Bachurim! Your Yeshiva is definitely the most distinguished Yeshiva in Kiryat Sefer!
These enthusiastic words of veteran Acheinu activist, Rav Avigdor Berenstein, encapsulated for the bachurim at Acheinu’s Yeshiva L Tzeirim, the magnitude of the zechus they had merited with the unprecedented visit to their Yeshiva of one of the senior Gedolei Hador, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman.
Every year during the week preceding Rosh Hashana, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman travels to Kiryat Sefer where he delivers a pre-Rosh Hashana shmuess at the Mirrer Yeshiva branch located in the Kiryat Brachfeld section of the town.
As is understandable when a gadol hador of Rav Shteinman s stature comes to Kiryat Sefer, numerous other Yeshivos vie for the opportunity of having the venerated Rosh Yeshiva pay a short visit to their yeshiva too. This year was no different. Tens of Roshei Yeshiva, some very close talmidim of Rav Shteinman, requested, or perhaps more aptly, begged the Rosh Yeshiva to pay even the shortest of visits to their yeshiva thereby bestowing the unique bracha of Torah and palpable Yiras Shomayim that comes with the tzaddik s presence.
This year, however, due to Rav Shteinman s advance age and limited strength, all of the requests were reluctantly turned down by Rav Shteinman’s devoted attendants.
And then the request came in from Yeshivas Acheinu. When Rav Shteinman heard that the Acheinu Yeshiva L Tzeirim had requested that he visit to give chizuk to the bachurim who had just recently undertaken a lifestyle of Torah and Mitzvah observance and who, in just a few short months were already learning Gemarah, he adamantly insisted on visiting the Yeshiva. It was clear that the gadol hador recognized the incredible progress being made by bachurim and the tremendous effort being invested by the devoted Acheinu staff in each and every bachur.
It would be an understatement to say that the atmosphere in the Yeshiva was electric as the Rosh Yeshiva slowly entered its portals. The bachurim, eyes shining with inspiration as the tzaddik walked in, were clearly cognizant of the unique zechus they had merited in having the Rosh Yeshiva enter their bais medrash and daven there.
Rav Shteinman was accompanied into the Acheinu Yeshiva by Rav Meir Kessler, Rov of Kiryat Sefer and Rav Yaakov Gutterman, the city s Mayor.
As soon as word spread that the one place Rav Shteinman would visit after delivering the shmuess would be Yeshivas Acheinu, numerous Kiryat Sefer residents flocked upon the Yeshiva hoping to catch a glimpse of the Rosh Yeshiva and perhaps receive his bracha.
As soon as Rav Shteinman walked in, he was accompanied to the front of the Bais Medrash by the Rosh Yeshiva and the Yeshiva’s Rebbeim. Undoubtedly, the Maariv with Rav Shteinman on that night was davened with such intensity that it rivaled the Neilah teffilah of Yom Kippur. The thunderous Amein Yehei Shemei Rabbah uttered by the Acheinu bochurim was deafening.
Immediately after Maariv, Rav Michoel Berlin, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Acheinu, approached Rav Shteinman seeking guidance on several issues that the staff faces on a daily basis. He asked, As a result of the fact that the bochurim come to us with a very basic Torah background, what can we do to arouse for them a geshmak in learning?
Rav Shteinman replied that there is no pill that can arouse a geshmak in learning the only way to do so, is simply through learning and then learning some more; by diligently applying oneself to learning without giving up, the geshmak comes on its own.
Rav Berlin then asked a related question. These boys come from either traditional or even secular homes. What aspect of Yiddishkeit should be emphasized to maximize and encourage their spiritual growth?
Rav Shteinman replied simply, Torah, Torah and more Torah.
Although Rav Shteinman was too exhausted to deliver a comprehensive shmuess at the Yeshiva, he took the microphone in hand and, with such a warm smile and feeling, blessed the bochurim in the yeshiva with a Shana Tova and a Kesiva Vechasima Tova!
Without a doubt the tremendous ripples of chizuk emanating from the visit of the Rosh Yeshiva will not only accompany the bochurim into the next year, but even more, are sure to remain with them for the rest of their lives and serve as one of those life long memorable moments that they will one day share with their own grandchildren.
In the first year, just 28 boys were enrolled in the first Acheinu Yeshiva Gedola. Today, there are three yeshivos and Acheinu still cannot keep up with the hundreds of requests each year from Gedolim, parents and bachurim. Since its inception, the program has met astounding success in meeting the needs of children that are unable to learn in regular yeshivos. Your support will enable Acheinu to help these children and open new yeshivos, add more classrooms, hire more specially trained rebbeim, and retain avreichim to act as one-on-one mentors.