Yeshivas Tal Torah of Antwerp, a prominent mossad in Belgium, has launched the innovative “No social media” project, with specific guidelines and contracts with the support of Harav Aharon Schiff, shlita, Mara de’Asra of Machzikei Hadass Antwerp and Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein of New York. As a reward, the bachurim were taken on a memorable and inspirational visit to Eretz Yisrael, accompanied by their Rosh Yeshivah Rabbi Berel Steiner and menahel Rabbi Simcha Yomtov Gluck.
The trip began with the boys davening at the kever of Harav Chaim Kreiswirth, zt”l, the previous Mara de’Asra, and nasi of their mossad. They then went to Bnei Brak, where they visited Yeshivas Ponevezh and met the Rosh Yeshivah, Harav Berel Povarsky, shlita. His genuine smile and soft-spoken voice welcomed the boys warmly. They walked through the heichal hayeshivah – the “palace” where hundreds of bachurim and talmidei chachamim learn Torah daily.
The Sadigura Rebbe, shlita, and the Alexander Rebbe, shlita, greeted the boys with admiration and love, acknowledging their success in this special undertaking. They discussed its significance and the need for a yeshivah bachur to behave in an appropriate manner, how to overcome current nisyonos and grow in Torah and yiras Shamayim. The boys and their rebbeim were zocheh to greet Harav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, who wished them brachah v’hatzlachah and gave them a brachah that they should be able to learn the whole of Shas.
The next day, in Yerushayalim, the bachurim toured Yeshivas Mir and visited the Roshei Yeshivah, shlita: Harav Binyomin Finkel and Harav Aharon Chodosh, who gave them divrei chizuk and hisorerus.
In the evening, the group was joined by Rabbi Wallerstein, whom they greeted with enthusiastic song. The bachurim thanked him profusely for enabling them to reach this milestone. Harav Steiner and Harav Gluck spoke emotionally about how proud they are of their talmidim, who demonstrated such amazing strength in overcoming the challenges of today, and pointed out how befitting it is that this celebration was taking place just opposite the Kosel. Rabbi Wallerstein spoke, encouraging them to keep up their special kabbalos and to accept new ones upon themselves with small, incremental steps.
The guest speakers, Harav Aharon Taussig and Harav Gamliel Rabinowitz, gave fiery shmuessen about the exalted madreigos the bachurim have reached by withstanding the yetzer hara in this area. The drashos were followed by lively dancing, until the bachurim returned to the Kosel to daven, sing and dance.
On the last day of their stay the bachurim traveled to Meron to the kever of Rabi Shimon bar Yochai, and concluded their visit by davening at Kever Rochel. The inspiration gained from their visit will last a long time, inspiring the bachurim to continue with their project and bring kedushah into their lives.