Rabbi Arye D. Gordon
With the start of Chodesh Elul, yeshivos and kollelim begin their seder of learning. As the new year of learning begins, a new kollel appeared in Los Angeles on La Brea Avenue next door to Shaare Torah.
Rav Nechemia Langer, mara d’asra of Shaare Torah, confirms that the new kollel, Netzach Yisroel, named after Harav Yisroel Belsky, zt”l, the father-in-law of Rev Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, is indeed the shul’s new kollel. Rabbi Langer explains, “There was a desire to expand the Torah base of the shul and to have a younger group of kollel members to mirror the younger baalei batim of Shaare Torah.”
A few years ago, the idea for a kollel was discussed by Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz and a few key people in the shul, Shaare Torah. While it was decided to establish a kollel, there was a tremendous amount of planning necessary to bring the plan to fruition. Where would they find a rosh kollel? What about the core members of the kollel? What about a building? What about housing for these families coming from the other side of the country?
Under the guidance and assistance of Rabbi Berish Goldenberg and Duvi Blonder, the search for a rosh kollel and kollel members began in earnest.
Rabbi Reuven Markin, an experienced rosh kollel, was a perfect fit. The members of the kollel include the “magnificent fifteen,” a unique group that showed the desire and ability to become part of this venture. Most of the young married kollel members were talmidim of the Lakewood yeshiva. Members of the kollel include: Sholom Hirschman, Yehuda Gorelick, Aharon Feldman, Menachem Schwartz, Yehoshua Jakobovits, Dovi Kenig, Tzvi Yaakov Shapiro, Yehuda Flagler, Ari Sobelman, Moshe Ribiat, Yechezkel Hertz, Tzvi Yehuda Simon, Yaakov Rubin, Yaakov Goldberg, and Eli Kirshner.
Stepping into the kollel to get a first-hand look, one will see the young men in action, engaging their whole being in the learning process. Most learn in groups of two, totally absorbed in their limud gemara. Rabbi Markin provides guidance in understanding difficult points in their studies. He engages them, prods them to explain to him what the gemara says. When they understand the sugya, they exchange looks of satisfaction.
Aside from the all-day learning schedule and a night seder to end the day, Rabbi Markin plans to incorporate into the kollel schedule learning with members of the shul and the community at large, including all who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity to learn in this new makom Torah.