Kollel Ner HaMizrach Expands to Norcross, GA

Rabbi P

Kollel Ner Hamizrach and Congregation Beit Yitzhak of Norcross, Georgia, celebrated the launch of a new branch of the Kollel, dubbed Kollel Beit Yitzchak. Hundreds of guests, enjoyed a festive meal, dancing and gained an appreciation for the struggles that were overcome to bring these projects to fruition.

The president of Congregation Beit Yiztchak, Anatoliy Iskhakov, described the long journey that brought the congregation to build their new shul, Mikvah and launch a kollel under the auspices of Kollel Ner Hamizrach.  The congregation, which was formed in 1989 and initially met in a Norcross basement, now has a magnificent edifice for prayer and Torah study.  It is our fervent prayer and plan that the Kollel Beit Yitzchak night program evolve into a full-time kollel,” noted Mr. Iskhakov.

Rav Shmuel Khoshkerman of Congregation Ner Hamizrach implored the attendees to engage themselves in Torah studies.  “Only through consistent Torah studies could we protect ourselves from the influences of the society around us,” stated Rav Khoshkerman.  “Noach built an ark that protected him and his family from the elements.  Our ‘ark’ is the Beit Medrash, which gives us the opportunity to connect to our Creator through regular Torah study.”

Kollel Ner Hamizrach’s Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Eliezer Cohen observed that in the Torah’s description of the animals who entered the ark, the Torah describes the animals as having ruach chaim (life force).  Rabbi Cohen questioned why the Torah needs to stipulate this.  Was there ever a thought that Noach would bring dead animals into the ark?

Rabbi Cohen suggested that the Torah was illustrating to us that the foundation of new world had to be formed on animals who did not compromise their mission in this world and did not crossbreed; this commitment to a true lifestyle is the ruach chaim alluded to here. “We, too, must always strictly adhere to halacha in our effort to create the foundation for our children and grandchildren,” said Rabbi Cohen.

Rabbi Sroy Levitansky, outreach director for Beth Medrash Govoha (BMG), Lakewood New Jersey, told the assembled how great his joy is in seeing the formation of yet another Kollel.  “This Kollel is like a grandchild; the outcome of Kollel Ner Hamizrach, of which BMG had such a pivotal role,” noted Rabbi Levitansky.

The newly installed Rabbi of Beit Yitzhak (and a member of Kollel Ner Hamizrach) Rabbi Natan Phuzayloff shared a story of how Rabbi Akiva almost drowned when his ship sank.  When asked how he survived the wreck, Rabbi Akiva explained that he held onto the daf of the ship.  “Daf,” explained Rabbi Phuzayloff, “can mean plank, but it is also a metaphor for the daily study of Gemorah because daf can also mean a page – a page of Gemorah. We, too, must always hold onto the daf.

“We have the utmost confidence that Rabbi Phuzayloff will help Beit Yitzhak grow into a thriving center of Torah study and mitzvah observance,” said Rabbi Dovid Kapenstein, Kollel Ner Hamizrach executive director.

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