The world renowned Ovos Ubonim learning program, where
fathers and sons come together to study Torah, has now
arrived Down-Under in Australia. It also enjoyed
considerable success elsewhere.
Following weeks of pomp and fanfare, it was officially
launched on Purim day in Australia as around the world,
entitled Yeshivas Mordechai Hatzaddik -- commemorating the
actions of the hero of the Megilla who gathered
22,000 youngsters to study Torah and thus helped towards the
destruction of Homon Horosho and his wicked plans.
Although, in Australia the organizers couldn't find as many
talmidim as did Mordechai Hatzaddik in Shushan, close
to 200 fathers and sons did come in the middle of a busy
Purim day to the beis hamedrash of the Adass Yisroel
Kehilla in Melbourne to take part. They stopped mishloach
monos deliveries and the many tzedokoh
collections that dozens of the boys had undertaken and
headed for the beis hamedrash for an hour of serious
learning. The kol haTorah could be heard in the
neighboring streets and the nachas that the fathers
shepped from learning with their sons brought an
additional layer of simcha to their Purim -- which
continued throughout the Shabbos.
So great was the reaction to the initial session, that the
follow-up, which was held at the same venue on Sunday, could
no longer accommodate all the additional learners. The
organizers immediately extended the beis hamedrash by
opening the double doors to the shul's hall and
bringing in additional tables and chairs.
The Ovos Ubonim initiative has been extremely successful
wherever it has been introduced and it is obvious that
Melbourne is no exception.
The main organizers, Mr. Eli Benedikt and Reb Yitzchok
Aharon Goldberg, were ably assisted by sponsors, the
Friedman brothers of Yumi's Seafood Products (quite apt --
mazal Adar dogim) with the assistance of the
menhalei hamosdos, Rabbi Elozor Yitzchok Greenfeld
and the full cooperation of all the melamdim in the
Adass Yisroel Talmud Torah, who in fact joined in the
program learning with their own children.
It was a heartwarming sight: fathers being osek beTorah
with boys of all ages. There were the young ones
practicing their Ivri, others learning Chumash
and Rashi, with the older boys learning gemora
and Tosafos with their Tatties.
All boys who participated were entered in a raffle for
scooters -- which were won by Shmuel Meir Schreiber and
Moshe Farber. Following the draws all boys were treated to
an ice cream and also rewarded with additional prizes and
After consultation with the newly-appointed Vaad Hachinuch
of the Mosdos Hatorah, Rav A. Z. Beck, rav of the
kehilla, Rav Binyomin Wurzburger, rosh kollel
Beis Hatalmud and Dayan Yehudah Katz, rosh kollel
Beis Yosef, the askonim plan to turn this into a
weekly experience. For upcoming the winter zman, Ovos
Ubonim will be held on motzei Shabbos and during the
longer summer days -- on Shabbos afternoon, as it is in many
parts of the world.
A similar program for the talmidim of the Adass Yeshiva
Ketana was successfully introduced last year by the rosh
yeshiva, Rabbi Yosef Loebenstein.
Organizers told Yated that in Israel for Purim the
number of locations doubled from what it had been in the
past year, going from 120 to 240. Most of them are expected
to continue throughout the year. They announced that they
ordered 25,000 prizes of rubber stamps. In Yerushalayim,
where Purim Meshulash gave an extra day, sessions were held
on Friday and on Sunday.