On Monday evening, Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 24 students of Oholei Torah, Lubavitcher Yeshiva-Crown St. and Cheder Chabad of Monsey competed against each other in the final round of the Chidon Shoneh Halachos.
Shoneh Halachos is a program for eighth grade boys to encourage and guide them in the study of Halacha with the Alter Rebbe’s Psak, which is clearly explained through notations made by Rabbi Levi Bistritzky a”h – former Rav of Tzfat. It was established by the Igud Menahalei Yeshivos of Crown Heights for Oholei Menachem, United Lubavitcher Yeshiva of Crown Street, and this year was joined by Cheder Chabad Monsey, to expand the knowledge of Halacha and Yiras Shamayim of the talmidim of our community.
The program was founded in memory of HaRav Yehuda Kalman Marlow a”h, whom the Rebbe referred to as ‘Ish Halacha’ – a man of Jewish Law; HaRav Marlow’s life was dedicated to the knowledge and clarification of Halacha. This evening commemorated the 14th yahrzeit of HaRav Marlow, which is on 20 Sivan.
The learning thereof is leilui nishmas HaChosid Reb Schneur Zalman Gurary a”h, to whom the interests of the Rebbe were very dear. The program is sponsored by Yossi Sternberg, grandson of Reb Zalman, and surely this serves as a fitting tribute to an individual who was legendary for his hiskashrus, limud and hidur in performing Mitzvos. His great-grandson Mendel Sternberg delivered the d’var Torah.
Eligibility to be a participant in the Chidon is through receiving above an 80% on written tests. Each boy receives a monetary reward for excelling in this area, and boys that join in the Chidon receive additional money plus seforim.
The finale of the program was a Chidon amongst 24 contestants which was held on Monday evening – Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan. The panel of judges were: Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Rabbi Yosef Shechter [son-in-law of Rabbi Marlow] and HaTamim R’ Sholom Zirkind, son of Rabbi Yitzchok Zirkind a”h.
The audience of parents, melamdim, community members and fellow students were astounded at the ability of the participants to quote the Halocho almost verbatim.
The event was chaired by Rabbi Hershel Lustig – Dean of Oholei Menachem who also serves as coordinator of the program.
The winners of the Chidon are:
First Place: Yosef Yitzchok Krasnianski.
Second Place: Efraim Shanowitz, Shneur Zalman Aba Sirota, Mendel Sternberg, Yehuda Leib Telsner and Yosef Menachem Mendel Tenenbaum.
Third Place: Eliyahu Rosenbluh and Yekuziel Zushe Vigler.