On Tuesday evening, February 26, the Queens community was honored by the presence of Maran HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky shlita, who spoke on behalf of P’eylim Lev L’Achim at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Marc Silverman. An overflow crowd of community members and local rabbanim came to show their support for this organization at a reception that is held every two years in Queens. The program included an elegant buffet.
First, Dr. Silverman welcomed everyone and noted that this is the 12th time he and his family are hosting this reception, and he shared that his connection to this organization came through Rav Doniel Lander, Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr HaChaim. He noted that he saw the work of Lev L’Achim first-hand when he visited Eretz Yisrael and “it’s really unbelievable.” He stated, “It’s a source of pride for our community to have the Rosh HaYeshiva come here. He comes for the cause and for the community.”
Rav Kamenetsky then stood and, with his trademark smile, he imparted, “This is a good environment all around. Queens should be proud of its accomplishments. It’s a pleasure to come here.” He shared a d’var Torah about Sefer Sh’mos being called the “Sefer of G’ulah from Mitzrayim.” We will finish g’ulah from Mitzrayim when we reach the level of the Avos. “We have to realize that Eretz Yisrael is our makom.” He shared that many children become b’nei Torah through Lev L’Achim, and they drag along their families. “My brachah is that Yidden should come together and worry about Eretz Yisrael. We should meet for k’dushah and mitzvos. Klal Yisrael should benefit from our meetings.”
Next, Rav Eliyahu Meir Klugman, Rosh HaYeshiva of Neve Tzion Yerushalayim, spoke. “People want to be in the same room with the Rosh HaYeshiva.” He acknowledged all the chashuve rabbanim in attendance and thanked Dr. and Mrs. Silverman for opening their home for this important event.
He spoke about a game changer when Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l paskened about giving maaser of one’s z’man by doing for others. He said that the entire atmosphere in Israel changed. Today, there are so many people learning each week who were not brought up frum. “Their emunah is right there.” He explained, “This is reality in Israel, where emunah is so close to the surface that you just have to lean over and pick it up.” He continued, “Hundreds of thousands of baalei t’shuvah doesn’t happen by itself.” He said that there are thousands of stories every week that are happening because of Lev L’Achim. He shared a few. There was an eighth grader who was picked up by Lev L’Achim at the Kosel and began learning. He is now registered in a frum school. There was a man on a moshav on the Lebanese border and someone from Lev L’Achim asked him if he’d like to learn Torah. The man said yes, so Lev L’Achim asked him to find five people and they would make a class there. This was a place that refused to host a minyan for Yom Kippur. Miraculously, the five people agreed, and a Torah class began. Rabbi Klugman said, “Lev L’Achim is changing the face of Eretz Yisrael today.” He noted that the government would shut them down in a minute. They have many expenses for transportation, etc. It’s a $10-million budget. He added, “Most roshei yeshivah today weren’t born roshei yeshivah. You never know who these children can become.
The organization influences people from kindergarten through mature adult. The amount of people who are touched this way is unbelievable. It is so heart-warming and inspiring just hearing about this amazing beautiful work of Lev L’Achim.
Rabbi Klugman stated, “We have to care enough and understand its G-d’s children. We are all in this boat together.” He then taught that if we want to be successful with our own children, we have to take care of G-d’s children.
Lev L’Achim is literally preparing Israel for Mashiach. Over 100,000 Jews have become frum through Lev L’Achim. This organization truly matches its name of caring wholeheartedly and putting that care into action for our fellow Jews.
A video portrayed all the amazing work of Lev L’Achim, which includes staff members going door to door in non-frum areas and offering to learn with people; helping to enroll students in yeshivah; learning programs for children, teenagers, and women; counseling; and more. On the video, one of the people who became observant through Lev L’Achim states, “Torah is the essence of life. Just show me the path.”
For more information and to donate, call P’eylim Lev L’Achim at 718-258-7760.
By Susie Garber