Adirei Hatorah

June 7, 2024

There’s something magical about those two words that elicits a powerful, visceral reaction.

What triggers such a deeply passionate response?

Ask this question to a yungerman, to the eishes chaver of a yungerman, to a donor, or to any other member of the Lakewood kehillah, and the answer will be the same.

It’s because adirei haTorah is not a new phenomenon. This is not a new fad; it’s a movement that reaches deep into the essence of who we are and what we believe in.

In a world full of so many conflicting messages and misplaced importance, we can easily lose focus and forget who we are. The Torah is our life, foundation, and essence, and the lomdei haTorah who dedicate their lives to raising the banner of Torah are our dearest treasures. They lead the charge with purity, love, and simchah. By honoring and uplifting our beloved yungerleit, we are, by extension, honoring and uplifting ourselves, for they are our leaders.

How it all began

It’s been three years since the founding of the transformative movement and its singular mission of haramas keren haTorah—uplifting and glorifying our lomdei Torah.

Founded by the roshei yeshivah and a group of dedicated ba’alei batim, Adirei HaTorah quickly grew into a worldwide movement representing Klal Yisrael’s recognition of kavod HaTorah.

Yet the mission has just begun.

Since the start of Adirei HaTorah, we have been zocheh to see the glory of those who dedicate their lives to Torah shining brighter. Yidden from across the globe have partnered to show their commitment to the avodas hakodesh of our yungerleit. K’ish echad b’lev echad, they have proclaimed that a life of limud Torah is the loftiest, most meaningful, most desirable one. It’s the life we admire and long to connect with.

At this pivotal moment, at the completion of the chazakah, we will gather for the most important show of kavod haTorah to date: the third Ma’amad Adirei HaTorah. At a time when the world is cutting back and slowing down, we will gather to ensure the message rings loud and true: that we will continue to grow. Raising kavod haTorah is our essence; we will do whatever it takes to expand our mission. Now, more than ever, this message will be celebrated in full display.

We will celebrate the past and more importantly, commit to the future, so the flame of Torah will shine brighter than ever before.

The experience of the entire tzibbur of bnei hayeshivah coming together will create an unforgettable impact and provide immeasurable chizuk and momentum for the future.

Prep at its peak

A ma’amad of this size involves hundreds of volunteers and a joint effort from people across the town and beyond. There has been tremendous excitement as preparations took place.

Preparations began with an asifah of over 250 roshei chaburah in Bais Medrash Govoha, representing the more than 9,000 talmidei hayeshivah. The feeling of achdus among the roshei chaburah was palpable; they have a firsthand view of the results of this movement and jointly voiced their appreciation for the upcoming ma’amad.

Shortly thereafter, a historic gathering of nearly 200 rabbanim from across Lakewood and its surrounding towns was held at the Ateres Esther beis medrash in BMG. Representing tens of thousands of families in their respective communities, they gathered to show support for this significant initiative and jointly issued a kol korei urging everyone to attend.

In addition, two large asifos were held for shul and yeshivah representatives and volunteers, with hundreds of attendees excited to get involved in spreading the word and helping out with registration.

A life-changing gathering

As preparations for the upcoming ma’amad intensify, memories of the previous Adirei HaTorah events surface. Stories keep pouring in about lives changed after attending the ma’amad and through the general Adirei HaTorah mission.

Those who have attended need no reminders; the name “Adirei HaTorah” alone transports them to that stadium, where they were surrounded by 30,000 Yidden and observed a dais graced by over 700 roshei yeshivah, rabbanim, and roshei chaburah as they were uplifted by the words of the gedolei hador. The electricity pulsing through the stadium can’t be described; the feeling emerged from the participants’ neshamos. Numerous attendees experienced emotions they’d never known they had as they stood shoulder to shoulder, dancing, singing, listening, internalizing, and growing. Over 10,000 yungerleit, including many who had traveled in from all over the world, were the guests of honor, placed on the pedestal they so richly deserve. The heightened level of respect now accorded to our beloved yungerleit is the direct outcome of a ma’amad of kavod haTorah and kiddush sheim Shamayim.

Countless attendees recounted the life-altering changes they made after attending a previous ma’amad and glimpsing the beauty of our beloved yungerleit’s life. Some added new sedarim. Others joined yeshivah part-time. Many lengthened their existing sedarim.

The events impacted everyone:

The young dropout who’d been struggling in his Yiddishkeit and returned to yeshivah the next day.

The yungerman who wasn’t feeling sipuk in his learning and was planning to leave yeshivah, who is now learning with a newfound sense of respect and purpose.

The one whose father-in-law called him up the day after the ma’amad and asked him to please allow him the zechus of continuing to support him—years after the support had stopped.

The kollel wife whose siblings called her to beg for a brachah and to apologize for not having accorded her the respect she deserved.

The gvir who purchased the most expensive aliyah on Shavuos in honor of a yungerman, for he is the true mechutan with the Torah.

The landlord who now shovels the snow for his tenant.

The boss who doubled his employee’s salary because he wanted a part in supporting her husband’s Torah…

And the Adirei HaTorah stories continue.

A celebration of joy

But we don’t need the stories; the facts speak for themselves. The growth of the lomdei haTorah has risen dramatically in the last three years. Rebbe’im and moros report the change in attitude and the level of respect from others for those who have chosen this special life.

Most importantly, there is a finally an understanding of who the yungerman and his family are. They are the happiest, most fulfilled people. Far from living lives of mesirus nefesh, they experience genuine, undiluted simchah. They lack nothing. They are the ones who truly understand the fortune we have merited, who say with joy, “Ashreinu, mah tov chelkeinu.”

This is what we will gather to celebrate, and this is what we hope to connect with: To zoom in on our ultimate purpose and celebrate it. To taste and feel the tremendous ahavah and simchah that yungerleit and their families are zocheh to live with every day.

Answering “yes”

Tickets are selling fast. The event will sell out—but will you be one of those whose lives will change on that night? Will your neshamah get a taste of the nourishment for which it yearns? Most importantly, will you be one of those who will proudly show Hashem our chashivus for His Torah and His beloved lomdei Torah?

Years ago, when Rav Aharon Kotler founded the yeshivah, there was a semi-religious lawyer living in Lakewood. A talmid of the yeshivah who had met and befriended this Yid urged him to come experience the kiddush Hashem of seeing over 200 yungerleit sitting and learning in what was then the largest makom Torah in America. After postponing his visit many times, the lawyer finally made his way to BMG, where he witnessed the kiddush Hashem firsthand. That night, he passed away.

At his levayah, the next day, someone got up and describes what must have been happening in shamayim at that moment.

“This man’s neshamah will rise to the Kisei Hakavod,” said the maspid, “and he will be asked where he’s from. When his response will be ‘Lakewood,’ he will surely be asked if he had the opportunity to visit and be part of the tremendous kiddush Hashem there. He can now answer ‘Yes!’—he does appreciate a kiddush sheim Shamayim!”

On June 16/10 Sivan, 30,000 strong will unite in honor of our cherished yungerleit. We too will answer a resounding “Yes!”

Yes! We honor Hashem and his Torah.

Yes! We are proud to be part of the historic movement of kiddush sheim Shamayim.

Yes! We will take the opportunity to grow and walk out better people.

Join the gedolei hador, roshei yeshivah, rabbanim, beloved adirei haTorah, and all of Klal Yisrael in Wells Fargo. Call xxx or contact your shul representative, and together we will proclaim “Ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu u’mah na’im goraleinu.”