Those were the words of Hagaon Harav Yehuda Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the well known Sephardic Yeshiva, Yeshiva Yakirei Yerushalayim, to Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi of the Dirshu organization, an organization that has transformed Torah study through its myriad structured programs that promote serious Torah study with accountability.
Harav Yehuda Cohen, shlita, is the Rosh Yeshiva of one of the most successful Sephardic Yeshivot in Eretz Yisrael. His Yeshiva, Yeshiva Yakirei Yerushalyim, is one of the prime producers of future Sephardic Torah giants. The venerated Rav Cohen, a master educator, recently hosted Rav David Hofstedter together with senior members of Dirshu’s leadership in his office at his yeshiva in Yerushalayim.
Rav Cohen hailed the profound contribution that Dirshu has made to his yeshiva and said that the 65 young men in his yeshiva who participate in Dirshu’s special program that encourages Yeshiva students to complete the entire tractate that they are learning that year in the Yeshiva, has revolutionized and infused the entire Yeshiva with newfound energy. “The Dirshu participants, who take the tests and are rewarded for exemplary scores, are boys who forge a lifelong connection with Torah learning, even years after they leave the Yeshiva. They will never cease learning Torah for the rest of their lives,” Rav Cohen said.
The Transformative Effect of Dirshu’s Unique Method of Structure and Accountability
Similarly, thousands of people from all over the world are participating in Dirshu’s Torah study programs that bring structure to one’s Torah learning. Every month, those who participate in Dirshu’s Gemara and Halacha programs take tests on the material learned the previous month and are awarded cash stipends for their efforts.
This summer, Dirshu will be making a massive World Siyum featuring 48 hours straight of siyumim on Shas and Halacha, celebrating the dedication to Torah learning of its participants.
Indeed, Rav Yehuda Cohen, in his conversation with the leadership of Dirshu, echoed the recent outpouring of goodwill for Dirshu expressed by the venerated senior Rosh Yeshiva, Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, and numerous other Rabbis representing all segments of Orthodox Jewry the world over.
Rav Shteinman had also been extremely gratified by the special level of achdut, unity, that will permeate this year’s summer of siyumim in Eretz Yisrael as Dirshu will make its own two large siyumim in Tel Aviv and Yerushalayim as well as Dirshu’s siyum in Petach Tikvah and Yerushalayim in conjunction with Agudat Yisrael and Degel HaTorah.
The Four Huge Siyumim
Dirshu will be hosting or co-hosting four massive siyumim on 11-12 Av/July 30-31with a combined crowd of nearly 60,000 men. There will be many thousands more women and children watching it in Eretz Yisrael and in locales worldwide on a live audio-visual hookup. The first event will be for Dirshu participants at the Nokia Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon. That siyum will honor the thousands of Dirshu participants in Eretz Yisrael and the throngs of guests from throughout the world. It will be attended by senior venerated Torah giants from across the spectrum. Following the celebration, hundreds of buses will transport the crowd from Yad Eliyahu to the Eim Hamoshavot Stadium in Petach Tikvah to participate in a colossal Siyum HaShas for the general community sponsored jointly by Dirshu and Degel HaTorah / Agudat Yisrael of Eretz Yisrael.
The above mentioned live hookup for women of the events in Yad Eliyahu and Eim Hamoshavot will be shown at the Binyanei Haumah Convention Center in Yerushalayim, as well as locations in Bnei Brak and other communities throughout Eretz Yisrael. There will also be live hookups for both men and women to the Yad Eliyahu and Eim Hamoshavot events in numerous cities throughout the world.
The following afternoon, Tuesday, 12 Av/July 31, Dirshu will be holding a siyum tailored for English speakers at the Binyanei Haumah Convention Center in Yerushalayim, the largest center in Yerushalayim. Venerated English-speaking Torah giants including Hagaon Harav Yosef Sitruk, former Chief Rabbi of France who was instrumental in bringing a teshuvah revolution to French Jewry, as well as Hagaon Harav Yitzchok Scheiner, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Kaminetz Yeshiva, and Hagaon Harav Simcha Hakohein Kook, shlita, Chief Rabbi of Rechovot, as well as numerous others will address the event.
After that event too, buses will bring the massive crowd to the immense, open-air Daf Hayomi Siyum HaShas in a large park in the French Hill neighborhood co-sponsored by Dirshu and Agudat Yisrael of Yerushalayim.
Additionally, there will be a simultaneous women’s English program in an adjacent, separate hall at Binyanei Haumah. That event will feature live video of the event with separate programming. One highlight will be an address by the consummate educators and internationally acclaimed speakers, Rabbanit Tzipporah Heller and Rabbanit Yitty Neustadt.
Scramble for Seats at Yad Eliyahu!
According to Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, a senior member of Dirshu’s leadership, the Dirshu staff is having a difficult time finding enough tickets for the Yad Eliyahu Stadium event to be held exclusively for Dirshu participants and their families. “When we tally up the number of people actively participating in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi Bavli testing program, the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha testing program, Kinyan Halacha testing program, Bnei Yeshivot , yeshiva student program, the delegations from America and the numerous Gedolei Yisrael, we are finding it difficult to contain everyone in the more than 12,000 seat arena. “Nevertheless,” Rabbi Bernstein says, “We will make sure there is a seat for every active Dirshu participant, to enable them to celebrate the true simchat haTorah of learning Torah responsibly and with accountability. Indeed, Dirshu has hired engineers to ensure that every bit of available stadium space will be used to the utmost and that every person in the stadium will have an excellent view.”
At the English speaking event, it is anticipated that yeshiva students and kollel members representing the massive Anglo Community will arrive in droves. In fact, Dirshu’s special representative to the Anglo Communities in Yerushalayim and Beit Shemesh has already been bombarded with requests for tickets and additional details about the program.
Such an amazing event that embodies colossal simchat haTorah engenders great joy in the Jewish Nation and a spontaneous outbreak of song. To give voice to this profound simcha Dirshu has released a special music tribute CD in honor of the event, featuring remarkably moving and joyous songs about Torah and its transformative effect. The songs are sung by some of the Jewish world’s most distinguished singers including Rabbi Yirmiyahu Daman, Isaac Honig and Shloime Daskal.
The French Connection
Another very heartwarming occurrence was the special request from members of Dirshu’s programs in France who have expressed their desire to personally attend the World Siyum. A delegation of some 700 Dirshu participants from France led by their Rabbanim and Torah lecturers will make the journey this summer to Eretz Yisrael. At the English speaking siyum, there will be a special section for the French delegation that will have simultaneous translation from English to French. As mentioned earlier, the delegation will be lead by Hagaon Harav Yosef Sitruk, shlita, former Chief Rabbi of France.
Dirshu Unifying the Jewish Nation
Dirshu unites the Jewish Nation through the one thing that binds all Orthodox Jews together, their holy Torah. Enhancing Torah learning is Dirshu’s raison d’etre, its sole purpose. That is why so many Torah giants feel such a deep affinity for Dirshu and so appreciate what it does for the Jewish People on five continents.
In fact, when Rav Hofstedter invited Rav Yehuda Cohen to the Dirshu siyumim, Rav Cohen said, “What you are doing is tremendously important. I would be honored to participate in such a momentous event that gives such honor to the Torah.”
With just weeks to the World Siyum, Dirshu’s offices worldwide have been receiving a flurry of inquiries and reservations from people who desire to join the special VIP delegation from the Diaspora for what promises to be a once in a lifetime spiritual experience of honor for the Torah and strengthening of Torah! In addition to the four remarkable siyumim, participants will have the opportunity to have unforgettable, private, unhurried visits with numerous senior Torah giants.
Those wishing to join the special delegation should call Dirshu’s offices as soon as possible as there are only a limited number of seats available. Please call 1-888-5-Dirshu. Special discounted fares are available.