Monday, April 19

From Ash to Aish

London, 19/04/2010 - day FIVE of Volcanic Ash Episode

For release

From Volcanic Ash to Fiery Torah Aish
Since the outbreak of the Volcanic (Ash) Age era, many Yehiva-Bochurim (Students) are stranded without a readily available solution to their travel arrangements.

A bit of background first:
The usual procedure is for students to break up at the end of Adar and make it back to their respective Yeshiva (Talmudical College) before Rosh Chodesh Iyar, so that they are ready to start the Zman (study term) in good order.
However as the Rebbe of Belz conducts a communal Seder for over 1000 Bochurim (see picture - to follow) the students stay on in Belz for another three weeks, so that they can partcipate in this lofty experience.
Since they arrive three weeks later than most students of other Yeshivas, they also plan their return journey for a week later than the others.

Ad-hoc planning
Once reports started coming in about trouble in the air, all traveling plans were cancelled and about 50 boys are looking forward to an uncertain future: every day the news updates postpone the departure by another six hours - by six hour-intervals . . .
We therefore decided to open up a branch of the Belz Yeshiva in London, as a satellite branch of the Belz Higher Talmudical College Network in Israel, which consists of around half a dozen branches in Jerusalem, Haifa, Bene Beraq, Ashdod, Telz-Stone and Bet Chilkiya.

This move reminds many old-timers in London of the Belz Yeshiva that opened in the sixties, when circumstances brought about by the six-day war brought about an unflux of Belz Bochurim - who were advised by their respective countries to leave the war zone. The Yeshiva only lasted for about a decade, after it closed for lack of students, due to the overwhelming success of its sister-Yeshiva in Jeruslaem.
Fulfilled expectations
The students proved loyal to their study regimen and showed up on Sunday for the morning session, which culminated with a Shiur (lecture) given by one of the older students. In order to encourage attendance, the Shiur was recorded onto the Kol Haloshon system so that students can now review the lecture at any given time.
The afternoon session similarly ended after a local Rabbi delivered another Shiur which was well attended too.

The same setup is also going on in Manchester and elsewhere, students are itching to return to their places of study and for lack of an alternative they "set up shop" wherever they are. This is in line with their upbringing that the "sitting idle is not in itself considered a sin; however the worst sins could come about from sitting idle" these words were uttered by one of the earlier Hassidic leaders and hold true in this day and age as much as then - if not more!
Wishes and Requests
For now the students have settled in a routine, however their constant worry is not to be starnded without their study partners and spiritual mentors who are going about their regular life without this experience.
Some even contemplates back packing or traveling by car all the way to Greece and from there they would board a ship bound for Israel. Nevertheless, the majority have made peace with the 'matzav'.
As word goes around - more study books are required to cater for the influx of students of other Yeshivas who flock to the new Yeshiva on the Common.

For more on Belz Chassidus (Hassidic Sect) see:

Q. How long has this Yeshiva been open:
A. According to our Sefira, it is now Day # 3 of our Yeshiva
Q. Number of boys:
A. between 30 - 40
Q. Where are they from:
A. The overwhelming majority is from Stamford Hill, some are from Clapton and a ouple from South Tottenham.

Some more details:
The Bochurim of the Belz Yeshiva who are stuck in Antwerp also have a Yeshiva, where a steady Magid-Shiur (Lecturer) gives daily Shiurim and meals are provided mornings and afternoons - a proper setup.

There are similar Yeshivas in:
- 27 St Kilda's Road for Bochurim from other Yeshivas
- Sadigura Beis Medrash in Golders Green Road for Mirrer Bochurim

20/04/2010 - Day # 3
Flash update:
Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Eichenstein, The Trisker Rebbe is going to give 'Divrei Chizuk' to the boys and explain the situation from a Torah Perspective. Venue: 98 Clapton Common main Beis Hamedrash, 12:30

21/04/2010 Here is a TxT message that was sent to me at 3:54AM this morning:
"Your son has been confirmed on the ly318 2230 from heathrow
tonight 21 apr . Please confirm you got my text. Thanks "
>From Danny Feld of Feldan Travel< It seems that there is some movement in the air, so I hope to see my son off to Yeshiva tonight, together with his compatriots and pray that they all arrive safely in Eretz.


= = =

23 May 2011 12:09 For immediate release, following the Ash Release: Update on Mahara"m Ash Yeshiva, founded during the icelandic Volcanic Ash Eruption in 5770. This is to inform would be students of our temporary Yeshiva, aptly named Yeshivas Mahara"m Ash (the last 'M' stands for my first name...) that this year we will not be able to accommodate any new students. Any bochur looking for action should refrain from creating more Ash - especially near the Pond off the Belz Compound.