On Monday evening, Ohr L’Yom 10 Teves, a message was sent out from the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah instructing Klal Yisrael to be mispallel that the gezeiros being considered by the Board of Education be rescinded. Like all other yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs, Yeshiva Tiferes Elimelech responded by distributing copies of kapitlach Tehillim to all classes from Kitah Alef and up. The Rebbeim explained to the children what they were davening for and the tefillos were earnest.
At the same time, it was explained to the children that when situations such as these arise, one must try to understand what Hakadosh Baruch Hu really wants from us. Although we do not have Nevi’im and cannot definitely know why things like this occur, we can possibly accept this as a siman from Hashem that we need to be mechazek ourselves in our limud haTorah. Could it be that a non-Jew would have the ability to enter our mekomos Torah and cause a chalishus in our sedarim if we were learning with a true shtarkeit?
Therefore, in addition to the heartfelt tefillos, the talmidim voluntarily took upon themselves extra learning at home during the afternoon hours of the taanis. Without any promises of reward or recognition, 165 talmidim from grades 2 through 8 proved their chashivus haTorah and their willingness to bring nachas to Hakadosh Baruch Hu in a manner that was kulo l’Shem Shamayim!
On 11 Teves, each boy who participated handed in an anonymous record of how much time he learned from after dismissal on Asarah B’Teves until he went to sleep that night. Incredibly, the amount of extra learning time was tallied at 12,581 minutes! This outstanding total of more than 214 hours is a demonstration of the commitment to chashivus haTorah that these boys (and their parents) have. Ashreichem!
Maybe similar opportunities should be utilized by talmidei yeshivos and in truth, by all of us, as a zechus regarding this situation. May Hakadosh Baruch Hu be mevatel this gezeirah and all gezeiros ra’os.