12 Sep BIG NEWS COMING SOON!!! AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HARAV AVROHOM EISEN, SHLIT”A, THE POZNA ROV
Hagaon Harav Avrohom Eisen, shlit”a, the Pozna Rov, is the Morah Dasrah of the Bais Hamedrash Levush Haora-Pozna (the Pozna
Shul) in Flatbush and the founder of the Shas Yiden Kollelim Network. Two weeks ago, Ari Hirsch from the Jewish Vues had the
honor and privilege to meet with the Rav upstate in his bungalow in Woodbourne, to discuss many different topics including a very big
announcement about Shas Yiden.
Harav Avrohom Halevi Eisen, the Pozna Rov, shlit”a, had a vision to revitalize the approach and method to study Talmud Bavli.
Furthermore, it became clear that many rabbonim who are poskim do not have Shas at their ‘fingertips’, nor know it by heart, So, in 2008
with 25 avreichim in Bet Shemesh, he set out to tackle the difficult task of instituting the learning of the entire Talmud Bavli (Shas) in the
course of one year. Only 6 of the avreichim were able to keep up, and continued to form the foundation of ‘Shas Yiden’ – and to be able
to master the entire Shas by heart.
Name: Rabbi Avrohom Halevi Eisen, the Pozna Rav
Born in: Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh
Left Eretz Yisrael: Parents moved to Montreal, Canada after the Six-Day war.
Married: in New York in 1984
Yichus: Rav Eisen is a direct descendant of the Levush, Rav Mordechai Yoffe (1530-
1612). His father was Rav Yakov Eisen of Montreal from a well-known family of rabbonim
and dayanim. In Yerushalayim, the Eisen name is linked to the Old Yishuv, where Rav
Eisen’s grandfather, Rav Shalom Eisen zt”l, was a respected posek and talmid chochom.
Yeshivas growing up: From the Rav’s bar mitzvah to chasuna by Rav Avraham
Yosef Rosenblum zt”l he learned at Yeshiva Shaarei Yosher. After the chasuna, his Rosh
Yeshiva sent him to learn by Rav Shmuel Berenbaum zt”l in the Mir Yeshiva.
Received Smicha from: Rav Avraham Yosef Rosenblum, zt”l, the Rosh Yeshiva of Shaarei Yosher
Name of Flatbush Shul that the rav is the Morah Dasrah of: Bais Hamedrash Levush Haora – Pozna
Shul location: 2422 Avenue I, Brooklyn, NY
Years as the Mora D’asra at Bais Hamedrash Levush Haora: 10 years
Number of families currently in the shul, Bais Hamedrash Levush Haora: approximately 300
Shas Yiden began in: 2008, just beginning its fifteenth year.
Branches of Shas Yiden:
Five kollelim in Eretz Yisroel- Yerushalayim, Beit Shemesh, Beitar, Bnei Brak and
Kiryat Sefer. One in London. One opening in the United States in Flatbush after Sukkos.
Number of avreichim geonim at Shas Yiden:
Currently, 102. When the Flatbush branch opens, there will be iy”h 112.
Daily program of Shas Yiden:
Iyun Shas – 1 daf b’iyun with Rishonim per a special regimen
Shinun Shas – 4/5 daf in a chaburah in pilpul and iyun
Chazoras Hashas – 3 daf in bekius and chazora, outside program hours
To master the information and to know it all by heart there must be constant review. Each
of the nine daily folios is then reviewed an average of 4 times each day – a total of 45
daf a day and 20 on Shabbos and Yom Tov translate into 13,555 daf a year by each avreich!
Shas Yiden Siyumim:
The monthly test covers 2-8 masechtos, and a siyum on all the masechtos covered is
celebrated every other Rosh Chodesh. These siyumim are attended by Gedolim, Rosh
Yeshivas, Dayanim and Rabbanim who well appreciate the many personal sacrifices
involved in the quest to become Shas Yiden.
Next Siyum: Ches Kislev
With such a lofty goal, to have avreichim
complete the learning of Shas annually,
there were many detractors. There is
no yeshiva or kollel that demands this
from their avreichim, they declared. Rav
Eisen recalls: “people laughed behind
my back and teased me to my face. Even
a couple of family members said the
following: “You are mevazeh the family
– get off your high horse. How could
you? How can one finish Shas in a year?
It’s not shayach.”
“However, the Gedolei Yisroel, the
ones who truly know Shas through and
through, encouraged me to persevere.
Baruch Hashem, with His help I did
it.” At one of the Shas Yiden siyumim,
the Sanzer Rebbe declared: “Since the
creation of Talmud Bavli, there has
never existed such a Torah institution
where all the avreichim know Shas baal
A SHAS YID
The term Shas Yid has been used for
centuries to describe erudite talmidei
chachomim who mastered the entire
Shas. Here at Shas Yiden, the cadre has
grown to include 112 avreichim geonim!
They are responsible to learn 45 blatt
of gemara each day, from Sunday to
Thursday, and 20 blatt a day on Friday
and Shabbos—including all Rashi’s and
Tosafos, with the aim of knowing it by
heart. The program also requires them
to learn on Yom Tov and erev Yom Tov.
Simply, there are no days off the study-
load at Shas Yiden, even for simchos.
They have no bein hazemanim (vacation
time – e.g. in summer)! However, they
each receive a double stipend check for
Tishrei and Nisan.
In total, the avreichim geonim are each
required to learn at least 13,555 blatt per
year. This includes quadruple review
of each daf. The avreichim geonim are
farhered monthly on 225 blatt, mid-year
on about 1300 blatt, and yearly on the
2711 daf of Shas by gedolei Torah. At the
most recernt farher, the examiners were
Maranan Hagaonim Harav Yitzchak
Shaul Kanievsky, shlit”a, (son of the late
Sar Hatorah Maran Harav Chaim zt”l)
and Harav Nissan Kaplan, shlit”aI, Rosh
Yeshiva Daas Aharon.
However, the avreichim geonim don’t
stop with Talmud Bavli. Rav Eisen
noted that “they keep adding more and
more . . . They’re doing Yerushalmi and
Rishonim on their own.
HASMODA OF SHAS YIDEN
They also learn with tremendous
hasmodah (diligence) and focus. Rav
Eisen recalled an avreich, one of the
top geonim in the Bet Shemesh kollel.
As a youngster in yeshiva, he hadn’t
really ‘opened’ a gemara until he was
14-years-old! And then there was
great excitement at the Belz yeshiva
– a gemora competition was to be
held. Somehow, he got ‘turned on’ to
learning and never looked back. Now,
it was Shabbos and he was studying
for the Shas Yiden mid-year farher,
written and oral, on over 1300 blatt to
be held the next day – Sunday! After
the Shabbos day seudah, he went to
the nearby Belzer shtiebel, sat down
and poured over the Shas in intense
chazora. He remained there through
mincha, shalosh seudos and maariv.
On motzo’ai shabbos, his wife came
with their two kids to the shtiebel with
wine, besamim and a candle – and he
made Havdalah. She also brought him
a change of clothing. She went back
home and he stayed through the entire
night. He only left the shtiebel just
before 1:00 pm on Sunday when he
went to the farher. It was only after
the farher that he returned home to
take a nap before he sat to complete
his learning for that Sunday!
Yes, the avreichim geonim waste no
time: “If they come home and supper
isn’t ready, it’s no problem, because
they always have a gemara in their
pocket.” Even when partaking in the
yearly siyum, where there is food,
music, and dancing like on Simchas
Torah, the avreichim geonim can be
spotted learning their daily gemara
DEDICATION OF SHAS YIDEN
WIVES AND THEIR FAMILIES
As can be seen from the above, much
of the success of the Shas Yiden
avreichim geonim is due to their wives
– true N’shos Chayil. They share equal
commitment to their husbands’ learning
as they shoulder the responsibility of
the home and the children. Not many
families can take the daily pressure, and
there is daily pressure, when the father
is absent in the world of learning Torah
constantly. The children also show
incredible forbearance that ‘Tatty’ is not
readily available. Even at a young age,
they show an understanding that he is
learning the Holy Torah.
As a token of respect and appreciation
of their commitment, at the annual grand
Siyum Hashas each of these ladies is
presented with a gift, a personal letter from
Rav Eisen and a cash-filled envelope.
One of Rav Eisen’s goals with Shas
Yiden was to obtain the involvement
and approbation of Gedolei Torah,
particularly across Eretz Yisroel. “Since
its inception, Gedolei Torah were invited
to farher the Shas Yiden avreichim
geonim and to attend the siyumim. The
dais turned out to be a veritable Who’s
Who of the Gedolei Torah. They each
participated in the Torah excitement
and were lavish in their praise of the
prowess of the avreichim geonim.”
Four years ago, Maran Harav Gershon
Edelstein zt”l, spoke and declared
‘b’rabbim’ that “this is the real derech
halimud.” Interestingly, gedolei
hador have grandchildren and great
grandchildren among the Shas Yiden
avreichim geonim. These include: Rav
Gershon Edelstein, zt”l, Rabbi Baruch
Mordechai Ezrachi shlita, Sar Hatrorah,
Maran Harav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l,
the Steipler Gaon, zt”l, and the Sanzer
Rebbe, shlit”a, has a grandson in the
London Shas Yiden Kollel.
A few years ago, Shas Yiden had a
bachur—a child prodigy who completed
Shas by age 14, Harav Hagaon Yehuda
Schwimmer, shlit”a. He was presented
to Rav Chaim at one of the farhers
conducted for the Shas Yiden in his
home (an annual event). Rav Chaim
welcomed the young man with the
broadest smile – he had first completed
Shas for his barmitzvah!
Some years ago, the Dushinsky Rebbe
asked Rav Eisen, “What in the world
did you do that you were zoche to build
Shas Yiden?” Rav Eisen says “I started
thinking and the only thing I could think
of was that I was michabeid my parents
– a day never passed that I didn’t call my
parents in Montreal – to this very day.”
ANNOUNCEMENT – A
SHAS YIDEN KOLLEL IN
Rav Eisen is convinced that the brocha
given by Rav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l,
has brought about the Shas Yiden
success and growth. Rav Eisen notes.
“Rav Chaim was a very, very quiet
person, a man of very few words. He
had requested that I open a second
Shas Yiden kollel in Bnei Brak, which
I agreed to do. At that same time, I had
been asked about opening a kollel in
Yerushalayim. So, I asked Rav Chaim
what he suggested. He literally jumped
out of his seat and said, “Make another,
and another – make 10 kollelim!” We
are about to open our seventh kollel,
here in Flatbush, Brooklyn.”
Currently, there are 102 avrechim
geonim in six Shas Yiden locations
— Yerushalayim, Bnei Brak, Beit
Shemesh, Beitar, Kiryat Sefer, and
in London, UK. Now, with 10 new
avrechim geonim, who have been
thoroughly tested, the incredible Shas
Yiden will number 112. A number of
congregations are vying to have Shas
Yiden use their Beis Medrash facilities.
AT THE POZNA SHUL
“If you want to help people as a
Rav, it’s a real opportunity. You can’t
imagine the stories that happen in a
shul,” Rav Eisen says. “I have 250-
300 mispallelim on Shabbos and Yom
Tov. We have all kinds of people – hats,
no hats, white shirts, pink shirts, blue
shirts, I don’t care about that. Hashem
also doesn’t care.”
We are now expanding and also
building a mikvah: “Two days before
he passed away, Rabbi Zecharia
Wallerstein zt”l, who had a Yissachar-
Zevulun pact with Shas Yiden, called
me. He davened in my shul. He said
‘I heard you’re expanding the shul, I
want to ask you please, please to make
a mikvah – a place of Tahara.” I told
that it was in the plans. “I want to
give you a pledge for that mikvah,” he
said. He made a generous pledge, but
when he understood the total cost, he
increased his pledge five-fold.
The response of our kehilla members
to the needs of the shul and to tzedakah
requests is quite remarkable – they are
true baalei tzedakah va’chesed.”
THE LESSON OF SHAS YIDEN
FOR US ALL
In Rav Eisen’s own words, “The
biggest lesson of Shas Yiden is that
if Avrohom Eisen, who was a regular
guy (I wasn’t even a Rav of a shul yet)
can start a project like Shas Yiden,
so can anyone else. My blood is not
redder than yours. Every person in
this world has the koach to succeed
in whatever he wants. In fact, the
Rambam states that each one of us
could be like Moshe Rabbeinu. You
just have to have the ratzon. “Ratzon”
in Hebrew can mean have the will, or it
can come from the word Ratz (to run).
When you want something, you run. If
there was a million dollars at the end
of the block, you’d run. Everybody
has kochos hanefesh to accomplish
amazing things,” said Rav Eisen.
Special thank you to Esti Miller Esq.
for helping to compose this article.
FUN QUESTIONS WITH
HARAV AVROHOM EISEN,
SHLIT”A, THE POZNA ROV
If the Rav could go to any yeshiva in the history of mankind, which yeshiva
would the Rav want to go to?
The yeshiva that I attended – Shaarei Yosher in Boro Park – where I learned
through to my chasunah. In Pirkei Avos it says: ‘marbeh yeshiva marbeh
chochma’. So, there can be two meanings: Some say, the more yeshivos
you attend, the more chochma you get, and some say, sit in one place and
acquire more chochma.
Going into the Yomim Noraim, what would the Rav say is the most
inspiring part of the Yomim Noraim davening?
Neilah. Why is Neilah the most important? The Chofetz Chaim writes
that at Neilah, surprisingly, there is no mention of major happenings.
It refers to something like stealing money – the main theme is really
bein adam l’chaveiro. Yom Kippur is m’ratzeh, to bring about atonement
for everything. However, teshuva for bein adam l’chaveiro is not simply
‘because I hurt your feelings and I tell Hashem, I can atone my cheit.’ No,
no. Hashem is going to say, I can’t enable atonement for you. The person
that you hurt needs to to do that. Hashem is saying, “It’s not my business,
it’s your business, do something about it.”
What is the most difficult mitzvah to perform?
Doing mitzvos b’simcha. The Ari Hakodesh said the reason why he was
zoche to higher madreigos was only because he did mitzvos b’simcha.
When you do something b’simcha, you do it ‘geshmak’.
What is a middah all of Klal Yisrael needs to work on?
Which bracha from Shemona Esrei, beside the first, should have the most
Shema Koleinu. You can ask for everything in Shema Koleinu.
If the Rav could be an expert in something, a baki, instantly, in something
that the Rav is not right now, what would the Rav want to be a baki in?
Kol Hatorah Kulah.
If the Rav could be a fly on the wall & witness something in the history
of mankind (outside of ma’amad har sinai, where we were all present)
when & where would it be?
If I could be a fly on the wall, I’d like to watch a Gadol B’Yisroel eating and
interacting with his family when no one is around, or when he’s sitting
alone. When you look at the Gadol and watch him while he’s learning, you
see exactly his connection to Toras Hashem. When you see him eating or in
his house with his wife and children, that’s when you really see who the
person is and his dveikus to Hashem.
If the Rav could have a chavrusa with anyone from the beginning of time,
who would you want to have a half hour chavrusa with?
Rav Chaim Kanievsky. No question.
If the Rav could have 3 people for Friday Night Shabbos dinner – anybody
from the beginning of time, who would they be?
I would invite people in need in my shul. It’s not about the gadol or the
huge kavod. It’s about doing that which brings the Shechinah into your
What are the top 3 qualities a Rov should have?
What’s the first middah someone should look for when looking for a
What is the Rav’s favorite song to sing at the Shabbos table?
Name someone that is/was a game changer in the world of chinuch?
Harav Shamshon Rephael Hirsch zt”l
What would The Rav say is your most prized sefer?
My Mesilas Yesharim.
How would you describe the gadlus of Rav Pam zt”l?
It is not for me to say about his Torah, but he was a true Ish Shalom.
FOR THE RECORD….
WITH HARAV AVROHOM
THE POZNA ROV
Does the Rav daven nusach Ashkenaz or
Does the Rav wear techeles?
Does the Rav wear Tzitzis tucked in or out?
Does the Rav eat in a Sukkah on Shmini
Does the Rav eat only Cholov Yisrael?
How many hours does the Rav wait between
eating meat & dairy?
6 hours, meaning until early in the 6th hour
Does the Rav wear tefillin on Chol Hamoed?
Does the Rav wear both Rashi & Rebbeinu
Do you eat fleishigs on Friday, Erev Shabbos?
I have no problem with doing so. Davka yes
or davka no, what’s the question? Usually, it
doesn’t happen, but I have no problems with
eating Fleishigs on Friday.
How many sedarim does the Rav have when
he goes to Eretz Yisrael for Pesach?
For any Yom Tov, I would keep 2 days.
Does the Rav’s family have upsherins?
Does the Rav’s family sing Shir Hamaalos
Does the Rav’s family visit kevorim after
the year when someone is niftar? Like on
My father was not a believer in going often
to kevorim, but I do go to my father’s
kever when I have the opportunity. I
have nothing against going.
Does the Rav have an issue with
going to a Gadol’s kever?
No, I also go, often to the Chazon
Ish. I love going to Gedolei Yisroel
both alive or not alive.
What does the Rav use for
What does the Rav use for
karpas at the seder?
Does the Rav always dip
challah in salt?
Does the Rav do mayim
All week long?
Yes. It’s for the salt, for melach sedomis,
because if you eat with your hands, like they
did many years ago, that salt is dangerous
for the eyes, so that’s the reason for mayim