History Made with Dirshu’s Launch of Kinyan Yerushalmi Testing Program

Program to Begin Next Week with New Cycle of Daf HaYomi Yerushalmi

י׳ במרחשוון תשפ״ג – Nov 4, 2022

By Chaim Gold

“The Sar HaTorah, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l, would often say that learning Talmud Yerushalmi and knowing Talmud Yerushalmi is a key to bringing the geulah,” said HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Mann, shlita, Rav Chaim’s close talmid who himself learned daily with Rav Chaim. “This coming 20 Cheshvan/November 14, with the start of the 11th cycle of Daf HaYomi Yerushalmi, we will move one step closer.”

Rav Mann was referring to the announcement that Dirshu, the international organization whose raison d’ etre is to strengthen limud haTorah and yedias haTorah, would begin a new program called “Kinyan Yerushalmi,” featuring monthly tests on Talmud Yerushalmi according to the seder of the Daf HaYomi Yerushalmi.

Rav Mann’s remarks were said at a beautiful event held recently at the home of the Sar HaTorah, Rav Chaim Kanievsky and in the presence of Gedolei Torah led by Rav Yitzchok Shaul Kanievsky, shlita, Rav Chaim’s son who continues to deliver the weekly Yerushalmi shiur that Rav Chaim started.

The event was addressed by HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Mann, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Koledetzky, shlita, Rav Chaim’s son-in-law, and Rav Dovid Hofstedter, shlita, Nasi Dirshu. Among the other attendees, were HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Shaul Kanievsky, shlita, a son of Rav Chaim, and the posek, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, Rav of Western Bnei Brak and talmid muvhak of HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Wosner, zt”l.

Moshiach is at the Door!”

Rav Mann related, “I remember having the zechus to eat the seudos Shabbos together with Rav Chaim in this very room, where so much Torah was learned and given to Klal Yisrael. Once in the middle of seudas Shabbos, Rav Chaim told me, ‘I heard from my father, [the Steipler Gaon] that Rav Chaim Sonnenfeld once said, that the gematria of the words from the possuk, “Tzion b’mishpat tipadeh, Tzion will be redeemed through judgment (1670)” equals that of the words, “Talmud Yerushalmi.” The continuation of that same possuk states, “V’shaveha b’tzedaka, and her captives, through charity,” is the gematria (524) of “Talmud Bavli”. This means that a way to redeem Tzion, and bring the geulah is through the learning of Yerushlami.

“Rav Chaim told me many times that since his early youth he had a special affinity for Talmud Yerushalmi. When he was young, he even created a template for a commentary on the entire Talmud Yerushalmi that he wanted to write. I once even asked him if he found learning Yerushalmi the same as learning Bavli or if he found it more difficult [as so many others do] because of the terser language. He told me that there was no difference to him.

“I once heard from HaGaon HaRav Dov Landau, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva, that Rav Chaim is the melech, the king of Yerushalmi in our generation.

“That leads me,” Rav Mann said, “to the next point which I would like to make, a point that is relevant to the wonderful new Dirshu Kinyan Yerushalmi program that will be starting in the month of Cheshvan. Rav Chaim told me repeatedly that Moshiach is not just under the table, he is closer, he is already at the door! All we have to do is give the door a push and he is coming. There can be no greater push than to stand in this great and holy house, the house where the Sar HaTorah learned for so many decades, and lay the cornerstone for a new program on Yerushalmi. There is no greater “Tzion B’Mishpat Tipadeh, redemption of Tzion than that! Let us all prepare to receive Moshiach by learning Yerushalmi.”

Another Diamond in the Crown of Dirshu

The program follows the thirty blatt per month calendar of the Daf HaYomi of Yerushalmi based on the Oz Vehadar/ArtScroll daf format. This new program will enable those learning Daf HaYomi Yerushalmi to have a structured program and testing regimen so they can maximize and retain their learning of this vital area of Torah.

The tests will be given monthly at Dirshu testing sites together with the Daf HaYomi Bavli tests in the Dirshu Kinyan Torah program. Kinyan Yerushalmi is another diamond in the Torah crown of Dirshu that seeks to encourage learning Torah, knowledge of Torah and retention of what is learned among all segments of the population.

At the launch event held at the home of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Chaim’s son-in-law, Rav Yitzchok Kolodetsky related stories about how Rav Chaim had concrete plans to write a commentary on the entire Talmud Yerushalmi. In the end, Rav Chaim’s shiurim on Yerushalmi are slowly being compiled into sefarim. This is just a small indication on how important it was to him that Yidden should learn Yerushalmi. Without a doubt, the fact that a global organization such as Dirshu is now inaugurating a Yerushalmi program would have been a great source of nachas to Rav Chaim and is a tremendous zechus.

“Today, There is a Thirst for Torah!”

At the event, Rav Dovid Hofstedter commented on the remarkable zechus of once again gathering in the bayis hakadosh, the home of Rav Chaim from which so much Torah, chizuk and bracha went out to Klal Yisrael.

Rav Dovid remarked that we are living in a period of the dor acharon, of ikvesa d’meshicha. “There is such a thirst for Torah, as the Navi says, ‘not hunger for bread and not thirst for water but rather a thirst only to listen to the dvar Hashem.’ On the other hand,” Rav Dovid continued, “there are so many obstacles and tumah in the world. We therefore have an obligation to institute programs that will spread Torah among all of Klal Yisrael.

“That is why we are gathered here today, to present a new program of Dirshu tests on Talmud Yerushalmi. Rav Chaim, zt”l, was moser nefesh to learn Yerushalmi and advocated that others should learn Yerushalmi. We are now investing energy to continue Rav Chaim’s efforts to ensure that more and more Yidden learn Yerushalmi and inculcate the concept that learning Talmud Yerushalmi is not just for yechidei segulah but for the wider community as well!”

Rabbi Avigdor Bernstein, a senior member of the Hanhala of Dirshu related, “Just seeing the simcha in the eyes of the gedolim to whom we consulted when they heard the suggestion that Dirshu is contemplating a Kinyan Yerushalmi program, pushed us to finalize the program. The gedolei Yisroel understand that when there is a clear organized and disciplined program with goals and testing in place, many people who are at the level to learn Yerushalmi as a regular limud, will jump at the opportunity and this will serve as a tremendous zechus for all of Klal Yisroel!”

For more information, please contact Dirshu at 888.5.DIRSHU or e-mail, Info@DirshuNJ.org.