On Wednesday, July 9, Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah, led by Rabbi Yissachar Blinder and Rabbi Pinchus Weinberger, held its third annual event in support of the yeshiva. It was graciously hosted by Yanki Mueller and Shalom Vegh in Cedarhurst at the Mueller residence. It was a beautiful show of support and chizuk from the community for the yeshiva. Those in attendance enjoyed a delectable barbecue catered by Yanky Potasch, beer-tasting, and live music supplied by Nafshenu Orchestra.
A common refrain heard many times over the evening was, “Why wasn’t there a yeshiva like this when I was in beis midrash?” What is it that parents, businessmen, and young people alike all see that is so refreshing and unique about Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah?
In their speeches, Rabbis Blinder and Weinberger gave the audience a glimpse into the hashkafah and goal of the yeshiva. Rabbi Blinder spoke so eloquently about each individual’s responsibility to be a great husband, a great father, and most of all, a great Yid. It’s easy to point fingers and shift blame, but ultimately the onus is on each individual to make himself into who he would like to be. He emphasized that although the yeshiva is bastion of Torah and there is much emphasis placed on each bachur’s progress in learning, Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah’s main goal is to prepare each bachur for life and the challenges that come along the way.
Rabbi Weinberger spoke next and continued along the same theme. He explained a common misconception people have that impedes their growth. People generally feel that that the responsibility of effecting positive change in this world is relegated to a few Torah leaders and askanim, and the rest of the “common folk” can’t possibly produce change. However, one can see clearly from that week’s parashah that Pinchas was the one who stood up for emes, and he was the one who received the ultimate reward. This was not despite the fact that he wasn’t a leader, but because he wasn’t a leader, rather one of the klal. Rabbi Weinberger then explained that in today’s times we need the “regular people” to step up to the plate. This is the message that is constantly being inculcated into the yeshiva bachurim, and the roshei yeshiva empower the boys to take initiative and get involved in the klal.
With this chinuch, packaged with a high level of learning and exceptionally devoted and caring rebbeim, it is no wonder that a bachur from Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah internalizes these messages and strives to be “a better husband, a better father, and a better Yid.”
The yeshiva’s well-rounded curriculum includes three sedarim a day, prioritizing serious learning with an emphasis on retention. There is a focus on halachah, understanding tefillah, and business ethics. The yeshiva regularly invites successful businessmen to discuss their challenges in their workplaces and how they deal with such issues, as well as guest speakers who offer words that inspire. The yeshiva also employs a dayan who travels in once a week to give a shiur on the various halachos that pertain to a variety of businesses. The yeshiva has hosted a number of Shalom Task Force workshops as well.
The high-spirited learning is enhanced by many extracurricular activities and its devoted rebbeim. The yeshiva is further enriched by its menahel, Rabbi Abi Goldenberg, whose signature warmth and keen perception is showered upon the bachurim on a personal level. Bais Medrash Heichal Dovid in Lawrence hosts the yeshiva.
With all the above factors combined, it is no wonder that the yeshiva’s goal of preparing its boys not simply to survive life’s challenges, but rather to thrive, has baruch Hashem merited much success. The yeshiva should be blessed with hatzlachah as it continues the great kiddush Hashem it has begun. ϖ