Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

28 Nisan 5766 - April 26, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











They All Went to the Annual Lev L'Achim Gathering in Bnei Brak

By A. Cohen

Thousands of bnei Torah outreach activists joined dozens of gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos and marbitzei Torah to sanctify Sheim Shomayim at the annual Lev L'Achim conference held at Heichalei Malchut Halls in Bnei Brak Monday night 26 Nisan.

HaRav Tzvi Eliach opened the conference, saying, "Those who are involved in chizuk all year have come to receive chizuk. They have gathered together to see maranan verabonon gedolei Yisroel shlita, who provide the power and direction for our work: to demonstrate that we are all one big group working in unity."

The first segment of the conference focused on high-school students who have begun to lay tefillin and to set time aside for shiurim. Lev L'Achim Director Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin, who led the entire conference, then invited HaRav Reuven Mordechai Dahan, who is very active in this field, to address the audience. He quoted Amos 8:11, which reads, "Behold, days are coming . . . when I will send a famine in the land; not a famine for bread nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of Hashem," saying, "It is a great gift that one can abandon and leave one way of life and enter a new life. While in past years people who were stirred to do teshuvoh had questions, there were some who wanted to know, to investigate, to gain clarity and there were those who wanted to know why Hashem acted as He did. Everyone had his'orerus from an external force, from disappointment in the outside world, from some personal tragedy, etc.

"[Yet] in the last two or three years we have been witness to a wonderful phenomenon that reveals to us a new facet and depth to Amos' prophecy in the simple sense — " . . . but for hearing the words of Hashem." While people used to return at older ages after having already `tasted' the things of This World, today there are 16- and 17-year-olds at the height of their vigor, and they want to learn, they want shiurim, they show a yearning to hear `the words of Hashem' and are waiting for us to light the way for them."

The second portion of the program, outreach in light of halochoh, began with a talk by HaRav Yosef Kalatzky, who heads Beis Medrash Yad Avrohom in New York. He recalled an anecdote that took place 15 years ago in which a major philanthropist was prepared to invest an enormous sum in a project to form a bridge between chareidim and secular Jews by sharing Torah with them. When he brought the man in to speak with HaRav Shach zt"l the Rosh Yeshiva broke out in heart-rending tears, saying the only way is to set up Torah-based schools to teach children Torah. "You, the avreichim who work at Lev L'achim," said HaRav Kalatzky, "bring Torah education to the children. As a result of your work Torah-based schools are set up and thousands of children learn Torah."

He went on to share halachic guidance he received from HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlita.

Rav Sorotzkin invited HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, the rov of Ramat Elchonon, to the podium to respond to a long list of questions posed by avreichim working in the field and conveyed to him several weeks ago. During Pesach he had an opportunity to discuss these matters with his father-in-law, Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita, and his brother-in-law, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.

More and more participants came streaming in shortly before 6:00 p.m., the designated time for maranan verabonon to arrive, until the hall was so packed that the doors had to be locked shut.

After the gedolei Yisroel were enthusiastically received and took their seats on the dais, Rav Sorotzkin said, "This conference is a gathering of multitudes of avreichim who, throughout the year, devote a portion of their valuable time to reach out to the hearts of wayward brothers, children kidnapped from Our Father in Heaven, to teach them Torah and mitzvas, and all this at the directive of the roshei yeshivos and under the guidance of the roshei kollelim. This conference is a gathering of over 500 avreichim, members of the network of night kollelim for Lev L'Achim outreach at 35 different locations. This conference is a gathering of hundreds of active noshim tzidkoniyos and volunteers and the staff of the 41 study programs in the Shalhevet network for young women — rebbetzins, coordinators and guidance counselors. This conference is a gathering of over 150 dedicated activists who spend day and night enrolling children for Torah-based educational institutions to prepare them to enter the holy yeshivas. This conference is a gathering of coordinators and people on call at the holy Lev Shomea program and the Student Adoption program. This conference is a gathering of activists at other Lev L'Achim programs such as the Women's Alumni Organization, the Department for the Absorption of Georgian Immigrants and the Department for the Struggle Against Missionaries and Assimilation."

The first of the keynote speakers was the Gavad of Zichron Meir, HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner shlita, who said it was his pleasure to take part in the conference. "Without a doubt you are giving nachas ruach to Our Father and certainly the shluchei mitzvoh, the cherished avreichim talmidei chachomim veyirei Hashem who give of their time and energy to increase and glorify Torah, should be praised, especially for [their efforts] to save empty souls from the abyss and oblivion of the secularists and those who throw off the yoke, and to return these souls of which Shlomo Hamelech says " . . . behold the tears of the oppressed and they had no comforter" (Koheles 4:1), who were born and raised in an environment that has no one to comfort [them]. And Lev L'Achim comes along and lifts up these souls and brings them under the wings of the Shechinoh."

After HaRav Ezriel Auerbach read a letter from his father-in- law HaRav Eliashiv, HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz spoke, focusing on the Lev Shomea program. Next HaRav Nissim Toledano, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Shearit Yosef, recalled how his grandfather, HaRav Baruch, cried out during the period when thousands of child immigrants were stripped of their religious heritage, saying, `How can I go up to My Father without the lad with me?!!' [a paraphrase of Bereishis 44:30]."

After speeches by HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Slobodka, and HaRav Boruch Shapira, the audience rose to its feet to receive HaRav Chaim Kanievsky. The dais was also graced by HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Gershon Edelstein and other prominent roshei yeshivos, marbitzei Torah and rabbonim.

The closing speech was delivered by HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman shlita, who said, "People need Torah like they need air to breathe, for one cannot live without it. Therefore HaKodosh Boruch Hu made it possible to merit Torah by causing others to study Torah, which we do not find in other mitzvas. Therefore the reward of those who bring others closer to Torah thereby giving them life itself is beyond measure or description."

Click here to see a letter from Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.