By: Darren May  | 

Kimu V'Kiblu Kollel

Purim is inherently dichotomous. On the one hand, this is a day where our Rabbis say that we accepted the Torah on a level that was perhaps higher than the acceptance of the Torah on Mount Sinai. This would lead one to think the proper mode of service on Purim should be to solely learn our ancient texts. On the other hand, there is a commandment on Purim to be merry. According to many rabbinic authorities, the manifestation of this joy is accomplished through drinking wine. Many people run with an enthusiasm rarely seen throughout the rest of the year to drink wine on Purim, but the same fervor to learn is rarely see on Purim. However, this was not the case this year in Yeshiva University.

This year, an anonymous donor helped fund a revolutionary initiative run by the Student Organization of Yeshiva and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) called the Kimu V’Kiblu Kollel. The idea was simple: before yeshiva students go and fulfill the commandment to be merry on Purim day, they should spend time learning Torah. One might think that this program would not succeed. People have other Purim plans, and who wants to stay in the beit midrash on Purim day?

However, the program was a smashing success. “This is a real testament to how great the students are in YU,” said the president of SOY Jacob Bernstein. Bernstein continued, “The Kollel was an original and extremely successful program, boasting over 150 participants.”

The Kollel started off with prayer at 7:45 in the Glueck Beit Midrash. After the reading of the megillah, there was dancing and singing. Following the conclusion of the prayer service at 9:15, there was an immediate din of Jewish learning. Learning continued until 11:00, when many participants in the program went to the YU Cafeteria to partake in a festive Purim meal. After eating and singing, and afterwards people went about their day doing whatever else they had planned for Purim.

Bernstein said, “It was inspiring to see people get together and learn on a day that is not normally filled with Torah learning." It’s amazing how the YU student body never ceases to do amazing things." Just a fews emails from mashgiach Rabbi Bacon garnered over 150 people to devote their Purim to the study of Torah. The fact that so many students were willing to spend their Purim break learning is something that the whole school should be proud of.