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Kinus HaTalmidim-HaShluchim
in Venice

The Tmimim started coming on Thursday, the 4th of Adar I. Some flew, others came by train or bus. “The sight of bachurim meeting after five months of Shlichus reminds me of Tishrei scenes in 770, when people come from all over the world and unite with the Rebbe MH”M,” said one of the Tmimim.

The Tmimim attend yeshivos in France (Brunoy), England (Manchester and London), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Milano) and of course the host yeshiva in Venice. The talmidim in Venice greeted their guests and showed them to their hotel where they would stay throughout the Kinus. Each talmid received a folder with material they would be learning during the Kinus, a gift of a Mincha-Maariv Siddur, a map of the area, a list of the speakers from each yeshiva, and pen and paper. At registration, it was already apparent that a full program awaited them.

The Kinus began in conjunction with the Siyum ha’Rambam. HaTamim Yosef Yitzchok Bryski (Venice) emphasized the motto of the Kinus: “to prepare ourselves and the entire world to greet Moshiach.”

Rabbi Rami Benin, shaliach to Venice spoke about the mesirus nefesh of the bachurim who leave yeshivos gedolos in Eretz Yisroel and America in order to help out with mivtzaim and other projects in European cities, while learning in local yeshivos.

The rav of the Jewish community in Venice, Rabbi Reuven DeLaRocca, spoke about the former glory of the community, and about its present unfortunate state. “Under the circumstances, when there is such great assimilation, mostly a result of ignorance, the presence of the Chabad yeshiva in the city helps strengthen the Jews of the community. It also serves as a beacon for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish tourists who pass through the Jewish ghetto. It successfully implants a love for Hashem in their hearts, through ahavas Yisroel in a manner that emphasizes that all Jews are equal.”

Rabbi Ariel Chabad, the Rebbe’s shaliach to Trieste and the chief Rabbi of the Jewish community of Slovenia, reviewed a sicha as a hadran on the topic of “and the earth will be full of knowledge of Hashem like waters cover the sea.” He was followed by the rav of the Jewish community of Trieste, who is a good friend of the yeshiva. He made mention of the fact that the Rebbe accompanied the Rebbe Rayatz on his way to Eretz Yisroel in 5689, when he sailed from the port of Trieste.

Rabbi Moshe Lazar, one of the first shluchim in Milano, told the bachurim about the early years of his shlichus and the difficulties he encountered. Rabbi Lazar stressed that Chabad requires that you do the work on your own, and not that the Rebbe does the work for you. At the same time though, the Rebbe gives you all the kochos in order to carry out the shlichus.

The final speaker, Rabbi Eliyahu Dovid Borenstein, spoke about the theme of the Kinus – to greet Moshiach.

On Friday, after learning Chassidus, davening, and breakfast, the bachurim sat down to report on their activities. Tamim Y.Y. Mendelsohn (Venice) explained that the purpose of the discussion was for each one to learn from the other, to gain ideas which could be implemented when they went back to their shlichus.

Tamim Binyamin Bitton (Brunoy) spoke about the mivtza the shluchim did in their yeshiva by way of preparing for Yud Shvat. The bachurim learned thousands of pages of sichos and maamarim of the Rebbe and strengthened their commitment to the sedarim and the Rebbe’s directives.

Tamim Meir Shimon Moskowitz (Budapest) said that the bachurim of his yeshiva give twenty classes a week! They also arrange Shabbos meals for students, local Jews and tourists, all this while learning in the yeshiva. Each week, one of the bachurim gives a shiur in halacha l’maaseh, while another bachur says a pilpul on the Gemara learned that week.

The representative of the shluchim in London, Elisha Rogalsky, described what they did each day, whether having a chavrusa with a bachur or the Melaveh Malka they make each week, featuring a video of the Rebbe.

Tamim Y.Y. Okinov (Manchester) said that every Motzaei Shabbos Mevarchim, they all sit down together to write a duch to the Rebbe. He said that in order to create a koch in learning inyanei Moshiach and Geula, they bring a guest speaker each week. He gives an in depth shiur, which the boys can prepare for, by studying the sources posted on the wall a few days prior to the class.

The representative from Venice, Tamim Shlomo Abramson spoke mostly about the farbrengens among the shluchim and about the daily shiur on inyanei Moshiach as well as in Seifer HaShlichus. He also spoke about their activities with the tourists.

Tamim Dov Ber Segal (Milano) explained that the large concentration of Jews is not in the center where the yeshiva is located, but on the other side of the city. They established a kollel called Beis HaTalmud, and each evening four bachurim go there to learn and give shiurim.

After all the reports were given, the bachurim went out on mivtzaim before toiveling in the sea in preparation for Shabbos. (The mikva in Venice is about to be built.)

Friday night, Rabbi Noam Wagner the rosh yeshiva in Venice, reviewed a sicha from 5752, which was followed by davening. Tamim Nachum Light (London) reviewed a sicha, and Rabbi Leibel Groner farbrenged for hours. Rabbi Groner came especially for the Kinus, and he spoke about the privilege and responsibility of a Shaliach and Tamim, and how the Rebbe gives the kochos for this and demands that they be used.

The aliyos at Krias ha’Torah Shabbos morning were sold (the custom in the yeshiva in Venice) for additional learning of sichos, maamarim, etc. This idea was warmly received by the bachurim-shluchim who pledged to institute the same custom back at their yeshivos. Rabbi Groner spoke again for many hours. One of his central themes was the need to follow the Rebbe’s orders exactly.

After a public Kiddush Levana, there was a workshop for the bachurim called “ha’maaseh hu ha’ikar,” moderated by Tamim Shlomo Sternberg (Brunoy). He presented a point, and whoever had something to say on the topic stood up and responded in open forum. Rabbi Groner and Rabbi Shmuel Rodal of Milano joined the discussion and offered suggestions on how to strengthen the ideas under discussion.

The banquet took place on Sunday, and it was combined with the Sheva Brachos of Moshe Garelik, the son of shaliach Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik. The hachlatos of the Kinus were read by Tamim Dov Halperin (Budapest):

1) The Shluchim plan on having a shiur iyun at least once a week on Hilchos Melachim of the Rambam in light of the Rebbe’s sichos.

2) Until Yud-Alef Nissan, every Tamim attending the Kinus will speak with (at least) ten Jews a week about strengthening their emuna and yearning for Moshiach.

3) A kovetz will be published once a month which will contain questions on halacha that come up in the course of shlichus, as well as questions about Yemos HaMoshiach. The yeshivos will take turns producing it each month, with the participation of the other yeshivos.

4) Once a month they will write a duch klali and send it to the Rebbe through the Igud HaTmimim HaShluchim of Europe.

5)In addition to the above, each kvutza will choose their own hachlata.

Tamim Yaakov Cohen of Venice was acknowledged for his working so hard to make the Kinus the success it was. The bachurim went back to their respective yeshivos having resolved to do all in their power to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu.



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