Last Thursday, the fifth grade of Yeshiva of South Shore celebrated a milestone, a special simcha the boys will remember fondly for years to come. The occasion was a seudas haschalas Gemara, celebrating their first steps in their journey of Gemara learning. The fifth-grade rebbeim, Rabbi Moshe B. Scharhon and Rabbi Yehoshua Zucker, have the enviable role of ushering the talmidim in to the world of Gemara by imparting not only the necessary skills, but also the ahavah, the love of Torah sheba’al peh required for success.
To mark the event, the yeshiva held a gala breakfast for the boys and their fathers and grandfathers. After divrei pesichah from the menahel, Rabbi Chanina Herzberg, four boys delivered divrei Torah—Zev Wolf, Elchanan Weinstien, Daniel Cywiak, and Netanel Akhavan.
After bentching, they all moved into the beis midrash for a half hour of father/son chavrusa learning. Some boys had the privilege of having their grandfather learning with them as well. V’chut hamshulash lo bimheirah yenatek!
The rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, then addressed the boys. He told how his zaide, Rav Yaakov, zt’l, explained that Yaakov Avinu’s years spent in Yeshivas Shem v’Ever was the beginning of the transmission of Torah sheba’al peh.
He then introduced Rabbi Leibel Rand, shlita, the rosh kollel of Kollel Avreichim in Far Rockaway. Rav Rand imparted to the talmidim the beauty of the mesoras haTorah and how they are now part of the chain.
To cap the event, the boys performed a stirring musical rendition of Abie Rotenberg’s famous song Lulei Torascha. The boys sang beautifully, accompanied by Rabbi Shlomo Drebin, the program coordinator. Soloists included Michael Shoshan, Aharon Cohen, Avi Halbfinger, Mordechai Miller, Yedidia Esses, Moshe Goldfeder, and Chaim Avezov. There was also a special solo on saxophone by Binyamin Zev Ross.
In conclusion, each talmid was called up and the rosh yeshiva, Rav Binyomin Kamenetzky, shlita, who along with his son Rav Mordechai and the rebbeim, presented each talmid with a personalized shtender. It is a meaningful gift each boy will undoubtedly cherish. In addition, a set of Shas was raffled off. The winner was Binyamin Kunstler.
The talmidim of the fifth grade will, im yirtzeh Hashem, be matzliach in their learning as they begin to swim in the vast yam shel Torah. Mazel tov to all of them.