Monday, February 24, 2020

As word of the Dirshu siyumim in Binyanei Hauma in Yerushalayim and Event City in Manchester, England, spreads, more and more people are talking about what to expect at the different Dirshu events in other parts of the world. As someone who had the zechus to take part in the Motzei Shabbos Chanukah siyum, I can tell you that every seat was taken by a crowd of people who clearly knew that a Dirshu event was not to be missed. And they were right. From the opening moments of the event, throughout what proved to be an absolutely incredible night, it just got better and better, with the evening ending on a high note as hundreds of Dirshu members danced for hours in a scene reminiscent of Simchas Torah. So the first event was a success. But then I’d expected nothing less from a Dirshu event. After years of covering their productions I have come to expect perfection from the talented team that expertly puts together multiple events—sometimes on the same day—and sometimes even at the same time.

Which brings me to my next point. The Dirshu World Siyum events in North America on Sunday, February 9, at 6 p.m., are fast approaching. There is the huge event at Prudential Center—with that venue almost sold out (the women’s section at Prudential Center is completely sold out!). And because there are so many people who understandably want to take part in the Dirshu World Siyum (once you’ve been to one Dirshu event, you do not want to miss another), the organizers gave a lot of thought to the challenge facing them and arrived at an out-of-the-box solution, quickly reserving another top-quality venue while there was still time. I am referring to NJPAC—a mere 10-minute walk from Prudential Center, giving a number of gedolim time to get from one location to the next, enabling them to grace both stages and offer words of wisdom at both events.

However, from my conversation with the organizers, it should be emphasized that NJPAC is not simply an overflow venue; the NJPAC event will be just as unique and special in its own way as Prudential Center. The reason is simple. It is not the same event. The lineup and the speakers are different, and it will feature a separate live orchestra. This is not just a case of showing footage from a different event that is happening at the same time. Many of the keynote speakers will only be attending the event at NJPAC, which means that in many ways, I would understand if people would try to get themselves into both events—because both will be truly worthwhile in their own way! There is no question that the Simchas HaTorah at both the Prudential Center and NJPAC will be incredible and absolutely genuine! There is no question that every single person walking out of either event at the end of the night on Sunday, February 9, will be ultra-inspired and ready to begin new commitments to their Torah learning, and the learning of the rest of their mishpacha too.

Now here’s the thing. I’m sure there are many people who still want to attend the Dirshu World Siyum event—not only them, but their wives as well. The women’s section at Prudential Center, however, has already completely sold out. Again the Dirshu production team, seeing the way things were going and foreseeing the need to be prepared for the demand that was sure to come, booked an additional venue: the very prestigious Newark Symphony Hall, exclusively for women. Which means that for the men coming by car (although busing will be available—details forthcoming), after dropping off your very excited wife at Newark Symphony Hall you can drive a few more minutes and find your own seat at NJPAC (Dirshu’s all-men’s event).

And why will your wife be so excited to spend this particular evening at the Newark Symphony Hall? The answer is simple. This too is another exclusive event, made all the more interesting because it has been tailored solely to provide women with a unique experience, one that will bring home the importance of Torah learning and the vital role Jewish women fill by instilling those values in their homes. In true Dirshu tradition, it promises to be remembered for years to come by anyone who has the good fortune to be in attendance. Rebbetzin Sarah Meisels, the daughter of the previous Bobover Rebbe, HaRav Shlomo Halberstam, is the evening’s keynote speaker. Rebbetzin Meisels will no doubt deliver a message that is crafted especially for those assembled at the Newark Symphony Hall. That, however, is just the beginning. Who hasn’t heard of legendary songwriter and singer Mrs. Miriam Israeli and enjoyed her fantastically uplifting music and the many hit songs she has composed throughout the years? Well, if you have enjoyed her music, get ready for a wonderful experience, because Newark Symphony Hall will be featuring a live, original musical production composed by Mrs. Israeli especially for the evening.

In addition, there will be musical entertainment provided by the very talented Malky Giniger and Bracha Jaffe, who will no doubt make an already wonderful event that much more so. There will be singing, there will be dancing, there will be speeches containing words of Torah and inspirational messages—every element adding another layer to a memorable evening. I am sure this will be an evening to recall for a long time to come. I know this because that is the Dirshu way. Just like Rav Dovid Hofstedter exhorts the members of Dirshu to not overlook any detail in their quest toward achieving Torah greatness, he expects the same from the producers of every Dirshu event. No detail is too small to be dealt with. Nothing is unimportant. The result of that approach is that every one of the Dirshu events taking place on February 9 will be something that those fortunate enough to attend will never forget.

And while being part of the event at Prudential Center will be amazing, there is something equally incredible about being part of an all-women’s event—an event that will be geared toward the wives and daughters of klal Yisrael. Here, the messages of the speeches will have been prepared by women, for women, inspiring them with ideas and lessons to be internalized and taken home—to be used in their own lives as they go about helping their husbands and children reach ever higher in Torah and avodas Hashem.

All this is yours for the taking. You just need to purchase a ticket (347-85-SIYUM), DirshuWorldSiyum.org, and reserve your place for the special night. Ashreichem, Ashreichem, Ashreichem… the wives and daughters of klal Yisrael...

By Rabbi Nachman Seltzer