Three years ago, a student named Yaakov Beyda (Jabba) approached Rabbi Lowenstein with a request. “Can we stay up on the night of the Super Bowl…….and LEARN!!!?” Rabbi Lowenstein was shocked. Watching the Superbowl is almost a tradition. The boys love it. To spend the night learning Gemara was unthinkable. “If you get three boys that are interested, we can do it” he responded. Jabba managed to find three boys…..plus another fourteen! Altogether, seventeen boys stayed up that night and learned Mesechet Tamid, in depth, cover to cover. For eight hours straight they “pounded” Gemara, only stopping once for a bite to eat. They missed watching the game, but they felt like true winners!
By now, its become a Lev Aharon tradition. The next year, there were 37 boys in the group. Of course, we have an exciting super-bowl party for the boys to enjoy, but we also offer the opportunity to spend the night finishing an entire Mesechet and the feeling of blissful ecstasy upon its completion. This year, over forty boys (plus another ten that joined from other Yeshivot), chose the latter option. [ Seven Rabbi’s also came and learned with the boys, some finished Tamid while others finished an entire Perek in Brachot!] Hour after hour, they sat, eyes glued to the Daf Gemara,intensely focused on each word.
At 5:30 a.m. they reached an awesome milestone and finished Mesechet Tamid! After praying Shachrit at netz, they slept for a few hours and then came to the Bait Midrash for a special “yom Tefilla” prayer for the Jewish people, followed by a beautiful siyum celebrating their wonderful achievement. Each boy was given a special certificate and in heartfelt unison, they all recited the “Hadran” together. It’s one of the most uplifting and inspiring moments in the year and a true Kiddush Hashem. “Anu ratzim v’hem ratzim...... anu l’chayei olam haba!!” The pride on the Rabbi’s faces reflected the special pride and nachat that the boys felt deep inside! Mazal Tov and chazak u’baruch!!
It was especially inspiring that the student who originally came up with the idea and approached Rabbi Lewenstein, Yaakov Beyda,, is presently married and learning in Kolel in America; and this year, he continued the tradition in the States, learning with a group of our alumni who asked that he teach them Mesechet Tamid, just as he had done in Lev three years back! The light shines on!!!!! (A special thank you to Mr. Cohen from "Pizza-Time" for catering!)