Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein of Bnei Brak will deliver the keynote speech at the Dirshu Shabbos Chizuk L’lomdei Torah event to be held this coming Shabbat, which will focus on pressures being placed on hareidi communities in Israel.
The event, held by the Dirshu organization in Somerset, New Jersey, sold out just a few weeks after being announced, and will be attended by Torah scholars from America and around the world. It aims to honor participants at Dirshu's Limud HaTorah program.
Rabbi Borenstein, head of Yeshiva Kiryas Melech in Bnei Brak, and former head of Yeshivat Hevron Geula for 20 years, is the author of several important religious books, including collections of shiurim (lessons) on different tractates of the Talmud.
The event will emphasize recent government pressure on hareidi communities to enlist in the IDF.
The Equal Burden of Service Committee held a session Tuesday which raised specters of a "culture war" over the enlistment of hareidi Jews into the army and punishment of those who refuse.
During the debate on punitive measures, one hareidi MK quipped "I want to ask the committee: will you still let us breathe?"
Letters sent by several rabbis to be read at the event called for increased Torah study to "neutralize the decrees."
For example, Rabbi Aryeh Finkel, head of the Mir Yeshiva, wrote that now "when haters make it difficult for those who learn Torah… it is the obligation of every one of us to strengthen each other by reinforcing our commitment to Torah learning and davening." The sentiment was echoed by other Torah scholars.
The event will feature a question and answer session on Jewish law with Halachic authority Rabbi Yechiel Michel Steinmetz, the Skverer Dayan of Boro Park, along with a "Shalosh Seudos" third meal that will stretch past the end of Shabbat.
Dirshu, organizers of the event, have in the past held other massive events celebrating Torah learning, including a "Melave Malka" held in New York November 2012.