The Torah World Phenomenon Inspires Again
By Rabbi Eliezer Sandler
“You are all so proficient in Shas, Rashi and Tosfos, that your minds are Talmudic minds and your reasoning is Talmudic reasoning,” declared Maran Hagaon, the Rishon l’Tzion, Harav Yitzchak Yosef, shlit”a, to the avreichim geonim of Shas Yiden.
“Such an assembly as this, is an incredible Kiddush Hashem, and hastens the Geulah,” added Maran Hagaon Harav Bezalel Rudinsky of Monsey, NY.
Post-Covid 19 Farher in Yerushalayim
These heartfelt words of admiration followed an amazing ‘post-Covid 19’ public farher in Yerushalayim conducted by these two Geonim, which covered the entire Shas in depth! “Such proficiency in Shas causes one’s reasoning not to be simply a personal opinion, rather true Talmudic reasoning. Thus, you will readily come to the halacha throughout the Torah.” Maran, the Rishon l’Tzion, was expressing his amazement to the avreichim geonim of the Kollel Shas Yiden, after the public farher from in-depth reasoning on Shas through to practical halacha, and he enjoyed their absolute mastery of each subject discussed.
Shas Yiden’s Remarkable Growth
In just the last seven years, Shas Yiden has grown from one Kollel in Beit Shemesh with just over a minyan of avreichim to five Kollelim! There are now 82 avreichim geonim. The kollelim are in Yerushalayim, Bnei Brak, Beit Shemesh, Beitar and London, UK. The big motivator for the expansion is the Nasi of Shas Yiden, Maran Sar Hatorah, Hagaon Hagadol Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlit”a. After testing the avreichim geonim for years, he gave his brocha to the founder, the Pozna Rov, Hagaon Harav Avrohom Eisen, shlit”a, to open further kollelim. Planning is underway for a sixth kollel to open by Kislev 5782 (December 2021).
A Unique Program
The idea of having each avreich submit to such a very demanding daily regimen and to complete Shas so thoroughly each year, is unique in the Torah world. They each conclude the entire Shas FIVE times a year (13,555 blatt) with every Rashi and Tosfos, all of which they learn to master b’al peh! Acceptance is through a searching examination on 450 blatt and the ability and commitment to keep up with the pace of learning, namely, 7 days a week.
The idea of public oral examinations of Shas Yiden has become very popular. This wondrous spectacle, for that is what it is, to see such incredible scholarship on display, has been repeated regularly, sometimes three or four times in a year. The frequency notwithstanding, every time such a test takes place, the spectacle reverberates throughout the Torah world and causes waves of amazement. This has an incredible impact on those who study Torah, and who are able to view the past farheren on the Shas Yiden website (www.shasyiden.com).
“I was Blown Away”
The public farher exam was also conducted by Maran Hagaon Harav Bezalel Rudinsky, shlit”a, Rosh Yeshiva Ohr Reuven and Rav of Cong. Ahavas Yitzchok in Monsey, NY. He is known for his erudition in all Torah subjects, and who personally completes Bavli, Yerushalmi and the entire Shulchan Aruch every year. The two Geonim examiners questioned the avreichim geonim for well over an hour, and derived much satisfaction from the amazing mastery of every corner of Shas by the Shas Yiden.
At the conclusion of the farher, Rav Rudinsky was all-American when he declared, “I was blown away by the Shas Yiden. This gathering is an incredible Kiddush Hashem - that Jews should know Shas in such a manner! Such a gathering hastens the Geulah (Redemption), and if I can be part of it, I feel a great zechus (merit).”
Rav Rudinsky said that so many Jews throughout the world have been inspired and have increased their Torah learning since they heard about the phenomenon of the Shas Yiden Kollel network. “You have strengthened thousands of Jews in the mitzvah of acquiring Torah knowledge, to the point that ‘the words of Torah should be ready in your mouth so that if any man will ask you a question, you shall not fumble; rather you should be able to respond immediately’, which is the way of Shas Yiden,” he said.
New Questioning Format
The gathering, as on the previous occasions, amazed all who attended, with a continuous flow of brilliant questions. However, on this occasion by way of a change, most of the questions were in-depth questions. The avreichim geonim had to draw examples from all over Shas to Halachic-Conceptual questions where the answers could not be derived from a superficial knowledge level of Shas. Not unexpectedly, the avreichim geonim weighed and considered all the volumes of Shas, and delivered in depth reasoning while throwing out ideas from all over Shas, as well as from halachic sources and the latter-day poskim. This was all to the amazement of the Rabbonim examining them, and who declared: “You also know Choshen Mishpat by heart?”
This amazing rischa d’oraisa (tumultuous Torah discussion) closed with the heartfelt words of the Rishon l’Tzion, who told the story of how his late revered father, Maran Hagaon Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, who had mastered Shas at age 15, would encourage others to master Shas. He also spoke about those who support and ensure the vibrant continuity of Shas Yiden. “Shas Yiden is unique in the Torah world,” he declared.
To see the letters of the Rishon l’Tzion and Rav Rudinsky and to see the dynamic farher, or for more information on Shas Yiden, or to donate click on www.shasyiden.com or call 718-702-1528 or Mail: 1274 49th Street #562, Brooklyn, NY 11219