Acheinu Flatbush Parlor meeting will iy’H be held on Thursday, December 4, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Simcha Applegrad, at 1266 East 32nd Street (between Avenues L and M) in Brooklyn. It will be graced by numerous local rabbanim, and introductory remarks will be delivered by Rav Shlomo Cynamon, shlita, rav of Kehal Bnei Torah and rosh kollel of the Dirshu Kollel of Flatbush.
The Flatbush community will have the z’chus to hear words of chizuk from the keynote speaker, Rav Yisroel Belsky, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. Rav Belsky, one of America’s foremost poskim, is familiar with Acheinu’s outstanding work in bringing lost Yiddishe neshamos back to Hashem. Without a doubt, he will inspire the audience with a practical message that will remain with them long after the meeting. Acheinu brings teens back to Hashem and ensures that they are mainstreamed and remain basking in the light of the Shechinah.