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18 Sivan 5760 - June 21, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Chasonei Halocho Crowned at Two Regional Ceremonies

by Betzalel Kahn

Beit Shemesh and Petach Tikvah recently held regional competitions in the laws of tefilla and beis knesses. The Worldwide Halocho Examination of the Keren HaTarbus-Degel Yerushalayim sponsored these exciting events. Youngsters vied among themselves for the titles of regional chosson halocho and runner-up. The tests were two of many similar halocho-testing events being held worldwide. The winners are now preparing to vie in the worldwide contest.

On 8 Sivan, 35 outstanding students from settlements in the plains, Yehuda and Shomron participated in front of 1,700 youngsters in the Beit Shemesh amphitheater. Rabbi Elimelech Tirnauer, test moderator, apologized in the name of the administration for the heat, explaining that it had been impossible to locate an alternate site capable of accommodating the large crowd.

Rabbi Menachem Porush, the first speaker, addressed the children: "You are the guarantors of our existence, and on your very breath the world is maintained."

After these opening words, the participants rose to be mekabel ol malchus Shomayim and to recite Tehillim, led by the Admor of Pittsburgh. HaRav Simcha HaKohen Kook, Chief Rabbi of Rechovot, delivered an address, in which he said, "At matan Torah we were commanded, `Beware lest you forget the day on which you stood before Hashem Elokecho on Chorev.' Degel Yerushalayim has merited to make great efforts so that Torah will not be forgotten from the Jewish nation, and the important feature of the halocho tests is that halochos are being studied in order that they be fulfilled."

Greetings from the rav of Beitar Illit, HaRav Dovid Tzvi Ordentlich, were presented by HaRav Eliyahu No'eh.

The highlight of the event was the arrival of HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira, rosh yeshiva of Be'er Yaakov. Rabbi Chaim Weichelder, director of the central region of Degel Yerushalayim, was honored with distributing citations to the heads of educational institutions who helped administer the tests, as well as to the talmudei Torah chassonim.

The names of the winners were announced at the end of the contest. They are: regional chosson halocho, Eliran ben Chaim of the Chofetz Chaim Talmud Torah in Rishon Letzion; runner-up-chosson Refoel Pashdnovack of the Lev Simcha Talmud Torah in Ashdod; sub-runner-up- chassonim Yehoshua Deutsch of Ashdod's Bnei Avrohom Talmud Torah and Mordechai Lev and Yitzchok Kahan of the Oholei Sefer Talmud Torah in Kiryat Sefer.

At the regional examination held in Petach Tikvah, 34 contestants vied for the title of regional chosson and runner-up. Thousands of youngsters from the areas including Or Yehuda, Be'er Yaakov, Netanya, Emanuel, Petach Tikvah, Kadima, Rosh Ha'ayin, Ramle, Ramat Gan, Ramat Hasharon, Ra'anana, and Tel Aviv attended.

The youngsters, accompanied by their principals and teachers, were warmly greeted by Rabbi Elimelech Tirnauer. To rousing applause, he invited the 34 contestants to take their places on the dais.

The moving event opened with a mincha prayer led by Rav Michoel Goldberg, well known mechanech from Emanuel.

A stirring kabolas ol malchus Shomayim ceremony was led by one of Petach Tikvah's most venerable rabbonim, HaRav Shmuel Alexander Unsdorfer, rav of the city's Sanzer Chassidic community. He told the children that by their recitation of Shema Yisroel they become emissaries of the masses of children who never say Shema.

HaRav Mordechai Eichler, rav of Emanuel, was honored with the recitation of a chapter in Tehillim verse by verse. Bircas kohanim was rendered by the Admor of Lukova and Lebrozh.

In his address, HaRav Meir Luria said that prayer is one of the gifts that Hashem has granted the Jewish nation as a means for communicating with Him at all times. The first prayer in the world: Mizmor shir leyom haShabbos, was uttered by Odom Horishon. Since then, throughout the generations, we have been praying to Hashem with fear and trepidation. The pure, unadulterated prayers of tinokos shel beis rabban surely rise up and make an impression before the Kisei Hakovod, he noted.

Rabbi Menachem Schwartz, director of the Department for Chareidi Education and Jewish Tradition in the Petach Tikvah Municipality, received a citation in recognition of his role in organizing the event. In his words of greeting he said that the contestants are like crushed olive oil, the finest of oils from which the Menora in the Beis Hamikdash was kindled.

At the end of the contest the following winners were crowned: regional chosson halocho, Shraga Shmuel Reintiz of the Darkei Avos Talmud Torah Sanz-Netanya and runner-up chosson, Aharon Rosenberg of the Simchas Torah-Gur Talmud Torah of Tel Aviv. The sub-runner-up chosson is Chaim Leider of the Yesodei HaTorah Talmud Torah of Emanuel. Third deputies are Avrohom Tzvi Zilberman of the Netanya Sanz Talmud Torah; Eliyahu Pargon of the Ner Yisroel Talmud Torah; Maoz Kommai of Yehud; and Osher Brichta of the Netanya Sanz Talmud Torah.

Among the rabbonim who graced the event with their presence were the Admor of Mishkoltz; HaRav Mordechai Auerbach, rav of the Abir Yaakov community of Tel Aviv and HaRav Aharon Pollack, head of the Zichron Aharon Institute.

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