By D. F.
After reading all the press recently about Yeshiva Darchei Torah, I wanted to share some thoughts of mine. I am an alumnus of Darchei. The stories people write only scratch the surface of what goes on at the Yeshiva. The hakaras hatov that I have towards Rabbi Bender shlita and the rest of the hanhalah can’t be put into words.
I was reading through the book they gave out at the Chanukas Habayis, and read a number of inspiring stories. I’d like to share one story that happened to me in the yeshiva:
The older mesivta bochurim were encouraged to spend Shabbosim in the yeshiva. On Shabbos, at each meal, there would be a Rebbe from the yeshiva there. The Rebbe would say over a d’var Torah. They would also ask one boy to say a d’var Torah at each meal.
One week, it was my turn to speak. That week, R’ Langer, the 9th grade Rebbe, was at the yeshiva for Shabbos. It was Shabbos Parshas Noach. Because R’ Langer was there, there was a larger crowd than usual for that Shabbos, as many 9th graders, who usually went home for Shabbos, stayed in the yeshiva that week.
At the seudah, it was time for my d’var Torah. I got up from my chair, and made my way towards the shtender at the front of the dining room, next to the table with Rabbi Langer’s family. Because of the large crowd, the tables were closer together than usual, and I had to squeeze a bit to get between some of them. I walked up, until I was in front of R’ Langer’s table. I had to squeeze in between his table and one other table. As I was going through, I bumped the table a bit, and my hand hit a fork. I watched the fork flip over, and hit an empty bottle. The bottle fell over, and hit a full cup of soda. Of course, the full cup of soda spilled right on Rabbi Langer, completely soaking him.
I froze. My mind was racing – I had just caused a full cup to spill on him! I thought, “Where are napkins? Paper towels? Something?”
Suddenly, Rabbi Langer leaned forward. “Get up there and speak!”
“What?” I asked
He repeated, “Get up there right now!”
“But Rebbi is all wet!” I said.
“Right now, people think I’m just saying something quickly to you. Nobody noticed that the cup spilled. If you stay longer, people will notice. You’ll be embarrassed, and you might get teased. Get up there now, so nobody will know! Then you won’t be embarrassed!”
I walked up to the front, and gave my d’var Torah. After I was done, I walked back, and apologized to R’ Langer. He replied, “It’s Parshas Noach. I got my own personal mabul!”
This is the type of Rebbe who works at Darchei Torah. When he is covered with soda, his first thought is that the bochur should avoid being embarrassed. These Rabbeim will always put their students first. May Hashem grant Rabbi Bender and his amazing staff the strength to continue educating our children in this path.