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THERE IS AN ELEMENT TO TODAY ’ S SIMCHAH THAT IS UNIQUE TO YESHIVA DARCHEI TORAH . I believe that there is a reason why some merit to “ eat the fruits of their deeds in this world ” in terms of harbatzas haTorah , aside from their primary reward that awaits them in the World to Come . Darchei Torah is a symbol not only of Torah and harbatzas Torah , but also of Toras chesed , gemilas chasadim .
When Eliezer , servant of Avraham Avinu , went to find a wife for Yitzchak , Rivkah demonstrated exceptional chesed by giving to drink not only him but all his camels as well . Convinced that she was Yitzchak ’ s preordained match , Eliezer presented her with gifts : a ring weighing half a shekel , and two bracelets , weighing 10 shekel of gold . Rashi tells us that the half shekel weight alluded to the half shekel that each Jew would one day contribute to the Beis HaMikdash for the communal korbanos . The two bracelets alluded to the two Luchos and the 10 shekel weight alluded to the Aseres HaDibros . Why these allusions at this time ? Maharal explains that the world stands on three pillars : Torah , avodah , and gemilus chasadim . Rivkah had demonstrated that she embodied gemilas chasadim and Eliezer ’ s gifts represented the other two pillars . It was important that the mother of Yaakov Avinu should embody everything upon which Yiddishkeit stands .
It is no secret in this country ’ s Torah community that the pioneer of Toras chesed , of taking care of children with special needs , children who need a special attitude , special attention , and special chinuch — the pioneer in this chinuch is this holy mosad , Yeshiva Darchei Torah . And that great individual who saw to it that his mosad would include these children who need to be helped in a special way is Rav Yaakov Bender .
It ’ s twenty years since that idea was conceived and implemented within the confines of Yeshiva Darchei Torah . At that time , Darchei Torah was a small Yeshiva , but its concept was a new beacon of light to mechanchim everywhere , a light which proclaimed that no longer can we ignore the needs of these children . And it proclaimed that Torah would
succeed in a place that embodies the pasuk : vbuak kg sxj , ru , u vnfjc vj , p vhp
Rabbi Bender took ahavas chesed and built upon it the pillars of Torah and tefillah to create great bnei Torah . He imbued talmidim with the understanding that it is a zechus to sit alongside a fellow talmid who may have physical incapacities or other difficulties .
At the dedication of Mesivta Chaim Shlomo , I mentioned that the navi refers to Klal Yisrael as a Heichal Hashem , a Beis HaMikdash . A Heichal Hashem has an assortment of klei shareis , vessels used in its service . There was the Aron , the Menorah and the Shulchan , but there also were the bowls , the spoons , the pitchforks , etc . Anyone who used any of these vessels for his own private use was guilty of the same sin of me ’ ilah .
It was combining Torah with chesed , the shleimus of how we view a Jewish child , of how we involve ourselves in the development of a Jewish child , that took root in this mosad , this yeshiva . And that is primarily why I am here today , because in years past there were so many times that Rabbi Bender was responsive when I discussed with him children who need this special kind of chinuch .
And that is why the Hashgachah Elyonah has demonstrated to all of us that with this approach , this mosad kadosh should be matzliach , not only in gemilas chasadim , but in harbatzas haTorah and avodas Hashem , in creating individuals who have a vision of the shleimus of Yiddishkeit , who will aspire to be the kind of Jews who will care about future generations , who will raise children who will be talmidei chachamim , upright Jews , and gomlei chesed .
In my opinion , this is the theme of today ’ s special simchah . Olam chesed yibaneh , the world was built with chesed , and this was later represented by the chesed of Avraham , which was followed by the avodah of Yitzchak and the Torah of Yaakov . Today ’ s simchah is the culmination of that idea and therefore , it has such special meaning . It strikes a chord of chizuk haemunah , to see that a hashkafah of ehrlichkeit , of kedushah , of ahavas Yisrael has taken root in the world of chinuch . And this is thanks to what was done in Yeshiva Darchei Torah .
When Rabbi Bender called me to come and participate in this occasion , I told him , “ Reb Yankel , I consider it a privilege to be part of your simchah .” Because I see in this simchah the fulfillment of an idea that is ripe , sacred , and so meaningful , and that can bring so much good to our community .
May HaKadosh Baruch Hu help that this simchah should bear yet more fruit , that the harbatzas Torah here , that the talmidim who are raised here and the hashkafas haTorah that is promulgated in this beautiful campus , should bring even greater glory to the Torah , and that together may we merit to greet the goel tzedek , bimheirah veyameinu . !
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