The LINK Kollel in Los Angeles organized a community-wide gathering of Divrei Hisorrerus and Tehillim on Tues. night Nov. 18 in light of the terrible slaughter that took place earlier that day during Shacharis at the Kehilas Bnei Torah shul in Har Nof. The hastily arranged event attracted an overflow crowd of over 75 people to hear words of perspective and remembrance from Rav Shalom Tendler, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Birchas Yitzchak and Rav Nachum Sauer, Rosh Kollel of YOLA.
The shocking carnage and the spiritual caliber of the victims leave us speechless, Rav Tendler began. But he did proceed to offer some words of spiritual direction, averring that we need to take tefilla more seriously as a way of speaking to Hashem and letting Him Know how much we desire to be close to Him and how much we yearn for the Final Redemption. He also exhorted the crowd to feel a closer connection to everyone in Klal Yisrael who is undergoing suffering since we are all ultimately considered as one body. Every tragedy and loss must penetrate us and give us pause for refection and shared grief, not just one of this horrific magnitude. He shared his fond memories of Rabbi Kalman Levine Hy”d, one of the four Kedoshim who began his serious leaning in YULA’s Beis Medrash under his tutelage over 30 years ago.
Rav Sauer was visibly shaken by the loss of 2 of the victims whom he knew well – Rav Moshe Twerski and Rabbi Levine, Hy”d. He shared his recollections of his learning in the same Beis Medrash (of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan) as Rav Twerski many years ago in New York and seeing even then his rarefied middos, his ahavas chesed and his unparalleled grasp of all areas of Shas and Aggadah. He recalled Rav Twerski’s devotion (once he moved to Eretz Yisrael) to his talmidim and to his family and how he balanced them in such a beautiful way. Rav Sauer was a mentor in many ways to Rabbi Levine who was a ben bayis by him during his LA days at YULA. He noted his tremendous desire to learn and grow that propelled him to leave college and to focus solely on Torah learning and then move to Eretz Yisrael, never to look back. When such quality neshamos are taken from us, we need to do our part to try to help fill that gaping void, he concluded.
Rabbi Gabi Heimowitz of the LINK Kollel then led the assemblage in a heartfelt recitation of five chapters of Tehilim for the 12 people wounded n the attack. The program concluded with Maariv.
A video of the event is available by clicking here