Monday, November 06, 2006

Daf Yomi - Our Remarks at the Dirshu Annual Melave Malka in Lakewood

I have been asked to remark on the manner in which Dirshu and all its encompassing programs have changed my life and all those that are involved in this revolutionary programs.

Reb Chaim Voloziner talks at great length that there is a concept of ביטול תורה באיכות and not only בכמות. The Mateh Efraim explains the Gemora of מבטלין תלמוד תורה למקרא מגילה to mean that even though reading the Meggilah is considered learning, nonetheless it would be regarded as bitul Torah if not for the special halacha that one is obligated to close the Gemora and hear the Meggilah.

The Mishna in Avos says שנים שיושבין ואין ביניהם דברי תורה הרי זה מושב לצים אבל שנים שיושבין ויש ביניהם דברי תורה שכינה שרויה ביניהם. Rabbeinu Yonah has the version ועוסקים - to merit that the Shechinah should be in one's presence while learning, he must be toiling in learning.

The Mashgiach Reb Nosson Vachtfogel was apt to quote a Gemmorah in shabbos 63 that states regarding the possuk - אורך ימים בימינה ובשמאלה עושר וכבוד - if one is part of the mayminin, he will merit long life together with riches and honor; however regarding the masmilim, they will not merit the blessing of long life. Who are the masmilim? Rashi states that these are the one's who are not exerting themselves to their full potential.

Dirshu, under the leadership of Reb Dovid Hofstetter, together with the guidance of the Gedolei HaTorah, has risen to the challenge of promoting the learning of Daf Hayomi b'iyun. The Dirshu Kollelim throughout the world have inspired Baale batim to attend shiurim and chavrusos on a dail basis, learning the Gemmorah with proper understanding, reviewing it and taking bechinos.

The Rambam at the end of Hilchos Sechirus rules that a worker is obligated to work every moment of his hire and he concludes with the words בכל כוחו - with all his strength. The concept of performing with all one's strength is obviously true by learning as well. Whenit came time for Yaakov to establish Klal Yisroes, the possuk states ויגל יעקב את האבן מעל פי הבאר. Reb Chaim Shmuelvitz explains that moving the stone from the well could not have been a regular miracle, rather the explanation is that Yaakov dedicated his heart and utilyzed his full strength and ability thus enabling him to move the stone.

In this past week's parsha Avrohom was told to look up at the heavens and count the stars. How was it possible for him to fulfill such an unattainable task? Reb Meir Shapiro whose yahrtzeit was last week, explains that an inteligent person would have obviously been perplexed when receiving such an overwhelming instruction, knowing that it is impossible to complete. Avrohom was also well aware of this, but he knew that by following Hashem's commandment, he would receive a special syata dishmaya and with that knowledge, he began counting 1, 2, 3 .... Hashem, recognizing this enthusiasm and Avrohom's willingness to fulfill His commandments immediately blessed him with the brocha of children.

Kollel Dirshu has instilled in all of us the courage and desire to take the plunge one amud and one daf at a time, taking weekly bechinos, monthly bechinos and eventually to be tested on the entire Shas (notice I didn't say anything about passing the tests). Dirshu has raised the bar on what it means to be a Daf Yomi Yid. We owe Reb Dovid and his entire staff a tremendous yasher koach for establishing and perpetuating these programs with his sole desire of being yagdil Torah.

The Tanchumah in Chaye Sorah states that Avrohom Davened that people should be able to discern the difference in appearance between him and Yitzchok. Hashem acquiesed to his request and people were able to recognize him as Avrohom and not Yitzchok. Why was this necessary. I heard from Rabbi Margareten that Avrohom wanted to ensure that everyone would understand the significance of proper mesorah.

It is a great zchus for us to have in our midst one of the Gedolei Torah of our generation, someone who is a vital link in the chain of Klal Yisroel's illustrious mesorah from Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov continuin to our present time. It is an honor for me to introduce to you the South Fallsburg Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Eli Ber Vachtfogel Shlita.


lewis said...

I am very dissilusioned... I learn in kollel and i was very exited to join Dirshu for the extra push of learning and the extra $ so much needed for Kollel people, I was so sure that such a huge propaganda machine will have the courtesy to send out the checks on time .Oy was i wrong i t takes between 2 & 3 months ( it may take longer ,as the p.r. grows even bigger).A small org as Mifal Hashas they have to sweat very hard to make ends meet ,you get your ckeck right when you take the next one,NEVER late..(i guess they don't spend all the money on propoganda).What a Chilul Hashem ,to make huge Melava Malkes ,dinner Gedolim ect...,and taking the poor Yunkerleit on a ride , does the campaign manager also get his check 3 months later,
Or the cleaning lady in the Dirshu fancy office, IMHO it just disgusting how the managers of Dirshu really look DOWN on Bnei Torah , just throw them a bone here & there ,and make lots of pict., Theese poor Yung. won't dare complain ,they are happy whatever and whenever they get,but is this a KIduush Hashem or a outright Chilul hashem?

Avromi said...

firstly, I am very sorry that you feel that way, however, I assume that you are from the only one's that do.

I have never seen any of the Dirshu mgmt looking down at bnei torah; on the contrary, I have seen the opposite. They respect them immensely.

While yes it's true that the checks do not come as fast as they used to, they are not 3 months behind and in such a large org. it has to take time. You cannot expect that as soon as you take your bechina, the check should be in the mail.

There are plenty of yeshivos and kollels that are behind; that does not mean that they dont respect torah and the yungerleit.

And by the way, Mifal hashas where I came from went defunct and as a matter of fact still owes me for about 9 bechinos from many years ago. I have no complaints though, only gratitude.

some of the things you wrote display what it means to be a kafuy tov; they should have the "courtesy" to send YOU your check on time. Did you send them a thank you letter? "Yungerleit on a ride"? They keep signing up and there is a line to get in.

Once again, your comment hurts me that you feel that way (although I am in no way connected to the organization) and I am not saying that you are a kafuy tov, just some of your sentences come out in that way.

Hatzlacha to you.