The Torah community of Yerushalayim witnessed an outstanding
kiddush Hashem this past Chol Hamoed. The occasion was
a siyum by some of the members of the Jerusalem
Institute for Dayanim on the entire Choshen Mishpat.
The siyum culminated ten years of meticulous study
of Choshen Mishpat by the Kollel. In the course of
their study, the members attained a Yodin-Yodin, the
semichoh on Choshen Mishpat from some of the
leading dayanim in Eretz Yisroel.
In recognition of this outstanding achievement, many Torah
leaders joined in the celebration. Some of the gedolim
who participated are HaRav Scheinberg, rosh yeshiva of
Torah Ohr, HaRav Schlesinger, rosh yeshiva of Kol Torah,
HaRav Farbstein, rosh yeshiva of Chevron, and HaRav
Ehrenfeld, rosh yeshiva of Be'er Shmuel.
Some of the leading dayanim who participated were the Gavad
of the Eida HaChareidis, HaRav Weiss, HaRav Halberstam, a
dayan of the Eida HaChareidis, HaRav Rosengarten the
av beis din of Belz and HaRav Naftoli Nussbaum, av
beis din of Ahavas Sholom.
The keynote addresses were given by HaRav Yisroel Ganz, a
ram in Kol Torah, and the famous mashgiach,
HaRav Don Segal.
After the opening remarks by the Assistant Rosh Kollel HaRav
Asher Flegg, the Rosh Kollel, HaRav Yosef Fleischman, spoke.
In his remarks, he paid tribute to the Kollel's founder, the
late HaRav Mordechai Cheshin. Rav Cheshin, who is famous for
his Sa'ad Haruchani organization, noted the dearth of Torah
institutions that train dayanim who are proficient in
the entire Choshen Mishpat. He founded the Kollel more
than ten years ago with the avowed goal of producing
Under HaRav Fleischman's leadership and through the efforts
of Rav Flegg, the Kollel has greatly expanded from its
original seven members to the present size of more than sixty
avreichim while remaining loyal to the institution's
A major address was delivered by the renowned Rav Yisroel
Ganz, a leading rav in the local Mattersdorf community. HaRav
Ganz expressed the community's appreciation for having such
an eminent institution in its midst.
He retold how one morning while walking with the late HaRav
Yechezkel Abramsky, he was asked by the latter for the
pshat in the statement, "Talmidei chachomim marbim
sholom bo'olom." HaRav Abramsky told him that many of the
issues that cause friction amongst ordinary people do not
interest talmidei chachomim who realize what is truly
important in life.
HaRav Ganz illustrated this with his recent personal
experience in which he spent four hours on Erev Yom Kippur
settling a dispute concerning a trivial matter.
HaRav Don Segal, who has been closely associated with the
Kollel, was the next speaker. HaRav Segal's association with
the Kollel began when the Kollel was asked to relocate to a
non-religious neighborhood. HaRav Segal, together with HaRav
Wachtfogel and the late HaRav Gavriel Ginsberg, selected this
Kollel to move there because of its intense Torah atmosphere.
Avreichim also contribute scholarly articles to the
Kollel's annual publication Umka Dedino.
It is noteworthy that, throughout the year, the Kollel is in
session even when many other kollelim are not in
session. Its summer vacation is only one week and not the
usual three. Every day, the bein hasedorim is forty-
five minutes and not the usual two hours or more, and other
such additions. During the sedorim many avreichim
make a ta'anis dibbur to speak nothing besides
Choshen Mishpat. There are also regular examinations
that demand serious study.
HaRav Segal noted the importance of every word of Torah
learning. He cited the pshat of the Chofetz Chaim on
the words, "Yekoroh he mipeninim." The Chofetz Chaim
asked why the Torah is compared to pearls and not to gold. He
answered that the value of gold increases arithmetically: two
grams of gold are worth just double the value of one gram.
However a pearl that is twice the size of a small pearl is
worth much more than double the value of the small pearl. The
situation is similar with Torah knowledge.
HaRav Naftoli Nussbaum, one of the leading experts in
Choshen Mishpat, distributed certificates to the
seventeen members of the Kollel who have received Yodin-
Yodin from him. HaRav Nussbaum tests the members of the
Kollel each year. He wrote how he is amazed at the
outstanding knowledge that these avreichim have
HaRav Nussbaum was joined by HaRav Yitzchok Shuvacs, who read
the certificates to the audience. HaRav Shuvacs, who has been
preparing and marking the monthly tests of the Kollel since
its inception, noted that the certificates were an
understatement of the avreichim's true achievements.
HaRav Shuvacs' tests are noted for their thoroughness, with
questions that prove one's understanding of every question
and every proof of the Nesivos. In order to remain in the
Kollel, members are required to succeed in the tests of both
HaRav Shuvacs and HaRav Nussbaum.
The Torah world was pleased to learn that the Kollel is
planning to open a beis din in the near future. It
recently opened a special program to train dayanim to serve
in communities in English-speaking countries.