[Video below.] Last night, a crowd of thousands filled Lakewood’s Bais Faiga Hall for the annual P’eylim / Lev L’Achim Asifa. The evening began with Maariv at 10 p.m. The throngs of people began to make their way toward the hall in time for the opening remarks by the Lakewood Rosh Hayeshiva, Rav Malkiel Kotler. As people entered the hall, they were greeted by tens of beautiful portraits of gedolim, gifts for those who contributed specific amounts or took upon themselves monthly donations to Lev L’Achim.
Following Rav Kotler’s opening remarks, Rabbi Yosef Karmel, National Director of P’eylim / Lev L’Achim, addressed the crowd, sharing a poignant story that encapsulated the selflessness and remarkable devotion of the Lev L’Achim volunteers in Eretz Yisroel. (Rabbi Karmel’s remarks can be seen in the video below.) The crowd was visibly moved by the emotional story related by Rabbi Karmel.
Next to address the audience was the Director General of Lev L’Achim, Rabbi Eliezer Sorotzkin, who came in from Eretz Yisroel to attend the event. Rabbi Sorotzkin introduced the special video presentation which depicted the work of Lev L’Achim on behalf of its Mitchazkim and the inroads made in bringing an untold number of neshamos back to kiyum hamitzvos.
Finally, the large crowd was privileged to hear from the guest speaker, Rav Baruch Soloveitchik, Rosh Yeshiva Toras Zev in Yerushalayim. A son of the famed Rav Moshe Soloveitchik of Switzerland, Rav Baruch is a son-in-law of of Rav Chaim Sarna and a former Rosh Yeshiva in Yeshivas Chevron-Geula. Rav Baruch is acknowledged as one of the rising stars of the olam haTorah and he regaled the crowd with warm words of chizuk and inspiration, articulating the importance that the Gedolei Eretz Yisroel place on the work of Lev L’Achim. This was Rav Baruch’s first ever address to an American audience.
The tradition of partnership between the Bnai Torah of Eretz Yisroel and America was once again celebrated, with attendees united in the effort to help our wayward brethren in Eretz Yisroel find their way back to Torah U’Mitzvos under the auspices of P’eylim / Lev L’Achim.
To view a video of a clip of Rav Kotler’s remarks and Rabbi Yosef Karmel’s speech, click below: