As Yeshiva Nishmas Hatorah completes its second year, the dream is becoming a reality. That dream is the vision of the roshei yeshiva, Rav Yissachar Blinder and Rav Pinchas Weinberger, vision to create a yeshiva that challenges its talmidim to be great Yidden. The yeshiva opened two years ago with six talmidim, two sedarim, and two rebbeim; and today the yeshiva has over twenty talmidim, three sedarim, three rebbeim, and an apartment for the out-of-towners.
How do you challenge talmidim to be great? “Responsibility, passion, and thought” would be Rabbi Blinder’s response. “Give them responsibility, be passionate about your own Yiddishkeit, and keep them thinking!”
The daily schedule is geared to maximize productivity, so sedarim are shorter and more intense. In addition to the mesechta that is being learned in yeshiva, there are halachah and hashkafah shiurim as well as va’adim for talmidim that are dating and ones on emunah and bitachon for the younger bachurim. “Focusing on sh’leimus, wholesomeness, is key to building happy and healthy husbands and fathers, and that’s what we want to do,” says Rabbi Weinberger.
Second seder, which is led by Rabbi Abi Goldenberg, continues on the same theme. There is a halachah shiur followed by a bekius shiur/chavrusa seder. It ends with an interactive hashkafah/mussar discussion.
Night seder is run by R’ Simcha Leibowitz, who energizes the chaburah with thought-provoking shiurim and discussion based on sugyos in halachah. On Thursday nights there is an oneg at his home.
In keeping with the sh’leimus theme, Sundays are dedicated to learning Choshen Mishpat l’maaseh. Rav Baruch Greenspan from Lakewood, N.J., prepares the sugyos, starting with the Gemara and Rishonim down to the contemporary poskim, in a clearly elucidated manner. He finishes off the morning with a brilliant chaburah and practical applications of the principles learned. The week ends on Friday morning with a shiur from a professional life coach, R’ Baruch Feifer, emphasizing effective communication and self-awareness based on the parashah.
The “Learn from the Experienced” initiative helps prepare a talmid when he leaves yeshiva. The student body is invited for lunch at a local restaurant and is joined by a local professional who shares his experience as a frum Jew working in a secular society. Most recently, R’ Avrahmi Singer of Cedarhurst spoke to the talmidim over lunch at Sushi Metsuyan. The feedback was phenomenal.
The yeshiva is currently housed in the magnificent Bais Medrash Heichal Dovid in Lawrence. The yeshiva feels truly indebted to the kehillah for sharing the beis medrash with them.
With Hashem’s help the yeshiva will continue to grow and the dream will become a reality. v