A full crowd of men and women gathered this past Motzaei Shabbos at the Razag Ballroom in Crown Heights for the fifth annual Melava Malka of Yagdil Torah.
A prior Yagdil Torah honoree, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wolf, was the guest speaker. He gave an inspiring message about sharing the wealth of Torah with others. The evening’s honoree was Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchak Paltiel who saluted the organization for its drivenness in spreading Torah learning throughout the Crown Heights community and beyond with Shiurim, publications and other projects.
Chief among Yagdil Torah’s achievements are the two Heichalei Halimud, the study centers in Crown Heights, which are open 20 hours daily. People are welcome there to learn in a comfortable environment.
A highlight of the evening was when Shalom Ber Klein, a working Yungerman with a family, surprised everyone (including the organizers) by making a Siyum on Maseches Kiddushin during the Melava Malka. His Chavrusa and he had been learning the Masechta in the Heichal Halimud. Klein, who spoke about how Yagdil Torah helped him rekindle his involvement in Limud HaTorah, later explained that his purpose in doing this was to encourage others in their commitment to Limud HaTorah. “As a working person,” He said, “Yagdil Torah with its beautiful Batei Midrash has provided me with the wonderful opportunity to still learn on a regular basis. I have no words to describe how much fulfillment this has brought into my personal life.”
Yagdil Torah was founded by Rabbi Levi & Batsheva Browd to perpetuate the memory of their first born son, Menachem Mendel.
“The event served to inspire participants and thank the honoree for what he has done for the Crown Heights community,” remarked Browd. “Thank you to all the supporters who enabled us to achieve this success in the past eleven years, and thank you to the thousands who participate by learning, whether at a shiur, in the Heichal Halimud or with one of our print or online publications.”
A beautiful selection of Niggunim was presented by Shimmy Brod, and guests enjoyed a delicious meal and entertainment by Comedian Marc Weiner. Wiener kept the crowd laughing as he recounted the various mishaps he had when he first attended a Frum Shul. “The warmth in the room was palpable,” commented Rabbi Levi Kaplan, who emceed the event. “It was engendered by those who came to express their gratitude to Rabbi Paltiel and to thank Yagdil Torah for the gift of spiritual life: Torah.”