By Rabbi Yair Hoffman
It is a remarkably program called Talmudo b’Yado. And on this past Moztei Shabbos, hundreds of Lakewood Talmidim, their parents and in-laws gathered in the BMG building to celebrate the fact that these Talmidim had each published a sefer made up of deep analytical pieces on various subjects in Shas.
The four Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva were in attendance, and the olam was addressed by Rabbi Lipa Geldwirth, also a parent of one of the authors.
It is a remarkably innovative program that teaches Talmidei Chachomim how to write chiddushei Torah. The program is run by Rabbi Dovid Becker, who also addressed the participants. Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler was the first to address the participants of the event. Rav Londinsky, author of the remarkable seforim series entitled, “Sukkas Chaim” also addressed the attendees.
All four speakers highlighted the tremendous role that the wives and mothers had played in this remarkable event. They encouraged and supported their sons and husbands toward this achievement.
One grandparent who was in attendance remarkably had six grandchildren there that night who had published a sefer.
This author counted how many residents of Far Rockaway were among the 120 authors who had published. I had counted six, but admittedly, I could have missed one or two. They had attended Yeshiva of Far Rockaway and Yeshiva Darchei Torah. Two staff members of Yeshiva Darchei Torah each had a child who had published a sefer. There were people that came from Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, Los Angeles, Canada, and Brooklyn and Far Rockaway.
This was the sixth such Melaveh Malka.
The program is in its eighth year. The Kollel Yungeleit write their chiddushei Torah over a three year period. The pieces are professionally reviewed by a team of highly skilled editors. The editors return a draft with notes and suggested revisions and focused explanatory comments. The Yungeleit then meet to review each submission with a Rosh Chaburah. The Roshei Chaburah provide focused hadracha and feedback, enabling the Yungeleit to incrementally hone their writing skills. After two and a half years in the program, talmidim spend a z’man preparing and polishing all of their articles for publication, culminating in the printing of beautiful, color-bound individual Seforim.
Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO of BMG, was particularly proud of the program.
To date 20% of the Talmidim in BMG are either current or past participants in Mifal and some 150 additional Talmidim join each z’man.
To date over 1,100 Seforim have been published.
It is a highly innovative program, that, in this author’s view, should be replicated by Yeshivos, colleges and universities across the country. Why shouldn’t universities help teach their scholars how best to present their research and host a banquet honoring the parents and spouses of the scholars who have reached such scholarly achievements?
The program costs the Yeshiva over a quarter million dollars a year.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org