By Chaim Gold
It is an eis tzarah l’Yaakov. The murderous barbaric attacks on Acheinu Bnei Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael have cast a pall of mourning upon Jews all over the world. As maaminim bnei maaminim we know that we who are not fighting at the front must do our part in this milchama. We know that Hashem is the ish milchama and the way to invoke rachamei shomayim is through Torah and tefilla. Whether it is taking on a new kabbalah to join the new worldwide Amud HaYomi program that begins on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan or to increase Torah learning in any other meaningful way, that is the response that is needed for Klal Yisrael. All Torah learning brings down a shefa of rachamei shomayim and indeed, on Motzoei Simchas Torah, the venerated senior posek, HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, called on all yidden to increase their Torah learning.
The Launch of the Amud HaYomi Initiative
Rabbi Shalom Yachnes, one of Dirshu’s coordinators overseeing the opening of new Amud HaYomi shiurim, commented, “When I speak to rabbanim, and talmidei chachomim who have undertaken to deliver shiurim, there is a great sense of excitement and anticipation.”
Just in Florida alone eight shiurim have already been established. In Los Angeles, as well, several shiurim have been set up as well as shiurim in locales including Providence, Rhode Island; Dallas, Texas; Toronto and Montreal, Canada; Highland Park, NJ; and Philadelphia, PA!
This is of course in addition to the hundreds, yes, hundreds of shiurim established in major centers of Yiddishkeit in Eretz Yisrael and America, such as Brooklyn, Lakewood and Monsey.
In Lakewood there all already more than ten Amud HaYomi shiurim that will begin on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan including shiurim given by such prominent maggidei shiur as Rav Chaim Weg, Dayan at the Beis Havaad, who will be giving the shiur in the vibrant Torah center of Lutzk and Rav Eliezer Ralbag, Rav of the Lakewood Courtyard and Rav Abish Zelishovsky who will be delivering a shiur in Khal Zichron Yaakov.
As of this writing, over twenty shiurim have been established in Brooklyn with many more to come. A sampling of the maggidei shiurim in Flatbush are Rav Michel Spitzer in Khal Tiferes Tzvi, Rav Elliot Jemal at Congregation Ketter Torah and Rav Shlomo Cynamon at Kollel Bnei Torah. In Boro Park, some of the maggidei shiur are Rav Yitzchok Zalman Gips, Rav of Khal Birkas Avrohom, Rav Sender Rechinitzer, Belzer Dayan, Rav Chaim Meir Friedman in Klausenberg, Rav Gershon Fleishman in Rachmastrivka and Rav Yechezkel Landau in Williamsburg.
In Monsey, Rav Daniel Field will be delivering a shiur at Khal Mevaser Tov, Rav Yeshaya Zelig Shapiro at Beis Tefillah, Rav Gabi Fried will be delivering two shiurim one at Chayei Olam Community Kollel and one at Kehillas Ateres Rosh, Rav Chaim Meir Tabak will say a shiur at Vizhnitz on Francis Place, and Rav Mordechai Stresser at Klausenberg.
According to Rav Avigdor Berenstein, a senior member of Dirshu’s hanhala, Dirshu’s offices has already signed up some 6,000 new learners of Amud HaYomi in Eretz Yisrael alone. In addition, hundreds of shiurim have already been established across the length and breadth of Eretz Yisrael, ready to begin daf beis amud aleph of Masechta Brachos this coming Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.
Numerous Gedolei Yisrael have undertaken to deliver daily shiurim in the Amud HaYomi. Gedolim such as HaGaon HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky, shlita, Mashgiach in Yeshiva Orchos Torah; HaGaon HaRav Moshe Tuvia Dinkel, shlita, Rav of the Nachala Umenucha neighborhood of Beit Shemesh, Rav Moshe Sirota, dayan in the Bedatz of the Eidah Hachareidis, Rav Mattisyahu Deutsch, Rav of Ramot.
Another remarkable development in Eretz Yisrael is the enthusiasm among night kollelim for the new Amud HaYomi. The Amud HaYomi is the perfect limud for a night kollel and Dirshu’s offices have already signed up tens of night kollelim which reached out and asked to join the Amud HaYomi.
A Kehillah-Wide Initiative
In addition, Rav Bernstein relates, “Entire kehillos are adapting the Amud HaYomi as the collective limud for the entire kehillah. For example, the Kehillas Hamasmidim which has tens of branches in numerous locales throughout Eretz Yisrael, will be having a special, kehillah-wide gathering on Erev Shabbos Bereishis where the entire kehillah will collectively undertake to learn the Amud HaYomi and will open up tens of shiurim for the kehillah. There will also be hundreds of chavrusah partners doing the amud together.”
The Kehilla of Vizhnitz is another kehillah that is embracing the Amud HaYomi. The Skverer Kehillah New Square has already established three separate Amud HaYomi shiurim given by well-known, veteran maggidei shiur, Rav Epharim Greenbaum, Rav Sender Austerlitz and Rav Benish Silberman.
A Program that Transcends Boundaries
The enthusiasm for Amud HaYomi transcends any geographical location or any particular faction of Klal Yisrael. It is being embraced by everyone – Ashkenazim and Sefardim, Yeshiva types, Chassidim and Modern Orthodox.
It doesn’t matter where one is in the world, Amud HaYomi shiurim from some of the world’s most popular maggidei shiur will be available in English, Yiddish and Hebrew via video and audio on major platforms such as Torah Anytime, the OU’s All Daf Shiurim and Kol Halashon. At this point, the shiurim available online are given by Rav Dovid Hofstedter, Nasi Dirshu, Rav Shlomo Cynamon, Rav of Khal Bnei Torah of Flatbush, and Rav Herzka Greenfeld, in Yiddish.
Indeed, HaGaon HaRav Isamar Gerboz, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah and a talmid muvhak of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, related, “I remember once a group of yungeleit came to Rav Shteinman and told him, ‘Yes, we learn in kollel all day with great iyun but we would also like to review masechtos that we have learned to ensure that we retain bekius in many masechtos in Shas. What should we do?’ Rav Shteinman proposed that they learn one amud per day, saying, ‘Learning an entire daf is not appropriate for everyone. Some people have a nature that they need to go slower. They need time to stop, think and digest what they have learned. For them an amud a day is easier.’ Indeed, that group of avreichim used this Amud HaYomi system to learn the masechtos of Zevachim, Menachos, and Niddah and they saw great success.”
Getting in on the Ground Floor
Perhaps Rav Avigdor Bernstein of Dirshu said it best when he explained the magnitude of the zechus to get in on the ground floor of such a Klal Yisrael initiative that is destined to have a transformative impact on Klal Yisrael all over the world for generations to come. He said, “Of course, the zechus of establishing the Daf HaYomi and all of the millions or perhaps billions of dafim learned combined with the zechus of the impact that the Torah learning of all those who have learned Daf HaYomi since its establishment are to the credit of Rav Meir Shapiro. It is important, however, to realize that so many others have an integral part in that zechus. Rav Meir Shapiro couldn’t have done it alone. Certainly, there were other Gedolim who supported the Daf HaYomi and were instrumental in its success such as the Imrei Emes of Ger, who publicly made a point of learning the first daf on Rosh Hashana, 1923, and his tens of thousands of Chassidim followed through. There was the Chofetz Chaim who greatly encouraged the new program. There were the other Yidden at the Knessiah Gedolah who enthusiastically embraced the idea. There were those pioneering maggidei shiur and Daf HaYomi learners who ensured that the Daf HaYomi was here to say and the early participants in the shiurim, and the list goes on.
“Today too,” Rav Bernstein concluded, “every person who begins to learn the Amud HaYomi, who establishes a shiur in his community, who delivers a shiur… is getting in on the ground floor of the zechusim of the millions and millions of amudim that will yet be learned in this new program for Klal Yisrael. The greatness and enormity of this opportunity for the infinite zechusim that it will bring is available for any person to grab. Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of the Amud HaYomi program that will change Klal Yisrael.”
It is our fervent hope that Hashem should continue to protect His Nation, especially our brethren in Eretz Yisrael, and may the zechus of the enhanced limud HaTorah protect Yidden worldwide.