It was a surreal scene. HaGaon HaRav Moshe Tzadka, shlita, the distinguished Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Porat Yosef, with an open Gemarah, Maseches Sukkah in front of him. All of the talmidim of Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha sat with great yiras hakavod as Rav Tzadka fired one question after another on the masechta. Each question was answered with lightning speed by the talmidim. Rav Tzadka was clearly very moved by the sight, especially in light of his knowledge that in the recent past, these boys had not been religious at all!
This is indeed the unique quality of Acheinu kiruv. Acheinu, the kiruv arm of Dirshu, has used Dirshu’s template – a system of limud haTorah with accountability that has transformed Klal Yisrael and enriched them with Shas Yidden, Poskim and Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Yidden who truly know and retain what they learn. So too, Acheinu has devised a unique kiruv system with a success rate of more than 93%.
From Public School to Siyum!
The major test and siyum at Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha was the culmination of a year of hard work invested by the talmidim and their devoted Rabbeim. The yeshiva instituted a “Marah D’Sukkah“ campaign to encourage every talmid to learn the entire Masechta Sukkah and to be tested on it. It was the first siyum these boys ever made in their lives!
Just a couple of years ago, these yeshiva bochurim– who just made their first siyum on a masechta and been tested on it- were secular public school kids immersed in pop culture!
The siyum was attended by HaGaon HaRav Moshe Tzadka, shlita, and the Nasi of Dirshu Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita. A particularly moving moment was the sight of the parents of the talmidei hayeshiva, all of them secular but”¦ so very proud of their children’s accomplishments.
Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha is an absolutely unique yeshiva that plays a prominent role in the overall success rate of Acheinu. How was the Yeshiva Hakedosha conceived? Acheinu’s pe’eilim, all bnei Torah who learn at least half a day, work with teens from non-religious homes. As these teens came closer to Yiddishkeit, ultimately making the life-altering decision that they wanted to go to yeshiva, they were faced with a problem. On the one hand, they were not yet at the level, neither academically nor socially to be able to join a regular yeshiva. On the other hand, there was no proper framework al taharas hakodesh that they could join. Acheinu therefore decided to open up its own yeshiva headed by the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Zev Hofstedter. Acheinu’s Yeshiva Hakedosha is tailor made to serve as a bridge to a regular yeshiva. All of the talmidim are eventually mainstreamed to regular yeshivos throughout Eretz Yisrael.
“The Only Way is Through Learning Torah”
After Rav Tzadka, Rav Dovid Hofstedter also tested the bochurim. Later, Rav Dovid gave a powerful drasha outlining the difficult situation in which Jews find themselves throughout the world and the terrible nisyonos posed by the yetzer hara. “The only way to detach ourselves from the bad is through learning Torah!” Then, turning to the parents, he said, “It is such a zechus for parents to merit sons who are learning Torah in a holy yeshiva!”
A deeply poignant moment was when every bachur who made a siyum was called to the podium accompanied by his father. The fathers, most of them non-religious, beamed with joy as did their mothers who watched from an adjacent room on a closed circuit hook-up. They received from Rav Hofstedter a special diploma congratulating them on finishing Masechta Sukkah as well as a brand new Gemara Bava Kama, the next masechta that the yeshiva will be learning.
“I Would Have Sent All of My Children Here!”
One of the most powerful speeches was given by Shaul Maimon, President of the Chevel Ha’aretz Company. Mr. Maimon is a successful businessman. His son learns in the yeshiva and was one of the bachurim who made a siyum. Mr. Maimon spoke openly about how it was initially very difficult for him when his son became religious but, “Now,” he said, “I cannot tell you how happy we are and how proud we are of him! He illuminates our entire home. The light that he brings is the light of Torah. It was missing from our home. If I would have known before what the Yeshiva Hakedosha does, I would have sent all of my children here!”
The dancing after the siyum was simply unforgettable: Fathers, secular Jews far from Torah, dancing with their sons, wonderful yeshiva bachurim. Not only were the mothers shedding tears of joy on their personal simchas Torah, the fathers and sons were too!
From Eretz Yisroel to America: One Organization, One Goal
In Eretz Yisroel, Acheinu’s name is known far and wide as a kiruv organization with an enviable record for results. In recent years, its name and most importantly its success has spread to the United States as the kiruv movement which develops bnei Torah who remain dedicated to limud haTorah.
The Flatbush community at this year’s annual Acheinu Flatbush Parlor meeting will have the tremendous zechus to hear words of chizuk from the keynote speaker, HaGaon HaRav Yisroel Belsky, shlita, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. Rav Belsky, one of America’s foremost poskim, is familiar with Acheinu’s outstanding work in bringing lost Yiddishe neshamos back to Hashem. Without a doubt, he will inspire the audience with a practical message that will remain with them long after the parlor meeting is over.
The event will be held on Thursday, December 4, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Simcha Applegrad, located at 1266 East 32nd Street, between Aves. L and M.
It will be graced by numerous local Rabbanim and introductory remarks will be delivered by Rav Shlomo Cynamon, shlita, Rav of Kehal Bnei Torah and Rosh Kollel of the Dirshu Kollel of Flatbush.
Whether it is Rav Moshe Tzadka being flabbergasted at the wide-ranging knowledge of Acheinu talmidim after testing them on the entire Masechta, or Rav Yisroel Belsky hailing Acheinu’s work to a Flatbush crowd of admirers and supporters, the message is one and the same. Acheinu gets results. It brings teens back to Hashem and assures that they are mainstreamed and remain basking in the light of the Shechina!