It was one of those rare, awe inspiring moments, when all of Lakewood’s spiritual leaders gathered together at an emergency asifa earlier this week, called by Rosh Hayeshiva, Harav Malkiel Kotler to buttress the work of Chinuch Atzmai and Keren Kiruv Yaldei Yisroel.
The meeting was highlighted by the attendance of the Zekan Roshei HaYeshiva, Harav Shmuel Kamentsky and the Roshei Yeshiva of Bais Medrash Govoha.
Rav Kotler recalled the precedence his zeidah gave for Chinuch Atzmai over all other causes, as well as the mesiras nefesh with which Rav Ahron zt”l shouldered Chinuch Atzmai’s large budget to the point, where it became his mission in life.
Chinuch Atzmai is the pillar of chinuch for the general population of Achenu Bnei Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel. The transportation, which is underwritten by Keren Kiruv Yaldei Yisroel is the engine that allows for the education of thousands of youngsters in Eretz Yisroel’s periphery, without which they would not have no other access to Torah chinuch. It is an opportunity where the kehilla can “buy in” at a nominal expense and achieve immeasurable dividends.
The Rosh Hayeshiva asked Harav Mordechai Karelitz, Chairman of Chinuch Atzmai’s Keren Kiruv Yaldei Yisroel, who had just arrived from Eretz Yisroel to reveal the critical facts on the ground.
Rav Karelitz explained how thousands of avreichim from all across Eretz Yisroel many of them who can barely afford the bare minimum for their own families, eagerly undertake to sponsor the transportation of a Chinuch Atzmai child, as per the instruction of the gedolei hador. Millions of shekels are raised each year from struggling yungeleit, who forgo some of their basic necessities in order to earn this special zechus.
Rav Karelitz noted the affinity he feels with the Lakewood community whom he described as being true partners in the achievements of Chinuch Atzmai dating back to the organization’s beginnings. He also described the momentum created by last year’s Lakewood campaign and the positive impact it has had on communities all over the world.
Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky put the urgency of the cause in true context. “Es brent ah fire – a fire is raging!” When a fire burns, one doesn’t look at one’s abilities – one does whatever needs to be done!
Harav Osher Chaim Lieberman urged the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva to establish the Parshas Ki Savo as Shabbos Lema’an Yaldei Yisroel in all of Lakewood’s shuls and kehillos. He asked the rabbonim to convey to their mispallelim the importance of the initiative.
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