Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

30 Nissan 5764 - April 21, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Gedolei Yisroel and Thousands of Avreichim at Annual Lev L'Achim Convention
By A. Cohen

Dozens of gedolei Yisroel including HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman and three prominent roshei yeshivos from the US participated in the annual Lev L'Achim convention in Bnei Brak last Monday along with an overflow crowd of thousands of avreichim from around the country who sacrifice valuable hours of their time to disseminate Torah, educate yaldei Yisroel and engage in outreach.

On Sunday, rosh yeshivas Philadelphia HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshivas Rabbenu Chaim Berlin HaRav Aharon Shechter and rosh yeshivas Telz-Chicago HaRav Avrohom Chaim Levine flew in to take part in the convention. Lev L'Achim board members, including Director HaRav Eliezer Sorotzkin, met them on the tarmac and then escorted the roshei yeshivos to a brief reception at the airport's VIP hall.

From there they drove straight to the home of posek hador, Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita, where a throng of bnei Torah, including their talmidim living in Eretz Hakodesh, was on hand to greet them.

HaRav Eliashiv greeted the roshei yeshivos warmly, praising Lev L'Achim's work and thanking the roshei yeshivos for strengthening the organization by traveling to Eretz Hakodesh to participate in the large event. Maran told them about problems with education in Eretz Hakodesh, about the possibility of enrolling more students in Chinuch Atzmai institutions and about the difficulty involved in bussing them, which limits the ability to accept additional students.

After tefillas Ma'ariv at the Kosel Hama'arovi the roshei yeshivos took part in a closed meeting of Lev Shomei'a -- a subdivision of Lev L'Achim devoted to Torah study and outreach for religious youths facing spiritual crises and for other religious Jews in need -- attended by rabbonim and avreichim from all parts of Eretz Yisroel. Lev Shomei'a heads presented a detailed report on their activities followed by a question-and-answer session.

Monday morning the roshei yeshivos observed Lev L'Achim's work firsthand in Rechovot, Ashdod and Kiryat Gat and then visited the homes of HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.

The roshei yeshivos spent the afternoon with HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman discussing current problems then drove together to the convention, where a reception was waiting for them at Heichalei Malchus in Bnei Brak.

The convention began hours earlier with shiurim and talks about the work the avreichim are engaged in throughout the year. HaRav Menachem Cohen began the major event by welcoming the avreichim streaming in from dozens of towns and cities.

The opening speaker was HaRav Nachum Diamant, one of the roshei yeshivos at Yeshivas Netivot Olam of Bnei Brak, who spoke about kiruv work among Jews who are very distant from Jewish tradition and are sometimes very hard to reach. HaRav Mordechai Gross, av beis din of Chanichei Hayeshivos of Bnei Brak, on the impact Torah learning and mitzvah observance have on Jews drawing closer to the light of Torah.

HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, rov of Bnei Brak's Ramat Elchanan neighborhood, then addressed halachic questions that often arise in outreach work.

Lev L'Achim Board Member HaRav Tzvi Eliach greeted the distinguished guests from the US upon their arrival, thanking them for making a special effort to attend the convention. HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshivas Slobodka, then welcomed a number of prominent roshei yeshivos from Eretz Yisroel.

At 6:30, the time scheduled for gedolei Yisroel to arrive, the hall was so packed that organizers were forced to lock the doors to prevent more people from pressing their way in. As maranan verabonon stepped into the large hall and took their seats at the long tables of honor set up behind the speaker's podium the enormous audience rose to its feet, singing Yomim al yemei Melech.

HaRav Sorotzkin, who introduced the speakers, began by inviting to the podium the moro d'asro HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, shlita, who offered his praise for the holy work performed through mesirus nefesh for the sake of "the pure souls of yaldei Yisroel born to secular parents whose souls weep and beg to be removed from captivity."

Afterwards HaRav Ezriel Auerbach read a special letter of blessing his father-in-law, Maran HaRav Eliashiv, shlita, sent to the convention. Next speeches were given by HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Shlomo Wolbe, HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, HaRav Aharon Shechter and HaRav Avrohom Chaim Levine. (Due to the pressures of deadlines we were not able to translate the letters.)

Afterwards a letter sent by HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira was read by HaRav Moshe Dovid Lefkowitz and a letter by HaRav Chaim Kanievsky was read by Lev L'Achim Board Member HaRav Boruch Shapira.

Later HaRav Shteinman addressed the avreichim, citing a passage in the gemora (Kesuvos 103b) about the importance Chazal attached to teaching Torah to every Jewish child. (See separate article in the Opinion section.)

In addition to the speakers other rabbonim in attendance included HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Gershon Eidelstein, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman and HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel.

The convention continued with a talk by HaRav Chizkiyohu Mishkovsky on the "big war ahead of us" and then HaRav Uri Zohar led a discussion on enrolling students in Torah institutions through the education hotline (tel. 1-800-550- 300).

A convention for women volunteers was held simultaneously in an adjoining hall, where the speakers at the men's convention were projected onto large screens.


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