Kollel Ohr Shmuel Leads to Start of New Mesivta

Rav Elchonon Berenbaum shares the little-known story

Whatever Kollel Ohr Shmuel helps any of us with, belongs to us all
Rav Elchonon Berenbaum and Talmidim pay a hakoras hatov visit to Rav Zalman Sorotzkin Erev Chanukah

Rav Elchonon Berenbaum shares the little-known story of how Kollel Ohr Shmuel lead to the founding of Rav Yisroel Goldblatt’s new Mesivta.

Bubbele!” roars Rabbi Elchonon Berenbaum, as he engages fondly with one of his Talmidim in Rav Yisroel Goldblatt’s new Mesivta. Reb Elchonon, the second-to-youngest child of the late Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva HRH”G HoRav Shmuel Berenbaum Zt”l, is a one-of-a-kind Rebbe with decades of experience in reaching every Talmid.

How did I become a Rebbe here in our new Mesivta? It was pure hashgocho protis. I got to know Rav Yisroel and became very close to him from Lutzk’s Kollel Ohr Shmuel where we both learn daily at 6:15 AM. So when Rav Yisroel opened this Mesivta specially geared to reaching every Talmid he asked me to join him.”

“How did the new Mesivta start? It’s mamosh not to be believed, but one day, this time last year, right out of the blue, the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yisroel Goldblatt, literally just met some bochurim and opened the Mesivta!

He had run into them, outside a take-out place. Rav Yisroel began schmoozing with them energetically and warmly – as he does with everyone that he meets. They were open with him and confided with him that they had dropped out of Mesivta and and when Rav Yisroel Goldblatt sees a need in Klal Yisroel he jumps right in.

Knowing that there wasn’t a moment to lose Rav Yisroel told them that he was opening a new Mesivta for bochurim like themselves, that he was going to open that same day and with pure enthusiasm and energy he persuaded them to be the Mesivta’s first Talmidim. Once we got started the word of how we were reaching every Talmid got out and more bochurim joined. Today we already have Talmidim who have gone on to other Mesivtos and are doing beautifully there.

“What type of bochur do we have here in Mesivta? All of them daven, they all learn – yes, they may lack zitzfleish to a certain extent, so we have longer breaks. What they like here is that everything is very real, there is no facade and they feel very safe here. The proof is that when we have off they stay here anyway – they even have ta’anos on us when we have an off Shabbos! It’s poshut their home.”

“What message do I have for my chaveirim in Kollel Ohr Shmuel? The Rov, Rav Zalman Shlit”a, Reb Feivish, Reb Moishe and the original chavrei hakollel founded Kollel Ohr Shmuel but as Reb Feivish always says we are all, each and every one of us a vital part of Kollel Ohr Shmuel and I want to add whatever Kollel Ohr Shmuel helps any of us with, belongs to us all.

When a bochur is either seriously unhappy in Mesivta or finds himself outside Mesivta that can cause very serious problems. What we are doing here in our new Mesivta thanks to Kollel Ohr Shmuel is mamosh hatzolas nefoshos. It’s doros. It’s nitzchiyus. It’s your zechus! This is your Mesivta! Ashreichem ve’Ashrei Chelkechem and in that zechus all of us in Kollel Ohr Shmuel should be gebentscht lesheim ulesiferes with our own doros and nitzchiyus!”

Reb Moshe Portnoy on Rav Yisroel Goldblatt and Ohr Shmuel
Rav Yosef Roberts on the new Mesivta