The joyous festivities of the chanukas ha’bayis for the Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns are still fresh in everyone’s memory. This past Sunday was a wonderful occasion to return to the new home of the Yeshiva Gedolah to participate in its 12th Annual Breakfast. The ceremonies were opened by Mr. Baruch Moskowitz, executive director of the yeshiva, who noted that this was the first time the breakfast was held at the yeshiva’s own premises. He took the opportunity to thank the Young Israel of Woodmere for hosting the breakfasts for the yeshiva the past 11 years. Mr. Moskowitz pointed out that in the past, there had been a focus on the building project and its anticipated completion. This year, the focus was on the numerous shiurim offered by the yeshiva and how it was now able to accommodate the growing thirst for Torah in our community. He invited everyone to explore the new yeshiva building, and to join and avail themselves in learning and davening in the beautiful and spacious new beis midrash.
Rav Yitzchak Knobel, the rosh kollel, presented the Kesser Torah Award to Mr. David Aidelson. In his introduction, Rabbi Knobel pointed out David’s mesirus nefesh in spending late hours every night in the yeshiva’s beis midrash, engaged in intense learning with Rabbi Shalom Jakubowitz. The rosh kollel likened his dedication to the expression of Chazal in this week’s parashah, where the pasuk of “Zos haTorah, adam ki yamus b’ohel” is interpreted as instructing us to apply ourselves to learning so intensely, as if one were figuratively to die in the tents of Torah.
Rav Moshe Zev Katzenstein, the rosh yeshiva, presented the Amud HaTorah Award to Mr. Meir Resnick and the Yedid HaTorah Award to Mr. Dani Lilker. Rabbi Katzenstein noted that all three honorees are great masmidim, each in his own way. He also mentioned that the yeshiva is honoring not only the husbands, who learn in the yeshiva, but also their families, who represent the Torah standards the yeshiva embodies. He described the Resnicks’ zeal, energy, and enthusiasm for Torah and mitzvos, comparing it to the
almonds that sprouted on Aharon’s staff, which represented the zeal of the kohanim. The rosh yeshiva also described the deep connection with the Lilker family. Dani Lilker’s father, Bruce, was the engineer for the new building, leaving his fingerprints on its physical structure. His son’s k’vius itim l’Torah in the yeshiva leaves a spiritual imprint as well.
The honorees provided their individual perspectives on how they and their families relate to the yeshiva. David Aidelson quoted Rav Kook, zt’l, who explained the need for every individual to devote significant effort to Torah study, comparable to one’s commitment in other areas or endeavors. Meir Resnick focused on the importance of the relationship he and his wife developed with Rav and Rebbetzin Katzenstein, as well as with Rabbi Shalom Jakubowitz and his family over the years he has been involved with the yeshiva. Dani Lilker mentioned that he was motivated to accept the Yedid HaTorah Award so he could publicly thank the rosh kollel, the rosh yeshiva, and his chavrusa, Rabbi Meir Yehuda Kotowitz.
The large turnout and the positive atmosphere at the event were a testament to the communities’ continued support for Yeshiva Gedolah. There was clearly an excitement about the new opportunities that the yeshiva now has to serve the growing number of bachurim and kollel members learning in the yeshiva, as well as the community at large. For more information about shiurim offered in the yeshiva or to find a chavrusa, please call the yeshiva office at 516-295-8900, ext. 4. v