In what was certainly one of the largest displays of k’vod haTorah in South Florida, over 500 men, women, and children came together on Sunday, September 10, to celebrate the Chanukas HaBayis of the beautiful new beis midrash and Heichal HaTorah Zichron Yitzchok Isaac of Yeshiva Toras Chaim Toras Emes in North Miami Beach. It was a highly anticipated moment, as roshei ha’yeshivah, rabbanim, rebbeim, parents, alumni, and friends all shared in the simchas haTorah that was so palpable in the room.
Over the years, as the community and the Yeshiva continue to expand, South Florida has grown into an epicenter of Torah. It has become a thriving Torah community, and more than ever, people are moving down to join. YTCTE is proud of the role it has played in this Torah growth, and now, thanks to the vision and fortitude of those dedicated to continuing that growth, we have all come together, raised the banner high and created a beautiful new beis midrash to serve as the fitting citadel of Torah that the Yeshiva has become.
In addition to the many local rabbanim chashuvim who attended, HaRav Akiva Grunblatt shlita and HaRav Shaul Opoczynski shlita, Roshei HaYeshiva of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim/Rabbinical Seminary of America, along with HaRav Bentzion Chait shlita, founding Rosh HaYeshiva of YTCTE and Director of RSA’s National Torah Initiative, flew in from New York to participate in this momentous occasion.
The program began with introductory remarks by Rosh HaYeshiva HaRav Mordechai Palgon, who contrasted the challenges of the original beis midrash with the many improvements that have now been made. Rabbi Nosson Yishaya Schwartz, Director of Institutional Advancement, spoke of the qualities of Rav Yitzchok Isaac ben R’ Asher HaKohen, in whose memory the entire Heichal HaTorah is dedicated. Rabbi Schwartz also spoke of the beis midrash wall that is being dedicated in memory of the Yeshiva’s beloved Mashgiach, HaRav Dovid Sharfman zt”l, by over 100 alumni, family members, and friends.
HaRav Yisroel Y. Niman, Rosh HaYeshiva, was m’chazeik the crowd by highlighting that the nissim we have all seen in the completion of this beautiful m’kom Torah are a result of the combined z’chuyos of the rebbeim, talmidim, and dear friends of the Yeshiva. He then introduced HaRav Grunblatt, who shared his memories of his early years in YTCTE and the importance of a beautiful and functional beis midrash to learn and grow with hard work but also with joy. Torah may not always come easily; it requires much effort, but ultimately brings much simchah. Participants were also treated to a special address by Mr. Bentzion Heitner, Founder and CEO of The Heitner Group, and one of the initial supporters of the beis midrash renovation project, who spoke about how privileged he feels to have been introduced to such a wonderful Yeshiva and how proud he is to support its Torah growth.
The program concluded with the Mizrach Vant dedication to HaRav Dovid Lehrfield zt”l, presented by his son and YTCTE Vice President, Rabbi Moshe Lehrfield. This was followed by Mr. Amram Adar affixing the new mezuzah, whose klaf was made by Rabbi Kaganoff’s middle school talmidim, on the doorway of the beis midrash. As the mezuzah was attached, talmidei ha’yeshivah immediately led the crowd in enthusiastic singing and dancing, accompanied by the spirited singing of Shlomo Simcha. The dancing continued as everyone in attendance was drawn into the captivating magic of a true Torah celebration and the fervent t’filah from all.
May it be Hashem’s will that the Shechinah dwells in our handiwork, and the kol Torah continues ever stronger in the new beis midrash.
And, in fact, when the dancing did finally conclude, the alumni who came from near and far remained in Yeshiva for the rest of the afternoon to participate in a full day of learning at a special Alumni Yarchei Kallah and azkarah for Rabbi Sharfman zt”l.