Having provided enriching learning opportunities for Anash communities around the world, Yagdil Torah’s Heichal Halimud Tiferes Yitzchok gives us a glimpse into the evolving programming within its four walls.
By Rochel Horowitz
For the past 10 years, Yagdil Torah has sought to provide an oasis of learning for the busy Baal Habatim and Yungerleit living in Crown Heights. True, you can learn anywhere but learning to the soft hum of impassioned voices, the smell of fresh coffee and the feeling of community and brotherhood are just some of the trademark symbols of the ease and comfort that Yagdil Torah’s Heichal Halimud provides.
Hillel Raskin, a newly married Yungerman who learns in Kollel during most of the day, says that if he finds himself craving a quiet place to learn, he knows that he will find Yagdil Torah always open: “It’s the only place that I know will definitely be open and available and any time of day.” He describes Yagdil Torah as having a unique ‘learning atmosphere’ and being a great place to find plenty of people to learn with. “I have all the Sforim I need there and it’s always very clean and organized.”
Raskin says that he is constantly inspired by the Baal Habatim who fill the space, eager to catch a few moments of precious Torah learning in the evening hours, after work. He says that he also finds it particularly heartwarming to see the schoolchildren who come there to do chazarah. “Yagdil Torah fills an important need in the community. I’m happy that they have that space.”
Another young man from Crown Heights says he’s been learning at Yagdil Torah since his Yeshiva days. He enjoys the quiet comfort that learning at the Beis Medrash offers. “I used to go there to learn every Shabbos. For the last couple years, I’ve gone there to learn almost every day. It’s a really nice, comfortable place to learn. Learning there is definitely more conducive to staying focused than learning at home. The general environment of learning helps me keep focused and stay on track.”
Yisroel Noach Raichik, echoes this sentiment: “Particularly in the morning hours, I know that Yagdil Torah will be open for me to catch a few moments of learning. Since there aren’t constant Minyanim going on there, I know that I can sit in Yagdil Torah and learn if my regular learning space in Kollel is being occupied by a Minyan. It’s nice to be able to grab a tea or coffee early in the morning, and delve into my learning.”
There is also an element of convenience in learning with so many Sforim at your disposal, says Rabbi Sholom Ber Avtzon, a frequent attendee: “They have more Sforim there than most people have in their own houses.” Having brought boys to be tutored there, he says that the environment is quiet and comfortable, conducive to these one on one instructive study sessions.
Rabbi Levi Browd, director of Yagdil Torah Heichal Halimmud says that each element of the physical space of the Beis Medrash is set up intentionally as he continues to update the features of the Beis Medrash with the needs of the community in mind: “We strive to provide the members of our Beis Medrash with the most up to date, easily accessible learning materials. We are constantly updating our library of Sforim and enriching our services according to the needs of the community.” Additionally, he says that he updates the inventory of learning materials according to the needs of the younger demographic of Anash, and the school-aged children that come to learn or do homework there.
Having recently implemented Otzer Hachachma’s enourmous digital selection of Sforim, they now have hundreds of thousands of Sforim, all available at your fingertips. There are periodic updates that are run by the system to make sure that it is up to date with the latest Sforim.
“Heichal Halimmud makes it practical for me to complete my learning goals,” says Avraham Piekarski of Crown Heights. Yagdil Torah’s Heichal Halimud is located on 574 Empire Blvd and is open from 6:00am until 2:00am, 365 days a year.