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
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
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
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.