With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the renowned Torah community of Chicago was privileged to host Harav Baruch Dov Povarsky, Rosh Yeshivas Ponevezh, for a short visit on behalf of Keren Hashviis.
“It’s a tremendous kiddush Hashem,” said Suchi Ehrman, a prominent askan in the Chicago community who is leading the city’s Keren Hashviis campaign. “Not only has the town come out to honor Rav Povarsky, but the whole frum community of Chicago has been talking about Shemittah for the past week.”
The Rosh Yeshivah was greeted at the airport by a delegation of askanim and yeshivah students led by the city’s Rabbanim in a true expression of kvod haTorah. After welcoming Rav Povarsky, the crowd broke into spirited dance in honor of their distinguished guest.
The arrival of the Shemittah year has elicited calls from Gedolei Yisrael of all communities for Jews to unite in supporting the many farmers in Eretz Yisrael who leave their fields barren at the risk of great financial loss in order to fulfill this unique mitzvah.
Rav Povarsky traveled to America to speak about the importance of this sacred cause. He was joined by Harav Avraham Rubenstein, a former mayor of Bnei Brak and a leading figure in the Keren’s operations in Eretz Yisrael.
Rav Povarsky arrived on Sunday and, during his short stay, visited most of Chicago’s venerable Torah institutions. The climax of the Rosh Yeshivah’s trip was to take place Tuesday night, when he was scheduled to address a mass gathering in support of Shemittah-observant farmers.
Before embarking on this historic journey, Rav Povarsky went to receive the brachah of Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlita, who said, “Had I the strength, I would travel myself due to the great importance of helping the farmers, the giborei ko’ach.”