Dirshu – When the Siyum Calls: By Rabbi Nachman Seltzer – Binyanei Hauma

>>Follow Matzav On Whatsapp!<<

The impressive stage was the first thing that grabbed me when I entered the auditorium at Jerusalem’s Binyanei Hauma Convention Center on Moetzai Shabbos Chanuka, Parshas Mikeitz 2019. 

  The screen was studded with stars, tall orange candles flickered gently and a giant picture of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman focused on a sefer – held a place of honor high above the stage. The entire area was bathed in a sea of warm blue light – truly regal fashion benefitting the occasion, it was as if the crowd had just stepped into a royal Torah celebration they would never forget – an auditorium transformed into an incredibly beautiful Beis Medresh for the night. In a beautiful detail reminiscent of Dovid Hamelech’s midnight learning sessions, a gigantic harp occupied a place of honor near center stage. A few feet down stood the incredibly talented Reb Moshe Mona Rosenblum – musical conductor for the night – his tzitzis flying in time to the beat. Across from the harp stood both an adult and children’s choir, magnificent voices blending in full throated harmony.      

From the first special moment of the event, the night promised to be a chain of memories for the taking. From the dais (colorful bouquets of flowers placed along the entire length) filled with an impressive array of Gedolei Yisroel – all there to pay tribute to the Torah accomplishments of Klal Yisroel, – there was a feeling that something momentous was taking place.  

But as impressive as everything was, there was something else in the packed auditorium that drew my eyes and made me forget the multi-media screens, the orchestra and the singers. You see, as with every Dirshu event, every detail was perfect. As usual however, what was going on beneath the surface was more important. Because everyone in the room understood what the event was really about – I am referring to the members of Dirshu – the talmidei chachomim who have helped to turn Dirshu into a worldwide movement that encapsulates the true value of Torah learning – with every facet of one’s being.

And so, while the speeches were as inspirational as always and the music called on everyone to dance – looking around me, I saw the faces of the men who make Dirshu what it is, with their never ending hasmada and the way they never stop – no matter what – in their goal to climb the mountain of learning. 



Rav Dovid Hofstedter began the Dirshu Movement with an idea. Wanting to make a genuine difference in the world, he came up with an original idea and a way to bring the simcha of Torah into people’s lives all over the globe. 

  The idea was a simple one. What is it that most frustrates people who learn Torah? The answer – the fact that they do not recall what they learned just a short while before. So Rav Dovid asked himself, “How could he change that reality?” 

He then arrived at the answer.


He would offer tests for the people in his program. Tests for which they would be paid for results. 

  The goal – accountability. 

  Not that people would actually be doing this for the money. While nice, the checks would never be truly enough compensation for the amount of learning they’d actually cause. No, the money was just there to help get people started, to help them realize what it was they really wanted to do. 

The idea took root. Burrowing deep into the ground like a seed in winter, it sprouted and within a few short years trees were emerging from Torah soil everywhere. And the happiness these trees caused, cannot be accurately described. 

What can I say?

I’ve seen the results up close. I’ve seen the look of happiness and contentment, the looks of satisfaction in the eyes of Dirshu participants. You can’t understand it until you see it for yourself. And all of this was the result of one man’s idea. When we say, “One man can change the world,” it’s literally true. 




  “What has Dirshu done for you,” I asked a friend.

He thought for a minute.

“It changed my life, no more, no less.”

“What do you mean, it changed your life?”

“Very simple. I was a magid shiur before I began taking the tests. But how much time did I really put into learning the material? Not much. I gave my shiur every morning and the guys listened or didn’t. Mostly they wanted me to get through the daf as quickly as possible so they could get to work. It wasn’t that important to them if we got p’shat. Which meant that I didn’t have to put that much work into my preparation. On the one hand that made my life easy. I was giving shiur and it wasn’t taking that much out of me. On the other hand, I had the feeling that I was taking the easy way out and that I could be doing much more, if I could only find the right path to take.

And then I was introduced to the world of Rav Dovid Hofstedter and the magic of Dirshu. Suddenly I joined the hundreds of thousands of Dirshu members from around the world. If I had been giving token lip service to the dapim I was teaching until then, suddenly my entire life changed. I was no longer learning the daf to get through it. My days and nights began revolving around the daf. It became incredibly important for me to get hundreds on all the tests. I found myself learning through the night, sitting for hours and hours, without even knowing the time had passed. Suddenly it was no longer about just learning or teaching – I wanted to know, to really, really know, and I understood that Dirshu was going to help me do that. 

And it did.

That’s why, when you ask me what Dirshu has done for me, I can honestly answer that it changed my life, no more, no less.”

I spoke to someone else. He told me about joining Dirshu. How every morning became a joy and the learning that he did each evening, (teaching someone else with a more limited background) transformed his entire life. He told me that he never had such learning in his life and that it changed him as a person and turned his entire world inside out. 

When you hear a talmidei chachomim talking this way, the only thing you can do is marvel in admiration. 

But this is exactly what Dirshu does and why so many people are constantly joining this international Torah movement. There’s a reason, it works – and it’s bringing true simcha to the members of Klal Yisroel who thank Hashem for having brought Dirshu in to their lives.  


  I have been fortunate to have been given the z’chus of covering many Dirshu events. Every event is magnificent in its own way. Each is unique. But there is a common denominator which runs through every Dirshu event, ensuring that the participants know where they are. At a Dirshu event, there is a sense of malchus, of royalty. 

Every time. 

  How could it be otherwise? The Torah was given to us by our King. It’s our guidebook and the rules that govern how we live our lives. More than anything, it’s a set of instructions handed to us direct from the royal palace. Looking around me, at the auditorium filled with Yidden, all yearning to fulfil the ratzon Hashem, there is no question that the King is happy with His subjects, gathered together to celebrate the glory of His Torah while calling out with every fiber of their being – “Ashreinu Ma Tov Chelkeinu, Uma Noim Goraleinu, Uma Yafa Yerushaseinu!” 





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here