Why Spend All That Money?

Oped by Rabbi Mendel Yusewitz: There was definitely lots of gelt poured into this event. Let me tell you, IMHO that was money well spent! I think these people really got it…

By Rabbi Mendel Yusewitz

Overcome with emotion, I sat down this past Thursday to try and give a voice to a Neshoma that’s been set ablaze.

As a Chosid, imagine sitting at the Rebbe’s Farbrengen as the Rebbe shares a Hadran. The Rebbe is literally sharing his simcha with us his talmidim and chassidim. The Rebbe invites us in to rejoice in his simcha as he completes a Maseches, a Seder or even Shas. If I may share, I suspect it wasn’t merely that occasion the Rebbe intended for us to mark… He expected more.

I just returned from an evening celebrating Torah. A Hakhel Farbrengnen celebrating 112 daf – that’s 112 days/nights of commitment. Some with a Shiur, while some without. Some with a Chavrusa and some without. Undoubtedly these 112 include some really late nights, some tired mornings, some missed events, while juggling Parnasa, family, babysitting and more.., BUT after all, for what do we work all day?? Another dime?

There are many worthy causes. The statement you can make to your family: our time and money will be spent on what ultimately matters. There was definitely lots of gelt poured into this event. Let me tell you, IMHO that was money well spent! I think these people really got it…

Honestly, I didn’t conclude Maseches Kesubos tonight. Moreover, I categorically dislike social events – just my personality…  But tonight I learnt something really special, I learnt what it can look like when brothers decide B’emes to share a Simcha. When one Chossid decides: “lets celebrate Torah together”, not B’dieved. Nisht “tzu yotze zain” – with the proper deserved honor! 

With the help of ‘Irgun Torah’ they ensured every chossid real Simcha shel Torah! Not only the magidei shiurim, rather every mesayem felt like a king ALONG with their invited friends!! Down to the most minute gashmiyus’dige detail: a four course meal. Lavish & fleishig. flowers and all..

On a personal note: 

I get many Chinuch related articles and Op-Eds continuously sent to me, what’s wrong with the Chinuch system, how to correct it, or just how so many were impacted by it… Yes, I am one of those who its directed towards… We all try to take it in a constructive way! 

While in Chinuch we are all trying our best and beyond, on this note, here’s what we ALL can do: Beautify & celebrate Torah learning! what every ‘Good-old’ Yiddishe Mamme would sing to their infants and imbue them with ‘Torah iz di beste schora’

So what’s the takeaway? 

Here’s a Chinuch experiment. 


Next portion of Torah you conclude, -regardless of the sefer- follow our Rebbe’s example: include your family in the Simcha. 

Be it a Sefer of Rambam (or even a series of Halachos in Ramabam), a Maseches Gemora/Mishnayos or any small goal you know in your heart is a milestone. In addition to sharing an interesting piece you learned, make the move! Go out and buy something special to make this day VERY different. Pizza or sushi, ice cream or Scottish herring for that matter. 


Take charge of the décor. This is why special tablecloths were created. Candles, runners… 

Envision the following: Many of your Tefillos at your Shabbos Licht for a proper yiddishe home and chassidishe nachas will have been answered with such seudos mitzvah, done with passion and apparatus. It just may be the answer to so many of your tefillos, and on all levels!

I am indebted to two Chassidim: R’ Shloimy Greenwald the man behind this and endless other fabulous initiatives! And to R’ Avrohom Rotban of ‘Irgun Torah’ for seeing it through till the end – for helping me experience this.

Mendel Yusewitz

P.S. The motivation and fire shared by Rabbi Chaim Schapiro on learning Shas is really worth anyone’s time!


Hakhel how-to and a new novel way to do Hakhel.

R’ Avrohom Rotban of ‘Irgun Torah’ adds:

This extravagant siyum event was even more meaningful as we just entered into shnas hakhel. The Rebbe emphasized many times the need for each individual to be involved in hakhel. The way to implement hakhel is simply to increase in actual gatherings of shiurei Torah, where people come together to learn Torah.

As well as gatherings celebrating siyumim, honoring Magidei Shiurim, Lomdei Torah and to hear Divrei Chizuk about strengthening Torah learning.

This beautiful evening was not only for the 150 people that joined us at the event, but the entire event was also video recorded live professionally, and was streamed live so that others throughout the world were able to join live online to celebrate together, and hear inspirational words of divrei chizuk to strengthen daily Torah learning whether in Gemora, Chassidus and Rambam.

And so, with today’s technology there is a new novel way that each individual can do Hakhel. Through zoom and WhatsApp video calling every person can reach out to family and friends across the globe to do a virtual Hakhel gathering discussing words of chizuk and Torah. 

Let’s learn from Rabbi Shloimy Greenwald who is a very busy businessman, regardless he decided to take the call of the Rebbe to do Hakhel gatherings of Torah. By doing this extravagant evening to honor Torah. And he took it a step further and he himself started a shiur Torah Mondays and Thursdays 6:30 am in Torah Or, in his shul. With a very busy schedule he found the time not only to increase in Torah learning but to actually commit to prepare and give a shiur. 

So, take the initiative and initiate Torah gatherings, celebrating siyumim in Gemora and  Rambam in your community.

Arrange a new shiur Torah, give a shiur Torah or join and strengthen a current shiur. It will surely add meaning, knowledge and purpose to your life and bring us closer to being zoche to the ultimate Hakhel with Moshiach NOW!

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