A special seder for adults and bochurim is being organized in Lakewood this year for leil Purim, MotzoeiShabbos Parshas Tzav. The organizers answered commonly asked questions about the program.
Q: What is this learning seder all about?
A: Basically, there are two main points to the seder halimud:
1) Learn any limud, in any bais medrash of your choice, on Purim night for one straight hour between the hours of 10 p.m. and 12 a.m.
2) There is a special bonus for bochurim who participate in the seder and raise money for tzedakah as well.
Q: How does the bonus part work?
A: Any bochur, mesivta age or older, who participates in the hour-long seder, and who raises a minimum of $100 for any tzedakah of his choice, will receive a gift card to Judaica Plaza. The amount of the gift card will be $25 per $100 raised. So, if he raises $200, he will receive a $50 gift card, and so on, until $500, for which he will receive a $125 gift card. ($125 is the limit per bochur for the gift cards.)
Q: When is the bochur supposed to raise the money?
A: Before, during or after Purim, as long as we receive the information before Pesach.
Q: How is a bochur supposed to raise funds even before Purim begins?
A: Well, if a bochur approaches his parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, etc. and says, “I would like to sit and learn on Purim night instead of running around collecting…so will you sponsor me $100 for tzedakah (or $50, or $25) in order to do so?” I would think that most parents would jump for joy at that opportunity.
Q: So let’s say I raised $250 for tzedakah. How do I go about claiming my $50 gift certificate?
A: Simply fill out the short form found on the ads you will see in the local papers and mail or fax to the address listed, along with a copy of the checks you’ve received. Or, drop off the papers by one of the cashiers at Judaica Plaza. You will receive your gift card in the mail shortly thereafter.
Q: Are there any roshei yeshivah or rabbonim behind this project?
A: Yes. In previous years, we consulted with Rav Meir Stern, Rav Matisyahu Salomon and Rav Dovid Schustal, amongst others. All were extremely supportive of this project.
Q: Did you say “in previous years”? I thought this was the first year that you are doing this.
A: Well, not exactly. A few years ago, this idea was initiated with a bit of a different twist. At that time, a small group of baalei batim was offering a $100 donation to tzedakah for every bochur who joined the seder, which took place in two locations, at Rabbi Yardley’s shul in Village Park and at the Mesivta of Lakewood. The obvious flaw with this mehalech was that the more matzliach it was, and the more bachurim who joined, the more the budget became unmanageable and out-of-control. It should be noted, though, that the Mesivta has kept this beautiful seder going for the past few years, and it has seen tremendous bracha and success.
Q: Most bochurim currently collect for their yeshivos or other mosdos. If they will start learning at night instead of collecting, even though it is a wonderful idea, won’t these mosdos lose an important source of funding during a critical economic time?
A: That is an excellent question. However, we did some research. It seems that the average carload of 6-7 bochurim comes back with around $1,000 or less. If you deduct the cost of the car, and/or the driver, and/or the costumes, etc., you will find that the actual income is closer to the $600-$700 mark. Now, if these same bochurim would spend a few minutes on the phone prior to Purim, calling a few friends and relatives as mentioned above, they should easily be able to raise $100 or more each. Besides that, they can also collect during the day on Purim or even after Purim. Thus, their yeshiva might net even more than before, while the bochurim can enjoy an aliyah ruchni on Purim night and Klal Yisroel can gain much-needed zechuyos.
Q: What if I have any more questions?
A: You can call 908.783.8006. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Yasher koach and ah freilichen Purim.