Over 80 Bochurim Master ‘Gantz Baba Basra’

Among the eight-year cycle of Mesechtas learned in Yeshivos, Bava Basra stands out for its length and discussion of complex Sugyos. Yet, over 80 bochurim at Beis Medrash Oholei Torah mastered the mesechta in just 9 months.

Each year hundreds of Bochurim join Shiur Daled of Beis Medrash Oholei Torah, to spend a year learning in the Rebbe’s presence.

When Rabbi Mendel Blau, Menahel Roshi, teamed up with members of Hanholla, to launch a Mivtza Torah initiative to complete the entire Bava Basra and take written tests on the material, some were skeptical of the idea. Among the eight-year cycle of Mesechtas learned in Yeshivos, Bava Basra stands out for its length and discussion of complex Sugyos that include property rights, damages, inheritance, and obligations between neighbors.

“Many of the chapters in Bava Basra are challenging and demand a high level of engagement,” said Rabbi Elchonon Lesches, Menahel of Shiur Daled. “It is a demanding Mesechta, and there was a concern that not too many bochurim would commit, or would be able, to complete the task. We were shocked by the overwhelming interest. Over eighty bochurim utilized every spare minute to complete Bava Basra in nine months, elevating the learning and atmosphere in the Zal to new heights.”

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wolwowsky, one of the Ramim of the Beis Medrash, supervised the Mivtza, setting out a detailed schedule and preparing and grading all the biweekly tests. “Even at the end of the day, after hours of learning, the bochurim were completely involved in the Sugyas, coming over to ask questions and working hard to keep up with the pace,” he said. “A real change was felt in the air of the Zal.”

The participants in the Mivtza made a special trip to the Ohel, to inform the Rebbe of the Mitzva, expressing their hope that this will cause much Nachas to the Rebbe. Aside from the obvious spiritual gain of completing Bava Basra, bochurim who successfully maintained a 85% average will be awarded a cash prize of $352, double the number of the pages of Meseches Bava Basra, while others will receive Sefarim.

Photos by Shmueli Grossbaum

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