Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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25 Kislev 5765 - December 8, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Fifth Anniversary of Avos Uvonim in South Africa

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The school year ended last week in South Africa. The summer holiday began with a special event for the many boys who learn in the various Johannesburg mosdos. It was the celebration of the 5th anniversary of Avos Uvonim which took the form of a melave malka on motzei Shabbos Vayeishev.

Almost three hundred participants gathered at the Simon Kuper Hall where a delicious catered meal was provided. Not only the fathers and sons were there, but this time even some of the mothers. As Pinchas Goldberg, the current organizer of the program, said, it is only with the support and encouragement of the mothers that the boys and their fathers are able to participate every motzei Shabbos.

Avos Uvonim was started in Johannesburg by Pinchas' brother Asher under the guiding hand of Rav Sender Grossnass, who is still very much the force behind the scenes. Each school term it is held in one of four community batei medrash namely, Kesser Torah, Kollel Yad Shaul, Ohr Someach and Yeshiva Maharsha.

During the melave malkah a boy from each of the four communities addressed the audience. Gavi Perlman and Yitzchok Schnerb recited their words of appreciation by way of poems they had written. The other two said divrei Torah. Ariel Geffen emphasized the high value we place on our rabbeim from a gemora in Megilla (3b). Rafi Jude, using the idea of the bor of Yosef which had no water, described the modern world as a bor of snakes and scorpions, but for the boys participating in Torah learning, their bor becomes filled with the pure waters of Torah.

One of the fathers, Rabbi Larry Sussman, spoke. One of the ideas he expressed was the importance of special time that a parent gives to his child. He described how Avos Uvonim has given this to many boys and their fathers. Pinchas Goldberg read out a fax received from Avos Uvonim in Yerushalayim with warm words of encouragement, saying that this is one of over 1000 branches worldwide in which tens of thousands are participating.

A raffle is a highlight at every Avos Uvonim weekly gathering, and this night was no exception. Two happy winners went home, one with a silver chanukiah and the other with a set of Chumoshim. An extra draw was held and a son was able to hand his father a bottle of whisky which he won.

A highlight of the evening was the first appearance of the new Avos Uvonim Choir. Two beautiful and moving songs were sung.

The special "guest" for the evening was Rabbi Paysach Krohn, who had recorded a video speech especially for the occasion. He said that as the function was taking place, he and his fellow Americans were having their Shabbos afternoon naps. He extended the idea to show how the different time zones around the world ensure that at every moment of the day and night, somewhere in the world, there are Yidden learning Torah. Rabbi Krohn also explained how Avos Uvonim has changed "Saturday night" into "Motzei Shabbos" in Johannesburg for the many participants.


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