Another Year, Another Gala Siyum: Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir Talmidim “Acquire” Maseches Bava Kamma

[COMMUNICATED] By: Shimmy Blum. Less than eleven months after Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir celebrated a gala Siyum on Maseches Gittin, the Bais Medrash was once again set for a royal Seudas Mitzvah. The Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Shimon Friedman shlit”a; the Ramim shlit”a; talmidim; parents; and others packed the Bais Medrash wearing their bigdei Shabbos for a Siyum on Maseches Bava Kamma. A substantial segment of the Mesivta’s talmidim in 10th to 12th grade were voluntarily mesayem this complex Masechta.

A distinct energy and simcha was palpable throughout the event, on par with what you would find at a family simcha. Both the bachurim and adults in the Bais Medrash relished every moment, their faces radiating with genuine simcha. There was live music, along with spontaneous dancing and applause. Whether or not a talmid was himself mesayem, this simcha was his simcha.

Steal Time for Torah!”

The Gaon and Rav of Yerushalayim, HaRav Zelig Reuven Bengis zt”l, lived during an era of extreme poverty. During the countless Siyumim he made over his lifetime, virtually none were fleishigs or even had bread for netilas yadayim. There were two exceptions: One was for a Siyum celebrating his completion of Shas one hundred and one times. The other was when he completed Shas over small increments of “free time.” This accomplishment is particularly special, showing a chashivus for Torah beyond what is learned during designated sedarim.

This dedication was likewise shown by the Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir mesaymim. Several perakim of Bava Kamma were learned last year during Mesivta’s regular sedarim. The talmidim took it upon themselves to learn the remaining perakim in order to complete the 118 dafim. They set up their own chavrusashafts. They attended the various optional shiurim that were held during bein hasedorim hours. They learned and chazered these perakim time and time again during their “free time,” including the weeks of summer and Yomim Tovim. Many of the chavrusashafts were between the Mesivta’s older and younger talmidim, giving the older talmidim an opportunity to shine as marbitzei Torah and role models.

You become a different person!”

When the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Friedman, addressed his talmidim, his varmkeit – which permeates the entire Mesivta atmosphere – was felt in every word. He noted that the Siyum was a personal simcha to him as well as his family. (The Mesivta is named after his grandfather, Reb Chaim Meir Friedman z”l.) The Rosh Yeshiva’s brother, Reb Shia Friedman, sponsored the Siyum l’zecher nishmas his shver, Reb Yizchok Yehoshua Hollander z”l. Reb Yechezkel Stanger, a longtime yedid of Rav Friedman, co-sponsored the Siyum as well as the prizes given to the mesaymim l’iluy nishmas his grandparents.

“Rav Yisroel Salanter would say that in order to grow, you don’t always need a mussar sefer. Just look at your watch!,” the Rosh Yeshiva shared. Learning to make the most of your time, and utilize as much of it as possible for limud haTorah, transforms a yid into a different person.

The Rosh Yeshiva noted that Maseches Bava Kamma occupied a particularly special place in the hearts of gedolei Torah throughout the generations, including his rebbi, HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, the legendary Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva. “Maseches Bava Kamma is now a part of your lives,” he told the talmidim.

It is a Kiddush Hashem”

The ability of so many talmidim to celebrate this monumental accomplishment is a testament to their dedication and ahavas haTorah, but also to the pervasive ruach in Mesivta. There is a powerful positive ruach that encourages talmidim to undertake ambitious goals and bold steps in Torah and avodas Hashem. The Rosh Yeshiva and Ramim also go out of their way on an individual level to provide talmidim with everything they need to learn and grow.

Rabbi Yaakov Gewirtz, Sho’el U’maishiv in twelfth grade, marveled at all the shiurim and chavrusashafts available, making a Siyum a realistic goal for each talmid. “Many bachurim are already on path to be mesayem Maseches Bava Metzia,” he noted, referring to the Masechta being learned this year.

The Hadran on Maseches Bava Kamma was recited by Rabbi Tzvi Braun, who delivered a daily bein hasedorim shiur for talmidim who wanted to be mesayem. Rabbi Braun related how struck he was by the strong, consistent participation in the shiur throughout the year. “It is a kiddush Hashem to walk into the Bais Medrash during bein hasedorim,” he observed.

Avigdor Sayagh, a twelfth grade talmid stressed the personal dedication that the Rosh Yeshiva has to each talmid from his first day in Yeshiva. “You can ask the Rosh Yeshiva anything,” Avigdor attested, “and he will do whatever he can to help you.

Mesivta Ohr Chaim Meir will iy”H hold its 8th annual Melave Malka Dinner on Motzei Shabbos Parshas Va’eira (January 25th) at Bnos Devorah. To RSVP and/or to place an ad in the journal, please call 732-865-0201 or email [email protected]. Ad deadline: Monday, January 20th.



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