It’s that wonderful time of year again, right after Pesach, when the weather starts getting nicer, the sun is out, people are out, children are playing outside, it really is a beautiful time of the year.
But for bochurim in mesivta, or bochrim that are going in to mesivta, this is the time that they start thinking about the end of the school year, what they accomplished, what they need to accomplish. Where are they going for the summer? Are they going to Morristown or are they going to Israel or wherever it may be.
But the main thing concerning a bochur in Yeshiva is, where will I be next year? Which yeshiva will I be in?
Should I stay where I am now? Should I leave?
If I go somewhere else would I like it? What will the Seviva be?
Will there be good bochurim there, will they be chassidish?
Will there be a Hanholo that cares and takes a personal interest in me?
How will the learning be? What are the standards?
I, as a bochur in yeshiva went through the same thing. I found myself grappling with same questions, am I really happy here? Am I really gaining in this yeshiva? Am I learning the way I am supposed to? Am I growing in my chassidishkiet and my connection to the Rebbe?
This past year my father decided that I should try a different Yeshiva. At first I was hesitant, I told my father I’ll agree to try it out, and oh, do I thank my father for sending me. I must say, it was one of the better moves of my young life.
The yeshiva in which I learn, and am so happy and so proud to be a part of is the Mesivta of Postville, Iowa, founded by Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin about 15 years ago.
This Yeshiva is THE “BEST KEPT SECRET” among all Lubavitch Mesivtas out there. The Yeshiva in Postville Iowa is something special, something that few on no Yeshivos have.
For starters you are in a small little town (pop. 2,564) — reminiscent to the small towns in Russia — where there is nothing distracting you, nothing, you sit in Zal and you Daven and learn and there is nothing to distract you from doing what you are supposed to do doing.
The Hanholo is always there, they are really devoted, and are extremely attentive to the physical and spiritual need of each end every Bochur. The Yeshiva works with you in Kav shel chessed (kindness), nothing is forced upon you, mind you, they DO demand of you, even more than other mesivtas, but it in a way that YOU understand, as a Tomim and Chosid, that this will what YOU need to do, it is not forced. When they see you are struggling, or going through a rough patch, or have any problem they call you over, and work WITH YOU until the problem are resolved.
The Magidei Shiurim are phenomenal. For shiur alef, You have Rabbi Eliyahu Benshimon who gives a shiur every day on Gemarah (he also gives a beautiful, easy to understand, shiur for the whole yeshiva on a Mammar Chassidus on Shabbos Morning) then you have his brother Rabbi Heshy Benshimon who gives a Shiur every morning on a Mammar Chassidus.
In shiur beis you have Rabbi Zev Frimerman who gives a shiur on Gemarah every single day, and gives a chayus and a geshmak in learning. The focus is not on repeating the information but truly understanding it. In the morning and night you have a shiur from Rabbi Gavriel Levin who gives a shiur on Likutei Torah and Tanya, who is just so interesting, so down to earth, it is impossible not to listen, and not take something out of it toward your avodas Hashem..
Then in shiur gimmel, We are blessed to be in the shiur of the great, pious, intelligent, fluent in shas, humble, g-d fearing, the true Chosid, Rabbi Sholom Ber Gurkov, such a pleasure to learn under, 40 years of teaching Bochurim of all ages shows in his wit wisdom and explanation. He is also one of the nicest and caring men I have ever known.
Then you have for Chassidus Rabbi Frimerman who gives a very shiur in Derech Mitsvosecha. There are also very special, heartwarming farbrengens very often; they get mashpiim from all over. Every once in while we go on shabbatons to shluchim around, we went to Chicago, Des Moines Iowa, Davenport Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin.
In the town itself there is a fully kosher store with a pizza shop, there is a Wal Mart 20 minutes away, whenever you need stuff. There is a mikvah in yeshiva, the cook in yeshiva is a real chef (he cooks in a big hotel on Pesach), the three dorms are all very close to yeshiva, not more then 3 min away.
The atmosphere in the community is so warm, they all show how happy they are to have you around, in fact on shabbos there isn’t one bochur who is not invited to their house to eat the seudos shabbos, many thanks to the Families Rubashkin (Sholom Mordechai and Heshy), Aronov, Hecht and Bass, as well as many others for your warm houses.
Double thanks to Sholom Mordechai and Leah Rubashkin, founders of the Mesivta, through everything they been going thru the past few years they still — without fail — invite all the bochrim over every motzai shabbos to a beautiful melaveh malka, may they be blessed with happiness and true freedom and everything they need.
This is the yeshiva in Postville Iowa; A yeshiva where everyone — all 43 bochurim — gained, the yeshiva where everyone learned, the yeshiva were everyone grew in spirit, the Yeshiva where all are happy and content.
During the course of the year I saw a bunch of previous Postville bochurim (alumni) come back here and visit, I asked one of them “why did you come back?” “what type of question is that?” he said “why did I leave? That’s the question!”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my parents for taking their son, a Bochur, who was without direction, and sending me to a place that not only helped me find my way in general terms, but also to put me on the right path forward for life! Thanks!
I would like to thank my Mashpia Rabbi Levin for taking a lost kid and showing him the way of truth. I would like thank my Magid shiur Rabbi Gurkov who — ask any person who knows him — is just something special. I would like to thank Rabbi Frimerman for those awe inspiring farbrengens.
I would like to thank Rabbi Benshimon who is a man of few words but gets so much done.
And I would like to thank the Master of the universe who in his loving kindness gave me life, health, understanding, freedom, who made me part of his chosen nation, and thru his divine providence sent me to the Mesivta in Postville Iowa.
I urge any parent who is considering a Mesivta (any grade) for their son, to consider this Yeshiva, you will NOT be disappointed — I am sure you will be rewarded — If you doubt my testimony, Just ask ANY alumni from the previous 8 years, I am sure his answer (just by its conviction and tone) will convince you! Check it out for yourself: http://www.mesivtapostville.org/
I would like to sign off by giving a blessing to the man who made this whole yeshiva possible, who is now sitting behind bars, may he be release min hamaitzar el hamerchav, may he experience true freedom, b’geshem uv’ruah, Reb Sholom Mordechai, you have been an inspiration to us all!
I ask you to have a heart, and do anything you could do, be it saying Tehilim, learning a little extra, write a letter, call up, to help A Fellow Jew Is Suffering.