“When we look around this room and see over three thousand people,” declared Chaim Miller, chairman of this year’s Mir Celebration at Bell Works, “we’re looking at only half of the story.”
“The other half of the Mir story”, he continued, “is taking place six thousand miles away, where over eight thousand bnei Torah are immersing themselves in ameilus baTorah.”
This profound observation truly describes the incredible energy that drives the friends of Yeshiva Mir Yerushalayim to attain unprecedented heights in hachzokas Hatorah year after year after year.
The Rosh Hayeshiva, Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel shlita, echoed this sentiment. He underscored the phenomenal relationship between the lomdim of Yeshivas Mir and their friends abroad. “When bnei Torah learn Torah”, he said, “they become shutfim, partners, in the creation of the world.” Thus, the Mir Bnei Torah provide sustenance to their friends, the Bnei Zevulun around the world, who in turn reciprocate by ensuring that the Bnei Yissochor at Mir can focus on their learning without worry.
Campaign Chairman Mr. Ralph Herzka offered two poignant anecdotes of Gedolei Yisroel that provided greater understanding of the strong feeling of partnership between the Mir and all of Klal Yisroel.
Nowhere was the deep connection between the Machzikei Torah of The Mir to the Torah evident as it was at 3:30pm this past Sunday, one hour before the dinner celebration was scheduled to begin. Accomplished baalei batim of all ages were seen rushing to the venue for an hour of the same intense learning they experienced during their yeshiva days.
For a full hour, twelve conference rooms along the corridor at Bell Works were transformed into veritable shiur rooms; Rebbeim and Talmidim reignited their passion for one another by delving into sugyos together. Rebbeim spoke, while the Baalei Batim listened in rapt attention, savoring every moment as they once again absorbed the words of the Gemara, tasting its depth and breadth with unusual clarity.
Only after the shiurim were completed did the dinner begin.
What is incredible about the Mir – in the words of one attendee – is the genuine mutual respect and admiration that the Talmidim and Baalei Batim have towards each another.
Each of the evening’s honorees passionately conveyed their unwavering respect for the Bnei Torah in their own way. Mr. and Mrs. Avrohom David were presented with the Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Memorial Award; they received a chair that belonged to Rav Nosson Tzvi. Reb Avrohom warmly recounted the 52-year kesher he enoyed with the Rosh Hayeshiva zatzal. Mr. and Mrs. Bentzion Heitner, the Guests of Honor, received a cherished Sefer Tehillim that belonged to the Rav of Mr. Heitner’s native community in Australia. Reb Bentzion elaborated on the way the Mir continues to galvanize so many friends and supporters with a desire to be mechazek Torah.
Harav Yitzchok Hellman, the Harbotzas Torah awardee, received a Ketzos and Nesivos that belonged to his father-in-law, the Rosh HaYeshiva Rav Nochum Partzovitz zatzal. The Kesser Shem Tov Award le’illuy nishmas Reb Pinchas and Mrs. Esther Wagner was presented to their children, Mr. and Mrs. Yehuda Wagner, Mr. and Mrs. Bezalel Wagner, and Mr. and Mrs. Yitzchok Wagner. A video showed a siyum hashas made by the talmidim of the Yeshiva at the home of Harav Nosson Tzvi Zt”l. Subsequently they traveled to the kever of the Wagners a”h where they davened on behalf of the Wagner family, in recognition of the award.
Mr. and Mrs. Yanky Weitman, this year’s Alumni Leadership awardees, and Mr. and Mrs. Sruly Edelstein, the Young Leadership awardees, were recognized for being exemplary role models of involvement among the younger group of askanim on behalf of the Yeshiva.
There was a hakoras hatov presentation to Rav Nissen Kaplan, upon him leaving the yeshiva.
The evening concluded with music and dance whose simcha was at a level felt at a wedding. Various clusters of attendees danced in unison around their rebbeim, with smaller circles breaking out spontaneously as friends renewed their passion for the limud Hatorah of the Mir.