Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Adar II 5763 - March 12, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Lev L'Achim Predicts Record-Breaking Enrollment
By Moshe Schapiro

Some 230 people from all over Eretz Yisroel who are expected to have a major impact on the future of the country in the coming months came together last week for a crucial meeting. Their singular purpose: to bring yaldei Yisroel tachas kanfei haShechina.

These people are "rashamim," or enrollment workers, for Lev L'Achim which is about to launch its fifth annual campaign to enroll children from secular homes into Torah schools. In its previous campaigns, it more than 30,000 children, giving them and their families the opportunity to lead a Torah way of life.

As the rashamim streamed into Bnei Brak where the event was held, many were drawn to a large table that held "business" cards that Lev L'Achim printed for each rasham. The rashamim leave these cards, which include their contact information, with families interested in sending their children to Torah schools

"Every card is another Jewish neshamah," quipped Rabbi Avraham Saada, Lev L'Achim's supervisor in Netanya.

Rabbi Uri Zohar, Lev L'Achim's kiruv director, expressed confidence that this year's enrollment campaign will be an unprecedented success.

"In spite of the political matzav -- as a direct result of it, as a matter of fact -- this will be our best year ever," said Rabbi Zohar as he waited for the proceedings to begin, while putting the final touches on a sefer of Torah chiddushim he is writing.

"Shinui, Poraz, Lapid -- it's all shtuyot bemitz agvaniot -- absolute nonsense,'" continued Rabbi Zohar with a dismissive wave. "The more the forces of tumah come out in the open, the greater will be their downfall. The more the anti-religious parties gain power, the more Yidden will flock back to the sweetness of the Torah. You wait and see. We're going to be forced to change our way of thinking. We'll have to put up tents to fit all the children in. Our reality is about to change completely."

Rabbi David Malka, a Lev L'Achim rasham from Afula, then came up to Rabbi Zohar and asked him for a brochoh. Rabbi Zohar closed his eyes in intense concentration and intoned a passionate brochoh that took into account not only Rabbi Malka, but also his children and his children's children several generations down the line.

"Thank you, Rabbi Zohar," Rabbi Malka said after answering amen. "But what about the rishum? I asked you for a brochoh that I should have hatzlocho in rishum this year."

"I already gave you a brochoh for your children," Rabbi Zohar succinctly replied. "Aren't all yaldei Yisroel your children?"

We Have To Do Our Job

Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin, Lev L'Achim Director-General, opened the event.

"People have asked me whether it will be possible to do rishum this year, with Shinui in charge of so many key ministries," he said. "Rabbosai, the answer is that we have to do our job and leave the rest to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Because of the difficulties facing us this year, we have a greater responsibility on our shoulders, that's all. The harder it gets for us to be matzil yaldei Yisroel, the harder we have to work."

An important new tool he said, "is our automated telemarketing system, which we began using last year on an experimental basis, and only recently incorporated into our day-to-day routine. This system uses 120 telephone lines simultaneously and can reach tens of thousands of homes in the course of one evening."

Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman's Words Of Chizuk

The entire gathering rose to its feet when word was passed down that HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, the visionary godol who first urged Lev L'Achim to open the rishum program, was about to walk in. In spite of his weak physical condition, Rav Shteinman made the effort to come and speak.

After giving everyone in the suddenly hushed room a brochoh for much hatzlocho, HaRav Shteinman said:

"You have the zchus to be osek in hatzolas nefoshos mamesh, for Chazal teach that saving a fellow Jew from spiritual dangers is greater than saving him from physical danger." He went on to quote a gemora that says that it is necessary for the existence of the world that some people engage in the manufacture of perfume, while others engage in bad-smelling industries such as the manufacture of leather goods.

"You," Rav Shteinman said to the 230 rashamim, "do a little of this and a little of that. You go out and meet people who have an evil smell and turn them into people who smell like perfume. You bring the unlearned to places of Torah study, from the worst places in the world to the very best. How great is your reward for engaging in this great mitzvah! May HaKodosh Boruch Hu bless you with success."

On The Threshold Of Geula

Following Rav Shteinman, Rabbi Uri Zohar gave a rousing drosho in which he expounded on his earlier stated belief that the meteoric rise of the anti-religious forces in Eretz Yisroel is only a portent of their imminent downfall. In fact, the current political climate in Eretz Yisroel, he said, just means that the Geula is closer than ever.

"May we be zoche to have the zchus to see the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, and be so busy with rishum yeladim that we do not even have time to go out and welcome him!"

We Can Make A Revolution

The discussion then turned to more down-to-earth subjects such as remembering to fill out registration forms correctly -- "Remember, these are not diamonds, they're Jewish neshamos!" said Rabbi Moshe Zeivald, who presented this part of the program. He reminded the rashamim of the importance of handing in weekly reports in a timely fashion, and in general, attending to details.

Indeed, the 230 rashamim left the event greatly strengthened and well prepared to transform Rabbi Sorotzkin and Rabbi Zohar's words -- that this rishum campaign can be Lev L'Achim's greatest ever -- into reality.


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