Photos: Kavod Hatorah On Display As Large Crowd Gathers for Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim Annual Lakewood Dinner


mir-lakewood- rav finkel rav salomon[Photos below.] This past Sunday evening, the Ne’emas Hachaim Hall was crowded with alumni and friends of Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim at the annual Lakewood dinner of the yeshiva. This momentous event was a tremendous demonstration of achdus, support, and coming together for the cause of Torah. The attendees were captivated by a feeling of camaraderie and belonging. A powerful sense of purpose and mission was palpable in the hall.

The Lakewood kehillah‘s determination and tremendous mesirus nefesh, and the contagious fervor and zeal that inspired so many others to channel their warm feelings toward the Mir, are well known. An impressive number of prominent guests from out of town made the trip to Lakewood to participate in the dinner and witness this energy firsthand.

Prior to the actual event, throngs of women filled the chupah room of the hall for “An Evening with the Rebbetzin,” as Rebbetzin Leah Finkel, wife of the late rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, offered powerful divrei chizuk for the ladies of the Lakewood community.

At the reception, which began at 9 p.m., talmidim and admirers lined up to give shalom to and exchange greetings with the rosh yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, as well as Rav Elimelech Resnick and Rav Yehuda Wagshal, two highly popular rabbeim in the Mir who the yeshiva paid tribute to at the event.

The dais was graced by the roshei yeshiva and mashgiach of Bais Medrash Govoah, and roshei yeshiva and rabbonim from the city were in attendance.

Introducing Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Bais Medrash Govoah, Rav Binyomin Carlebach underscored the tremendous ahavah v’achvah and the mutual interests that the rosh yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi zt”l, shared with Rav Malkiel. Echoing the evening’s theme of hakoras hatov, Rav Malkiel emphasized how the entire Lakewood kehillah owes Yeshivas Mir boundless gratitude for the increased limud haTorah and exalted ruach they bring to the Ihr HaTorah.

Spontaneous singing of “ki orech yomim” broke out for several minutes when the rosh yeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, rose to speak. The recent threats to bnei Torah and the entire Klal Yisroel, especially right before the yemei hadin, the rosh yeshiva said, should cause everyone to be concerned and look for proven zechuyos. Throughout its years of existence, the rosh yeshiva stressed, Yeshivas Mir has continuously represented unparalleled achdus, as well as chessed besoch hadin, such as the miraculous hatzolah in Shanghai during World War II. Anyone who connected himself to the yeshiva, either through learning or financial support, was spared along with the yeshiva. With vivid emotion, the rosh yeshiva described how the yungeleit in the Mir continue to learn with mesirus nefesh despite all the difficulties. He thanked all those who exerted themselves to support the yeshiva. When he mentioned the name of Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, a long round of applause broke out in the hall.

Reb Shlomo Yehuda was introduced by Rav Nachman Levovitz. After putting everyone at ease with his gentle humor, Reb Shlomo Yehuda described in detail the unprecedented impact and severity of the recent budget cuts, the empty refrigerators and bare cupboards, and the tearful voice of Rebbetzin Finkel: “How will I feed unzere tayere kinderlach?”

Highlighting Lakewood’s prominence as a kehillah where people donate well beyond their means with great mesirus nefesh, Reb Shlomo Yehuda called on everyone to join his investment in Yeshivas Mir, so that Rav Nosson Tzvi zt”l will advocate for them before the Kisei Hakavod.

Honorary gifts were then presented to Rav Yehuda Wagshal and Rav Elimelech Resnick. Both rabbeim delivered brief words of acceptance.

A hush fell over the entire crowd hour, despite the late hour, as the image of the beloved Mirrer maggid shiur, Rav Osher Arieli, appeared on the large screens in the hall. Speaking via live video hookup from Yerushalayim, Rav Osher spoke of the halachic severity of the budget cuts and the appalling disparagement of Torah that it represents. We are all affected by this, Rav Osher explained, and we must therefore demonstrate our strong conviction that we not permit anyone to sever our connection with Torah. We have a guarantee from the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Arieli emotionally reminded everyone, that the holy yeshivos will not close. The only question is who will have the zechus of being the guarantor of the yeshuah.

At the conclusion of the event, there was a mutual feeling among the attendees that this was certainly time well spent, enjoyable from both a gashmiyus as well as a ruchniyus standpoint. Another link in the bond between Lakewood and the Mir has been forged, the perpetuation of the rosh yeshiva‘s phrase “Mishpachas Mir” so strikingly evident during this warm and beautiful evening.


{Noam Newscenter/Photos courtesy of Flash 87}