South Tottenham, 03 September 2006
Start Your Day the Torah Way - North London celebrates its first anniversary.
By Jonathan Stern,
This Sunday, like any other Sunday over the past year, there was a Shiur given at the Biala Beis HaMedrash on Castlewood Road. Rabbi Dayan Josef Dov Babad, the Rav of the Belzer Kehilla in London held the regular Torah Way Shiur from 9:20am to 10:00am, and he praised this wonderful initiative during his eloquent speech, covering Halachic subjects and concluded with a reminder of the upcoming Holy Days. He pointed out that perhaps the term Torah Way could be misleading; some might interpret this as if there could be another way H"F (Heaven forbid). He went on to illustrate this by retelling an anecdote whereby a number of Litvishe Gedolim convened for a meeting and one Rabbi surmised that "Torah is like oxygen - one couldn't survive without it". Whereby another Rabbi stood up and stated empathic that "No! Torah is Everything". Dayan Babad went on to praise the work of the "Askonim", some of which are his Shul-members, and wished them and the listeners success in their future learning.
Mr Aron Factor, a devout participant of the English language Shiurim chaired the proceedings by opening the event with a report about the growth of the local branch. He emphasised the need to remember all those who made the programme a reality, especially Mr Moshe Hager who fills in for his partner at work and also Mr Shlomo Zalman Friedlander, a long-standing fan of Start Your Day in Manchester and now in London. As an active member he was expressing his feelings of satisfaction, seeing how this small project, which started out with a small number of regular members on Sundays now boasts nearly two "Minyonim" on a daily basis.
Rabbi Gee, in his inimitable fashion succeeded to elicit broad smiles even from the head table... by covering the growth of the learning group from a speaker's vintage point. He went on to explain the need and indeed the "chessed" of having Shiurim in English, even in North London, citing Rabbis Mordechai Gifter and Rabbi Avigdor Miller as prime examples of how English can be used to disseminate Torah.
The Gerrer Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Yaakov Meir Rosenbaum Shlita enthralled the audience with his brilliant speech on the importance, providence and future benefit of learning Torah - especially straight after the morning prayers. Whilst there are people who put Torah learning on the back burner - so to speak - until they have finished with their business and family matters, the Torah Way programme provides us with the proper perspective of how a real Jew should lead his day and live his life: first and foremost is the living Torah, which will also meet him up until the heavenly court when ones days are up and only then the mundane matters of this passing world.
The pleasant mood in the Shul as prevalent as people started singing Torah-nigunnim spontaneously and wished each other a repeat performance for the next year.
Start Your Day the Torah Way is a Adult Learning Programme that started in Manchester about three years ago by lay people who wanted to literally Start their Day the Torah Way. It now boasts four channels on Kol HaLoshon, accessible from all major Jewish communities worldwide where there is a local dial-up number (in the UK: 020 8731 0345, channel 7). The web sites are on the following urls: www.torahway.org.uk and www. torahway.co.uk and soon to be expanded! Learning sessions are available in Tape and CD format, can also be downloaded as MP3 or PodCasts. Plans are afoot to open branches in Gateshead and Edgware in the near future.