Chaim Gold
February 9, 2024

Senior Gedolei Yisrael from Eretz Yisrael, Europe and America, to Participate in Historic Amud HaYomi Siyum in Vienna

Siyum on Masechta Brachos and Haschalas Masechta Shabbos in Hall Where Knessiah Gedolah was Held

The Amud HaYomi has taken Klal Yisrael by storm. Tens of thousands of Yidden across six continents are poised to complete Masechta Brachos on Monday 10 Adar I/February 19. From taking note of the august group of senior Gedolei Yisrael who will be attending, one can begin to understand how important they deem this new “Yomi” to be for Klal Yisrael.

Leading Gedolei Yisrael such as HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron; HaGaon HaRav Yechiel Mechel Steinmetz, shlita, senior Skverer Dayan;  HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Salim, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Meor Torah; HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita, Rav of Zichron Meir and Kiryat Vizhnitz, Bnei Brak; HaGaon Harav Aharon Schiff, shlita, Rav of Antwerp; HaGaon HaRav Chaim Peretz Berman, shlita, a Rosh Yeshiva at the Ponovezh Yeshiva and son-in-law, of HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Ponovezh; HaGaon HaRav Messoud Ben Shimon, shlita, Sephardic Rav of Bnei Brak and Rosh Yeshivas Ohr Elitzur; and HaGaon HaRav Binyomin Finkel, shlita, Mashgiach of Mir.

These are a sampling of the many Gedolim who will grace the siyum at the Sofiensäle Convention Hall, the same hall in which the Knessiah Gedolah was held in pre-war Europe.

Large delegations of lomdei Dirshu will be coming from Eretz Yisrael, the United States, Canada and all over Europe to participate in the historic event and to simultaneously daven for Klal Yisrael in the eis tzarah in which it finds itself.

Indeed, the ultimate antidote to the terribly difficult times facing Klal Yisrael with enemies raising their heads all over the world, is limud haTorah. Learning Torah and the toiling in Torah of tens of thousands of lomdim the world over, has the power to neutralize the gezeira, as Chazal teach us, “Torah, protects and saves.”

Of course, the highlight of the journey will be the beautiful siyum graced and addressed by numerous Gedolim, where Klal Yisrael will both celebrate the Torah while begging for rachmei shomayim in the zechus of the Torah.

There will also be deeply inspiring visits and tefillos at the kevarim of the Chasam Sofer and Ksav Sofer in nearby Pressburg, and in the beis hachaim in Vienna to luminaries such as the Chortkover Rebbe, zt”l, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Engel, zt”l, and others.

There will also be a special maamad of tefilla at the kever of Rav Yeshaya of Kerister in Kerister, Hungary.

An Appropriate Response to Today’s Tzaros

The trip that celebrates the protective power of Torah and that will be full of heartfelt tefillos on behalf of Acheinu Bnei Yisrael hanesunim batzara is an appropriate response to the times in which we live. At the same time, it will celebrate thousands of additional lomdim who will be joining the Amud HaYomi program and beginning Masechta Shabbos.

Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, a senior member of the hanhala of Dirshu, related, “The very fact that tens of Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbanim and Poskim will be taking time from their busy schedules in the middle of the zeman to participate in this special maamad is in itself the greatest testament to the importance of this new journey in limud haTorah that has encompassed all of Klal Yisrael.”

Meeting the Learning Needs of Today

As Rav Dovid Cohen, who will be giving a keynote address at the siyum in Vienna, said, “The daily learning of Daf HaYomi established by Rav Meir Shapiro is extremely necessary for Klal Yisrael because the fact is that every person needs a mechayev and a framework that obligates him and empowers him to learn, with a plan, in an orderly manner. Otherwise, the daily obligations get in the way and rob him of his time for learning. In Rav Meir Shapiro’s generation, people had more time for learning. They would spend hours in the shteibel every day and the Daf HaYomi was therefore an ideal limud.

“Today,” Rav Cohen continued, “people are much busier with the overwhelming obligations of everyday life and need a limud with more geshmak to engage them. Even bnei Torah need a certain geshmak to enable them to sustain their goals in bekius. The Amud HaYomi which gives a person more time to cultivate a real geshmak in learning addresses all these needs. That is why I have encouraged this program.”

Rav Cohen related that the Iyun HaAmud kuntress distributed by Dirshu is a critically important component of the limud because it brings much of the “reyd”, the main points of the meforshim and injects a tremendous geshmak in the learning. In today’s generation the spiritual delight of delving in a sugya is vital because that is what spurs people to learn even more.

At the siyum, there will be drashos from Rav Avrohom Salim, shlita, Rav Yaakov Meir Stern, shlita, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, Nasi Dirshu, Rav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rav Aharon Schiff, shlita, Rav Pesach Horowitz, shlita, Belzer Dayan of Ashdod, Rav Benzion Rabinowitz, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Boyan, Rav Nissan Kaplan, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Daas Aharon, Rav Yechiel Michel Steinmetz, shlita, and Rav Chaim Peretz Berman, shlita.

The Battle of Torah Prevents Physical Battles

Following the siyum, the entire delegation will head to Pressburg where a special maamad tefillah on behalf of Acheinu Bnei Yisrael will be held at the kever of the Chasam Sofer. At the kever, words of hisorerus will be given by HaGaon Hatzaddik HaRav Binyomin Finkel, shlita, and HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, senior Posek and Rav of Western Bnei Brak. A special “mi shebeirach” for lomdei Dirshu will be recited by Rav Messoud Ben Shimon, shlita.

This will be followed by a visit to the ancient beis hakevaros where the Ksav Sofer is buried and tefillos will be said at his kever.

The historic trip to Vienna, where the original idea of a daily limud for Klal Yisrael was instituted just over one hundred years ago by Rav Meir Shapiro, zt”l, promises to be not only a deeply inspiring trip, but much, much more!

It is a trip that heralds the fact that Klal Yisrael was mekabel, accepted upon themselves a new yomi limud that has the power to transform the daily limud haTorah of tens of thousands throughout the world.

In addition, the fact that this new limud that was instituted at virtually the same time as the war on Hamas broke out in Eretz Yisrael, perhaps is telling us that it has the power, zeh l’emuas  zeh, to neutralize the power of Amalek. Indeed, the Chasam Sofer wrote, “When talmidei chachamim spar over a fine nuance in Torah with each talmid chacham holding strongly to his opinion, just like the machlokes between Hillel and Shammai, this prevents other aspects of machlokes, of war and battle in the world.”

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