Full Coverage: Video, Photos: Rav Shteinman Brings Chizuk to Lakewood, Addresses Two Massive Gatherings

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rav-shteinman-rav-schustal[Photos and full video below.] Full report: Today was a quasi-Yom Tov in Lakewood, NJ, as the Sar HaTorah, Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman, senior rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Orchos Torah in Bnei Brak, paid a special visit to the Ihr HaTorah of North America.

Thousands of men and boys flocked to Beth Medrash Govoha to witness the historic chizuk gathering which Rav Shteinman was to address. A full 45 minutes before the scheduled start time of the gathering, the Israel Henry Beren Hall of the yeshiva was already packed to rafters.

Thousands of boys took off from camp and showed up dressed in white shirts, together with their fathers, to get a glimpse of the gadol.

A palpable feeling of excitement and anticipation was in the air as the massive crowd, both inside and outside the building, awaited the arrival of Rav Shteinman.

Police officers cordoned off the area surrounding the yeshiva, and barricades were set up to allow easier access for Rav Shteinman’s transport.

Because of the massive crowd, video screens were set up in the Gestetner and Zemel botei medrash of the yeshiva, as well as in the gravel parking lot adjacent to the main yeshiva building.

Rav Shteinman had been scheduled to arrive at Beth Medrash Govoha at 9:45 a.m., but was delayed a bit. As he arrived at the main campus of Beth Medrash Govoha, silence swept across the standing crowd, waiting with great anticipation for the entrance of Rav Shteinman. As the senior gadol entered the room from behind the stage that had been set up for the event, the crowd broke out into song, singing “Yomim al yemei melech tosif” with great gusto.

The crowd then silenced as Rav Shteinman prepared to speak. Cameras flashed and attendees craned their necks to get a glimpse of the dais as Rav Shteinman addressed the crowd of thousands of bnei Torah of all ages.

Following his drasha, Rav Shteinman sat down and greeted the BMG roshei yeshiva and other rabbonim, while the crowd sang “Ki orech yomim ushenos chaim.” Rav Shteinman was then escorted outside to his transport vehicle shortly after 11 a.m.

A crowd of thousands gathered outside Beth Medrash Govoha as Rav Shteinman’s transport make its way out of the yeshiva complex with great difficulty, considering the enormous number of people gathered all around. Finally, the cars made their way to Seventh Street, and then traveled a few blocks to Clifton Avenue, where a kabbolas ponim was going to be held for the entire Lakewood community – anoshim, noshim, vetaf.

A special stage was set up in the center of the square block of the former Little League baseball fields, between Clifton and Lexington Avenues and between Ninth and Tenth Streets, in the center of Lakewood. Men and boys stood on the Clifton Avenue side of the vast field, while women and girls stood on the Lexington Avenue side.

Rav Shteinman arrived at the field at about 11:25 a.m. and ascended the stage to address the large crowd. He specifically shared a message with the youngsters, offering words of chizuk.

Police said that about 5,000 people were in attendance at the field.

As Rav Shteinman departed and the large crowd dispersed slowly, those who were zoche to get a glimpse of one of the gedolei hador felt fortunate to have witnessed the remarkable display of kavod haTorah.

Great credit is due to all those who worked tirelessly to set up and arrange both gatherings. They include the staff of Beth Medrash Govoha and specifically the office of Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO of BMG; Rabbi Yosef Kahn of BMG; the Lakewood Police Department and its dedicated officers; the Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch; Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein and other Township officials; Mr. Al Burge, Director of the Lakewood Public Works Department; R’ Yehoshua Ausfresser, who arranged sound for both events; Chaim Rosen, who was awake all night to arrange the video of the BMG gathering and set up screens across the building; and finally, Reb Yanky Meyer of Misaskim, who has coordinated Rav Shteinman’s transport during his visit to the Tri-State area.

As we’ve reported extensively here on Matzav.com, Rav Shteinman began his current overseas visit at the beginning of this week, departing from Eretz Yisroel on Motzoei Shabbos. He has thus far visited the United States briefly before heading to Mexico and Panama and then returning to American shores.

Rav Shteinman will now head to the community of Monsey, NY, where he will be hosted by noted askan Reb Shimon Glick. The public will have the zechus of davening Shacharis with Rav Shteinman kevosikin tomorrow morning at the Glick home on Viola Road.

Rav Shteinman will head back to Eretz Yisroel in time for Shabbos.

Click below for a video of today’s events:

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See below for photos:

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{Matzav.com Newscenter/Thank you to Yated Ne’eman for assistance in preparing this report./Video and photos by Dovid Menser, Hillel Engelson, M. Rosen and Anonymous}

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  1. I understand that it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to see and derive chizuk from such a great tzaddik and talmid chochom. However, when I see how weak and fragile The Rav looks, I wonder why do they shlep him all aroung the world on these exhausting trips? He is KA”H an old man. WHy are we doing this to him? I wouldn’t do this to my elderly mother who seems much stronger than The Rav does, KA”H.

  2. viewing pictures on your site is very annoying. You should have a way similar to picasa where you can flip through fast w/o effects

  3. You wish your were their what?

    Lesson: There=in that place
    Their=belonging to them
    They’re=they are
    I know that for some reason, correct grammar and spelling don’t happen on the internet,but is it so much harder to write “there” instead of “their?”…Or do you really not know the difference?


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