News & Developments

See our blog for the latest news and developments occurring at Yeshivah Gedolah.



A special Melava Malka was held Motzei Shabbos, 15th August, at the Rabbinical College of Australia and New Zealand (Yeshivah Gedolah) to celebrate the completion of Maseches Kesubos by local Melbourne students Shimon Szmerling and Avrohom Kaminetzky. The pair achieved the rare feat of learning an entire tractate of the Talmud by heart. Members of the Melbourne Jewish community joined with college staff and students to attend the function.

The event was arranged by Rabbi Shmuel Lesches, Maggid Shiur at Yeshivah Gedolah, in honour of the two students, who had learned and recited the Shakle V’taria of the entire Masechta (tractate of Talmud) ba’al peh (by heart, as opposed to being spot-checked), in increments of approximately five blatt.

In opening the proceedings, Rabbi Lesches made note of the special pleasure that the Lubavitcher Rebbe derived from students who had learned hundreds of blatt of Gemoro ba’al peh, and also of the importance of celebrating such accomplishments publicly. Rabbi Lesches also mentioned that this particular Siyum was very much in line with the Rebbe’s goal for the Yeshivah Gedolah of Melbourne – “to conquer Australia through the learning of Torah”.

Rabbi Zvi H. Telsner of Yeshivah Centre then addressed the audience, during which he praised the students for their achievement, and for inspiring others to learn with added strength and vigour.

“This should serve as an inspiration to all the talmidim (students),” he said. “If these two boys learnt the entire tractate, there must be ten others who can learn half a tractate, and more yet who can learn at least one or two chapters.”

Guest speaker, Rabbi Yaakov Barber of South Caulfield Hebrew Congregation utilized the opportunity to emphasize the high calibre of the local students, and their testament to the vitality of Chabad educational institutions in Melbourne. Rabbi Barber also made mention of Shmaya Shusterman, currently a student at Yeshivah Gedolah, who, whilst being in Mesivta, completed the entire 53 Chapters of Tanya ba’al peh, word for word.

Shimon Szmerling and Avrohom Kaminetzky then presented their respective Hadranim, or theses, which is tradition upon completing a tractate, after which the audience broke out into a lively Niggun.

In his remarks to the audience, Rabbi Binyomin Cohen, Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivah Gedolah, pointed out that the achievement of these two students was all the more remarkable, in that it was not at the expense of their adherence to Shmiras Hasdorim or their otherwise exemplary performance in all aspects of the Yeshivah curriculum.

Mr Henry Herzog, on behalf of the Yeshivah Gedolah Executive, then presented each of the students with a voucher to the value of $1500, which they elected to use towards the purchase of seforim. They were also presented with a copy of the recently published sefer, Venichbesha Ha’Aretz (see separate article). Rabbi Lesches thereupon concluded the event by thanking all of the donors who generously contributed toward the awards.

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.