By Chaim Gold
This week people will be taking the Dirshu test literally in arba kanfos ha’aretz, all four corners of the globe; even in places that one would not associate as being hospitable to Yiddishkeit. Some 10,000 test takers in Eretz Yisrael combined with scores more across the entire world will make the first Dirshu Kinyan Torah Test a ma’amad of kavod haTorah, a ma’amad of ahavas Torah that is truly remarkable.
One distinguished yungerman from Lakewood said, “Look at how Torah is spreading throughout Klal Yisrael. It isn’t only that people are learning which is reason enough to celebrate; it is Torah learned with such dedication that one feels confident enough to be able to take a test on the Gemara that he has learned daily for an entire month.”
He continued, “How can you not become emotional when you see that in places like Johannesburg, South Africa; Gibraltar; Phoenix, AZ; Milwaukee, WI; Cincinnati, OH; numerous locales in France; Moscow, Russia; Scranton, PA; Rochester, NY; Great Neck, NY and more than 300 communities worldwide Jews are coming together to take a test on Hashem’s Torah!
“The Chofetz Chaim writes about the immeasurable zechusim that a person gets just from learning one word of Torah. How many millions and millions of words, of blatt, of hours, of minutes of limud haTorah have gone into the preparation for just this first of some 100 tests on this machzor of Shas that we are embarking upon.”
In Lakewood, at the Lakewood Cheder, hundreds of Dirshu test takers will merit hearing divrei chizuk and divrei berachah from the rosh yeshiva of Bais Medrash Gavoha, HaGaon Harav Yeruchem Olshin, shlita. Rav Yeruchem has been an unequivocal supporter of Dirshu, hailing Dirshu’s role in enriching Klal Yisrael with limud haTorah.
In Williamsburg, the Vienner Rebbe, HaGaon Harav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita, will come to observe the test and impart words of berachah. In Boro Park, at the new, massive testing site of Ateres Chaya the renowned Belzer Dayan, HaGaon Harav Shia Heschel Katzburg, shlita, will speak. In Monsey too, at Yeshiva Bais Dovid, HaGaon Harav Chaim Feivish Schneebalg, shlita, rav of Kehal Avreichim of Monsey, will address the crowd.
The most exponential increase in participation is in Eretz Yisrael. In Bnei Brak, more than 2,000 people will gather in the giant Keter Harimon wedding hall, to take the test. The nonagenarian Ponovezher rosh yeshiva, HaGaon Harav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, along with the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rav Yisroel Hager, shlita, and HaGaon Harav Nissim Karelitz, shlita, will address and participate at the Bnei Brak testing site.
In Yerushalayim, there will be a number of testing sites where close to 2,000 people will gather. The largest site will be the central Gerer Bais Medrash in Geulah. That assemblage will be addressed by HaGaon Harav Moshe Tzadka, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Pardes Yosef. Dirshu is blessed to include untold numbers of Sephardic bnei Torah participants and has received the unstinting support of numerous prominent Sephardic roshei yeshiva and rabbanim. Rav Moshe Tzadka will underscore that fact with both his presence and his address at the testing site.
Kiryat Sefer also has an extremely high concentration of Dirshu test takers. Participants will have the zechus to be addressed by HaGaon Harav Aryeh Finkel, shlita, rosh yeshiva of the Mir branch in Kiryat Sefer.
The next phase of Dirshu’s matanah, Dirshu’s gift of Shas Yidden to Klal Yisrael has begun with a bang!