Gedolim at the Kinus; HaRav Dovid Cohen is speaking
On Wednesday the annual Kinus of Lev L'Achim was held in Bnei Brak, attended by gedolei Yisroel.
The absence of Rabbeinu HaRav Aharon Shteinman zt"l was acutely felt, since kiruv was something that was close to his heart. His son, HaRav Moshe Shteinman said that it was something that he always worked for, many years before the founding of Lev L'Achim.
HaRav Moshe Shteinman said that one time a man came in to him and said that he was willing to give $1 million to tzedokoh if the Rosh Yeshiva would be his neighbor in Gan Eden. The Rosh Yeshiva answered that he was not sure himself if he has a place in Gan Eden, so how can he go and sell the place next to him? The man said that he would be willing to do it conditionally, that is, if the Rosh Yeshiva has a place, he would get the place next to him. If so, the Rosh Yeshiva said, we could discuss a deal.
The Rosh Yeshiva called Rav Sorotzkin and asked him how much debt Lev L'Achim currently has. He was told that it was $5 million in debt. So the Rosh Yeshiva turned to the man and said I will agree to the deal if you donate $5 million.
$5 million is a tremendous amount of money, the man said. But even $1 million is a lot of money.
But I am only willing to do the deal for $5 million, the Rosh Yeshiva answered. The man said it was too much for him and he left.
After he went out, one of the bystanders asked the Rosh Yeshiva: Would the Rosh Yeshiva really be willing to have someone like him next to him in Gan Eden?
The Rosh Yeshiva answered: If he gave $5 million to Lev L'Achim, I would ask him to agree for me to be next to him in Gan Eden.
Over the years Maran the Rosh Yeshiva said many things about kiruv and Lev L'Achim:
* 5757: "Mitzvos are rolling around in the streets and one has to just go out and pick them up.
* 5759: "This is the wonderful thing that we have avreichim who are active lesheim Shomayim."
* 5760: "If a father lost his son and then someone came and returned his son to him, what simchah he would bring to the father!"
* 5761: "Do not let this opportunity go by. Who knows how long we will have this opportunity. It is impossible to know."
* 5769: "Now we can be successful, that parents who are far from Torah will give their children to learn Torah. This is literally a miracle, not according to the rules of nature. This is what Lev L'Achim do."
* 5774: "A man comes to the world from the Kisei Hakovod to be ready to be mekadesh Sheim Shomayim, and to remember this he is dust and ash."
* Elul 5777: "In the final analysis, this is nothing greater than being mekarev people to Yiddishkeit, to shemiras Shabbos, and to strengthen the home."
Among the gedolim who came were (in no particular order) HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, HaRav Dovid Cohen, HaRav Moshe Yehuda Schlesinger, HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, HaRav Hillel, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav Dov Lando and many more.
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Gershon Edelstein at the kinus