R’ Berel Povarsky alongside R’ Chaim Kanievsky at the Dirshu World Siyum
R’ Berel Povarsky alongside R’ Chaim Kanievsky at the Dirshu World Siyum

By Chaim Gold

On Shabbos Parashas Chayei Sarah, the Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah will bring together Dirshu participants from across the United States and Canada to celebrate the accomplishments of the thousands of participants in Dirshu’s myriad programs of accountable limud haTorah.

According to Rabbi Aharon Gobioff, director of Dirshu’s operations in America, “When I call a prominent, senior rosh yeshiva or rav to invite him to Dirshu’s Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah, it was not surprising to get an answer, “How can I not come?! Dirshu does so much for Klal Yisrael! Dirshu has been so instrumental in spreading Hashem’s Torah and enriching the limud haTorah of Jews worldwide, I feel compelled to come express my support and hakaras hatov!””

Why is Dirshu making this unprecedented Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah, a Shabbos that promises to be the premiere Torah event on the annual calendar? Rabbi Gobioff explains, “It was the natural progression. For several years now, we have been making a national melaveh malkah for all North American participants with hundreds of Dirshu learners flocking to Lakewood from the Tri-State area and beyond to attend. Each year, this truly remarkable maamad of kavod haTorah has grown in size and scope until there were nearly 1,000 attendees.

“This past year has truly been a watershed year for Dirshu. Thousands finished Shas, and finishing Shas through Dirshu means taking tests on the entire Shas. There was an elite group of more than 200 who also took cumulative tests on the whole Shas at once! In Eretz Yisrael, Dirshu held an absolutely massive world siyum with thousands participating. The entire Eretz Yisrael and beyond was swept up in the holy fervor of Dirshu. The world siyum put into focus the accomplishments of Dirshu’s participants, the wide ranging knowledge of Torah that they had acquired and retained by being in Dirshu’s programs and it was reflected in the simply unprecedented enrollment in the new machzor of Shas with some 15,000 people taking tests worldwide. In America too, enrollment increased exponentially, requiring new and expanded testing centers to open across the country.

“Now it is time to honor Dirshu’s North American participants for their amazing accomplishments. The Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah will offer a unique opportunity to make a siyum haShas honoring the Shas Yidden of America and the throngs that continue to take kinyan Torah tests on the daf yomi each and every month. It will be the special occasion to honor the many Dirshu kinyan halacha participants, the future poskim of Klal Yisrael for their recent completion of a 5½ year machzor of in-depth limud halacha of all halachic areas necessary to become a posek. It will also mark the phenomenal accomplishments of the daf hayomi b’halacha participants with a siyum on chelek daled of Mishnah Berurah. Chelek daled has long been considered the ‘orphaned’ chelek of Mishnah Berurah with few people learning it, but over the past few months, thousands of Dirshu participants have learned it from cover to cover, mastering the complex halachos of eruvin. What a nachas ruach the Chofetz Chaim must be having in Shamayim!”

Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, nasi of Dirshu, related, “The Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah, where an elite group of talmidei chachamim will gather and their accomplishments will be hailed, is a time for hodaah al ha’avar and zaakaah al ha’asid, to give thanks for the extraordinary siyatta diShmaya and berachah that has been showered on Dirshu until now and to look forward to the future.” Day by day more Yidden are undertaking the yeoman task of becoming Shas Yidden, of mastering the Shulchan Aruch; of incorporating daily halacha in their lives and knowing the six volumes of Mishnah Berurah and of participating in any of Dirshu’s 23 other programs of accountable Torah learning.

One of the most exceptional things about Dirshu is the enthusiastic support it has from Gedolei Yisrael. The Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah will be graced by America’s most venerated gedolim. Rav Berel Povarsky, shlita, a special guest from Eretz Yisrael, one of the venerated, senior roshei yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva and Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg will address the melaveh malkah. Other prominent roshei yeshiva participating over the weekend include: Rav Chaim Bressler, shlita, rosh yeshiva, Yeshiva Beis Moshe of Scranton, Rav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Staten Island, Rav Yitzchok Zalman Gipps, shlita, rosh kollel of Tiferes Yaakov Yosef of Spink, Rav Shea Heschel Katzburg, shlita, Belzer Dayan, Rav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita, Vienner Rebbe, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Rav Moshe Mordechai Lowy, shlita, mara d’asra of the Agudas Yisroel of Toronto, Rav Yeruchim Olshin, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha, Rav Yisroel Reisman, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, Rav Zev Smith, shlita, maggid shiur for daf hayomi b’halacha and Irgun Shiurei Torah, Rav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Telz Cleveland and Mesivta of Lakewood, and Rav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita, dayan of Kehal Toldos Yaakov Yosef of Skver.

The entire Shabbos will be a kiddush Hashem and kavod haTorah of proportions rarely seen. There will be shiurim by prominent Gedolei Yisrael, roshei yeshiva, rabbanim, and poskim, as well as zemiros by Reb Abish Brodt and his sons.

The climax of the entire event will be the beautiful melaveh malkah held at the main ballroom of the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown. Whereas for Shabbos there are only a limited number of slots still available on a first come, first serve basis, the motzaei Shabbos Dirshu Program and grand siyum is open to the public. RSVP required. Please contact the Dirshu office at 888-5-DIRSHU, ext. 115.

That program will honor the accomplishments of Dirshu’s dedicated talmidei chachamim, their wives, and families who help facilitate those remarkable accomplishments. Included among the program highlights will be three siyumim, one on the entire Shas which was completed in the last machzor of Dirshu, another on the kinyan halacha machzor, and a third on chelek daled of Mishnah Berurah. All participants will have the opportunity to hear Rav Povarsky and Rav Wachtfogel. They will then be treated to see highlights from the most remarkable Dirshu world siyum in Eretz Yisrael including Rav Wosner’s inspiring address and haschalas Shas, Rav Shteinman’s words of mussar and siyum haShas, Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s Kaddish, the Belzer Rebbe’s words of berachah, and numerous other highlights that provide insight into the size, scope, and magnitude of the Dirshu revolution that has swept Klal Yisrael in its holy wake.

The grand siyum will be tastefully catered by Parkway Glatt Kosher Caterers and will feature wonderful zemiros by Shoimie Daskal accompanied by a choir and orchestra led by the famed Ruvi Banet of Eretz Yisrael.

The DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown is centrally located and easily accessible from all major Jewish centers in the tri-state area. Dirshu will be providing buses from many major centers such as Lakewood, Boro Park, and Williamsburg.

The Dirshu Shabbos Kinnus Olam HaTorah marks a truly defining moment of Torah in America. It signals a new level of kiddush Hashem and kavod haTorah as the thousands of Dirshu participants gather together b’achdus, k’ish echad b’lev echad under the guidance and leadership of Gedolei Yisrael from across North America, to hail the accomplishments of Dirshu members and to dedicate themselves with even greater commitment and perseverance to learn Torah, to chazer and to be koneh, to review and to acquire Hashem’s Torah in a heretofore unprecedented way! v


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