Harav Shmuel Felder Is Amazed at Yeshiva Of South Shore’s 39 Melachos Curriculum

Harav Shmuel Felder, renowned posek of Lakewood, speaking to the boys of Yeshiva of South Shore about hilchos Shabbos.

Each year, Yeshiva of South Shore focuses on a critical area of halachah. Last year the yeshivah focused on the practical applications of hilchos brachos. The talmidim mastered the brachos on hundreds of food items.

This year however, the yeshivah raised the bar on the talmidim. Beginning after Sukkos, each Rebbi from grades four-eight learned the 39 melachos with his class, discussing one melachah a day with his talmidim. The students were able to become familiar with each melachah, one by one.

Over the midwinter break, the talmidim reviewed what they had learned through the “Chevra Shoneh Halachos” program, and many volunteered to take a test upon their return to yeshivah after the break.

At that point, all talmidim of grades four-eight delved into the intense learning of the practical applications of hilchos Shabbos. Grade-appropriate alphabetized sheets were distributed every week with practical applications that come up almost every Shabbos.

The boys gained the crucial knowledge of what is mutar and what is assur to do on Shabbos. If it is assur, they learned to identify which melachah makes it assur. Finally, there was a major review and final exam. All of this is culminated with a school-wide “39 Melachos Bee.”

This cycle of halachah starts with hilchos Shabbos one year, and hilchos brachos the next year. Once a talmid graduates eighth grade, he has gone through these two major areas of halachah, twice, once on a basic level and the second time on a more advanced level.

When this idea was introduced, and these sheets were checked over, one of the Rebbeim presented the curriculum to Harav Shmuel Felder, renowned posek in Lakewood. After reading the detailed booklet, he was extremely impressed with it, and he remarked, “This should be learned in every yeshivah in the country!”

In fact, Yeshiva of South Shore has shared this curriculum with other yeshivos which are now benefiting from the program as well.

The program gives the boys a firm understanding of the complicated halachos of Shabbos. Indeed, when this idea was introduced years ago to our Rebbeim, one Rebbi commented, “I didn’t learn this until I was older; it is so important for our talmidim to understand this.”

A Yeshiva of South Shore talmid was in mesivta and his Rebbi was teaching hilchos Shabbos from the Mishnah Berurah. His Rebbi was so impressed with this talmid’s understanding of hilchos Shabbos that he asked him, “Where do you know this from?” to which the talmid proudly responded, “From Yeshiva of South Shore — where else?”

Also at Yeshiva of South Shore, Rabbi Akiva Willig, Rav of Beis Medrash of Woodmere, came to Yeshiva of South Shore to farher Rabbi Greenberg’s sixth-grade class.

The boys have mastered most of the first perek in Maseches Sukkah, and impressed Rabbi Willig with their understanding of all of the Gemara they have learned this year.

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