Acquire A Teacher For Yourself
A new study program – a collel for halachic studies – was opened by Toldos Yeshurun.
On rosh chodesh Elul 5764 (August 18, 2004), a new study program – a collel for halachic studies – dedicated to the memory of Rav Yitzchok Zilber, ztz"l was opened by Toldos Yeshurun for the leaders of its evening learning centers. This program was organized at the advice and with the blessing of Gedolei Yisroel in Israel and in the United States.
Russian-speaking avrechim who themselves have founded and are running evening learning programs for Russian-speakers are invited to learn in the new collel with the purpose of obtaining smicha at the end of the program.
Rav Ben Tzion Zilber, shlit"a, the rabbi and the spiritual leader of Toldos Yeshurun, in his opening word wished the students they should deeply study the halacha and learn to figure out the law in every particular case in exact accordance with the Torah.
Rav Yosef Schwinger, Rav Yitzchok Zilber's son-in-law said a few warm words and congratulated the avrechim with the beginning of studies.
The collel's five year program is based on daily studies, nine hours a day. The program includes the main "rabbinical" areas of the Jewish Law – the laws of Shabbos and Nidda. These two topics will be studied in depth – be-iyun. Not that much time is allocated for other subjects. For example, there is only one hour to an hour and a half per day dedicated to Mishna Brurah (at the pace of one page a day) or Gemara (at the pace of 4 folios a week).
The collel is led by a well known halachic authority, Rav Moshe Petrower, shlit"a. It is interesting that many of the collel's students wanted to learn Torah from him long ago. As one of them put it, "my cherished dream came true."
Rav Moshe Petrower sais, "in the previous generations there were a lot of 'generals' and few 'soldiers'. That is to say, there were many outstanding rabbis while relatively few people learned in yeshivas and collels. Today, there is, boruch Hashem, a lot of yeshivas and collels but not so many rabbis.
"The main reason why people do not become talmidei chachamim after many years of learning is that they were not taught thoroughness and deepness in their approach to learning. A rabbi must be formed by another rabbi. For example, I learned from Rav Elifant, shlit"a, and from Rav Yechiel Zilber, shlit"a, and, finally, from Rav Shmuel Auerbach, shlit"a. And I continued consulting with Rav Shmuel afterwards. I was built by the communication with these people, by their advice, by learning from them.
"My task, as I see it, is to cherish talmidei chachamim – may it be G-d's will that they will become such."
Avraham Cohen, the director of Toldos Yeshurun stressed in his speech that this collel is in essence the maka be-patish, the final missing link in building a viable Russian-speaking religious community in Israel. "Indeed, there have appeared a lot of places for Torah learning for Russian-speakers as well as hundreds of new Russian-speaking bnei Torah families. We keep opening new yeshivas, collels, seminary programs… But leaders, rabbis, real authorities and talmidei chachamim are still missing in the 'Russian street'. May it be G-d's will that this collel will produce them", he said.
At present, the collel is located at Rav Yitzchok Zilber's former apartment. The home of the Russian Rabbi, which has always welcomed talmidim, fills up with Torah again.
Following is the list of the collel's students:
Moshe Gekraiter, director of the support fund for Russian-speaking bnei Torah and their families.
Moshe Weisburd, head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in Brachfeld.
Yosef Zrudinski, community leader and head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in Modiin, maggid shiur for a group of Russian-speaking students in Collel HaRan.
Uri Superfin, head of a collel for halacha studies in Beitar Ilit.
David Grosman, head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in the Sanhedria Murchevet neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Yakov Shub, community leader and head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Naftali Panarovski, community leader and head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in Tel-Tzion.
Shalom Kaplan, community leader and head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Chaim Shaul, Russian-speaking community leader in Kiryat-Gat, maggid shiur in the Shuvu yeshiva.
Daniel Gink, program coordinator in Rishon Letzion and Lud.
Eliakim Zalkind, maggid shiur in an evening collel.
Mendl Agranovich, head of an evening program for Russian-speakers in the Bait Vagan neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Eliyahu Erenburg, head of an evening program for Russian-speaking young men at the Mirrer Yeshiva.
Alexander Nurenberg, community leader in Petach Tikva.
Uri Geller, head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Leib Nachman Zlotnik, mashgiach for the group of Russian-speaking young men at the Mirrer Yeshiva.
Eliyahu Levin, community leader and head of an evening collel for Russian-speakers in Netivot.