A Blitz to the End

Post-HS yeshiva students compete in annual LCM-sponsored gemara contest in Israel

March 16, 2015

This past March, more than 100 American talmidim studying at post-high school Yeshiva programs in Israel participated in the eighth annual Bekiyus Blitz, a gemara contest program in Israel sponsored and hosted by Lander College for Men (LCM).

Participating students compete by studying Maseches Megillah or Maseches Makos and then being tested on the material in a rigorous written exam. The three highest scorers—Moshe Averick of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavne (KBY), Joel Van Messel of KBY, and Ori Putterman of Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush)—each received a complete set of Shas. (Yes, you read that right!)

The other twenty-two top scorers received prizes as well, which included complete sets of shulchan aruch and mishnayos. In total, six thousand dollars’ worth of seforim were distributed to the twenty-five winners, costs of which were generously underwritten by the family of Stephen Brown, chairman of LCM’s Board of Overseers.

Winners included Gavriel Gulamov and Aaron Rosenberg of Netiv Aryeh; Ben Baruch and Charlie Friedman of HaKotel; Binyamin Kusnetz and James Mindell of Gush, and Binyamin Wolf of Ohr Sameach. From KBY, the winners included Micha Athersych, Aviad Berger, Alex Jaffe, Mikey Kahan, Yossi Katz, Shalom Moise, Moshe Rothman, Daniel Samole, Ahron Schwartz-Messing, Zev Senter, Yisrael Snow, and Gavi Sragow. Derech Etz Chaim (DEC) winners were Yoni Finkelstein, Yisroel Hollander, Samuel Maizlach, Doni Raskas, Aryeh Teitelbaum, and Ethan Solomon.

All participants were also entered into a raffle for a Shas Pod, an iPod preloaded with audio lectures on all the Talmud. DEC student Yoni Finkelstein had the lucky numbers!

The students’ achievements were celebrated in a lavish melaveh malkeh and siyum in the Zvhil Simcha Hall on Motzei Shabbos, March 14, where talmidim were welcomed by LCM menahel Rav Yehuda Shmuelevitz and addressed by LCM mashgiach Rabbi Moshe Bamberger. As motzai Shabbos is traditionally a time to sing songs of Eliyahu Hanavi, Rabbi Bamberger spoke on the importance of bringing Eliyahu Hanavi—the geula—to us through doing mitzvos ben adam le’chaveiro. “Instead of waiting passively for him to come rescue us, let’s focus on taking the initiative to redeem others.”

The event was organized by LCM Israel admissions officer Rabbi Lavey Freedman and LCM director of recruitment Rabbi Barry Nathan. 

“It was certainly an evening of great honor and nachas for these students and for LCM at large,” said Rabbi Nathan. “This siyum reminds us that limud Torah is the thread that binds all of Klal Yisroel together.”