Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum, mara d’asra of Khal Nachlas Yitzchok in Kew Gardens Hills, related that there is no real way to choose which area to focus on to be maspid Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l, as he was all encompassing. A resident of Los Angeles who learned with Rav Chaim over 60 years ago in the Lomza yeshivah in Petach Tikvah brought a remez from a pasuk on why Rav Chaim was niftar at Parshas Tzav. “Chok olam l’dorosam”: Chok refers to Rav Chaim, whose Torah will live on forever.

When Yaakov Avinu is finally reunited with Yosef after 22 years of separation, in what can only be imagined as an intensely emotional scene, Yaakov embraces Yosef, sobbing on his neck (B’reishis 46:29). Rashi, quoting the Midrash, explains that, as Yaakov embraced Yosef for the first time in 22 years, he was saying k’rias Sh’ma. What is the meaning of this? Why not wait until after this joyful and emotional reunion with his long-lost son to pray? The answer often given is that Yaakov was overcome by intense emotion and wanted to channel this emotion toward Hashem through reciting k’rias Sh’ma. However, there may be a deeper layer here, as well.

“I am very excited about this program because it combines both yedias haTorah with learning b’iyun in a way that will tremendously enrich any participant.” Those were the words of HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron about the new Dirshu Chaburas HaShas program, said at a pivotal meeting attended by HaGaon HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva, and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, Nasi Dirshu together with senior members of hanhalas Dirshu.

New Dirshu “Chaburas HaShas Iyun” Program Announced At Melava Malka Siyum on Seder Moed 

“You think you are in Stamford, Connecticut, but you are not! There is a law that an embassy of a country is considered that country’s sovereign territory. For example, if you are in the British Embassy in Washington, you are not in Washington. By law, it is considered as if you are in Britain. We may think we are in Stamford, Connecticut but really, we are in Dirshu! Dirshu is a different planet, a different atmosphere. If there is anything that I learned this Shabbos, it is that being in Dirshu is something not in this world. It is a hechere velt, an elevated world of Torah and a world of simcha that is indescribable.”

There was a man who visited his friend in a far-off town once a year. When he arrived one year, he was shocked to find a towering tree in his friend’s backyard, standing well over 60 feet tall. Most puzzling, though, was the fact that just last year there had been no trace of such a tree, not as much as a small sapling. Perplexed, he asked his friend, “I was here just a year ago, and this tree wasn’t here. What happened?

As I headed out to the Dirshu World Siyum of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha on Thursday, March 3, I reflected on my endeavors for the previous North American Dirshu Siyum. At that time, I coordinated the entrance for Rabbi Yitzchak Yisraeli, Chief Bukharian Rabbi of the USA and Canada, and Rabbi Aharon Walkin, zt”l, then Rosh HaYeshivah of Chazaq. For this siyum, I joined on behalf of this publication after reading up on the mindboggling amount of work that the Dirshu team takes on. Walking into the CURE Insurance Arena/War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey, I was immediately taken in by the kavod haTorah and mentchlichkeit paid by each attendee. But for those of us who are not lomdim the daf halachah, the k’dushas haTorah present at the arena was our calling.