By Liba Lieberman
As the rain poured down on Thursday evening, June 13, over 200 members of the community came out in the daunting weather for an evening to benefit Yeshiva Nishmas HaTorah, entitled, “It’s 2013 . . . Do You Know Where Your Yiddishkeit Is?,” graciously held at the home of Mr. Dovid and Mrs. Tikva Azman on Marlborough Road in Cedarhurst.
After Minchah and a delicious buffet of steak, wine, and sushi catered by Yanky Potash, everyone turned their attention to an inspiring program describing the yeshiva, led by the roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva Nishmas HaTorah, Rabbi Yissochar Blinder, Rabbi Pinchas Weinberger, and Rabbi Abi Goldenberg. A beis midrash geared for post-high-school bachurim looking to develop themselves further as true bnei Torah while advancing their career educations, the yeshiva, located in Bais Medrash Heichal Dovid in Lawrence, has grown since its inception two years ago to presently include 25 bachurim. Its program’s uniqueness stems from a warm and personal approach to the bachurim, matching levels of learning to each particular talmid’s capacity while placing a strong emphasis on shleimus ha’adam. The program offers tools and insight to help each talmid achieve his unique potential, keeping the ruach of a full-time yeshiva while stressing productivity and responsibility for oneself and to the klal.
Rabbi Blinder started the evening by thanking everyone for venturing out on such a wet night, and also expressed a deep appreciation to the yeshiva’s third partner, Rabbi Abi Goldenberg, for adding a new dimension to the yeshiva this past year. He cited Rabbi Goldenberg’s warmth and down-to-earth approach with the bachurim, creating a force that uplifts the entire beis midrash. He also thanked Rabbi Simcha Leibowitz, who is a menahel by day and runs the yeshiva’s night seder program. Before introducing Rabbi Pinchas Weinberger, he noted that there is learning Torah and there is feeling a passion for Torah. Yeshiva Nishmas HaTorah works to bridge the two ideas, laying the foundation to ensure there is always a passion for Torah and Yiddishkeit in whatever one might encounter through life.
When Rabbi Weinberger began speaking, he asked the audience to take themselves back a few years, to the time they had just come back from learning in Eretz Yisrael. It is a delicate time for most bachurim, filled with confusion and often downslides in avodas Hashem–and yet, it is a time when life decisions are made.
“Imagine a yeshiva schedule that helps bachurim be as productive as possible,” he continued. “Our yeshiva has a low talmid-to-rebbe ratio, because we are committed to individualized attention. Three different shiurim cater to each bachur’s needs as they work to understand the give-and-take of the Gemara. Bachurim give chaburas, and vaadim are given daily in biur tefillah, emunah, and bitachon, halachos of bein adam l’chaveiro, and shalom bayis. The yeshiva also offers a once-a-week vaad in Chumash b’iyun, and on Sunday mornings there is a vaad on Chosen Mishpat, where bachurim have the opportunity to understand real business halachah and hashkafah. The yeshiva brings in guest speakers to discuss challenges that bachurim may go through regarding the halachos of shidduchim, and they also run a lunch-and-learn program, in which businessmen give over to the bachurim different professional advice and assistance for job hunting while remaining a ben Torah. Specifically, they address how to remain a successful Yid in the workforce. We provide all this because we want to give each bachur an understanding that the Torah guides a person in every step of his life. Our yeshiva is a complete, wholesome experience that evokes pride in one’s Yiddishkeit. In doing so, it actually creates leadership for the next generation.
“We have a message for Klal Yisrael. That message is that everyone has a special neshamah, with an individualized purpose in this world. Through understanding this concept, and being given the tools to thrive and grow from all of life’s challenges, one’s entire life will be one of connecting to Hashem, which is our ultimate purpose. We will be producing happy, healthy, wonderful, Torahdig mishpachas in Klal Yisrael. We must realize this is not just a message for our bachurim, but for everyone to bring into their own lives.”
The yeshiva in its short time has already seen the fruits of its labor, by seeing young bachurim going out on their own initiative starting chesed organizations, mentoring younger children, and creating new shiurim and vaadim for the public. The evening ended with a video presentation that went through the inner workings of the yeshiva, by Gabe Solomon. The yeshiva is looking forward to building on these ideals, and continuing to effect change for Klal Yisrael. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. v