The 10K Event
–“The event was amazing. So uplifting. Gave me chizzuk.”
–“There was such energy in the room; everyone was there to be there for each other, and left not just inspired, but with practical ways to help facilitate shidduchim.”
–”The Ahavas Yisroel at the event was tangible. People came out of their homes, in both body and spirit, to acquire something special for themselves and ultimately to do for others.”
10K Batay Yisroel is a project rooted in a horrific accident and the reaction of two ordinary– but extraordinary– families who transcended that tragedy and transformed it into an incredible organization. The goal of 10K is to unite the klal and empower the individual to join the effort in creating ten thousand shidduchim; starting with ten thousand shidduch suggestions.
10K Batay Yisroel literally translates as ten thousand Jewish homes. The organization’s name also intertwines the names of the young couple: Yisroel Levin a”h and Elisheva Basya Kaplan a”h. Within the last year, this project has experienced an enormous of siyata dishmaya and has succeeded in uniting the klal as was apparent by the enormous turnout at the 10K Event, on Pesach Sheini, at Ateres Chynka.
The first speaker at the Event, Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff, stated that this project is about going beyond one’s nature. The last thing one would expect of the Levin and the Kaplan families would be to be osek with shidduchim for Klal Yisroel. Yet, despite the indescribable loss, they have invested of themselves in increasing simcha in Klal Yisroel by forming 10K. He further explained how vital the work of the organization is– and the importance of the efforts of every individual in Klal Yisroel involved in redting shidduchim when he stated: “10K is not just about numbers, 10K is not just ten thousand shidduchim… it’s ten-thousand [future] gedoillim, tzaddekeses, bubbes and zeides are in our hands.” Rabbi Lieff even went so far as to quote Rabbi Mattisyahu Solomon in that saying when a person redts a shidduch “you’re like a member of hatzolah who is going to save someone’s life… every time you redt a shidduch!”
Rabbi Lieff finished by sharing that he is convinced that when someone redts a shidduch and has in mind that it is l’iluy neshmasam; they can be confident that Yisroel and Elisheva are upstairs pushing for extra siyata dishmaya for that suggestion. Something we have B”H been witnessing within the many 10K Engagement Stories featured on 10KBatayYisroel.org.
The second speaker at The Event was Rabbi Ephraim Eliyahu Shapiro who emphasized the sense of Achrayis that should be incumbent upon each of us. We do not live in a bubble he stated – wherever you live: New York; Miami; Eretz Yisroel; or Guadalajara, we have to step up to the plate and take responsibility. He said that the letters of the word “Achrayus” themselves tell us everything we need to know about our responsibility for helping our fellow Yidden in shidduchim.
Aleph is echad, you have an obligation to yourself, to try and be a better ben/bas aliya then you were yesterday.
Ches, ach, brother, do you take care of your sister? your brother? It’s easy to remember others but sometimes it can be harder to remember those in our close circles.
Reish, acher, the next person; even those that it’s harder to remember, you need to show them that you care.
Yud, acharay, people will see that you really care and it will make an impact.
Vuv, acharuv, act and people will follow; when you show that your actions are sincere, those watching you will follow in your footsteps.
Suf, acharyas– aleph to tuff, from soup to nuts, we have the responsibility to make another phone call! The job is never done. Stay in it, don’t get discouraged, follow through, perseverance!
Rabbi Shapiro elaborated that the gematria of Em, a mother, is 41. When Rus took that extra one step beyond the 40 of arpah, with Naami, she was zoche to become eim hamalchus. It just takes one extra step –one extra push– to reach greatness.
When Yisroel and Elisheva were taken, he continued, Klal Yisroel was reduced by two precious neshamos. It is up to us to fill in the void. The Ribbono shel olam wants to see that we’re trying.
Rabbi Shapiro imparted that being osek in shidduchim is a middah gleaned from our Av, Yaakov Avinu. To care for another yid and be osek in for another is like tefillas Arvis, which Yaakov Avinu was mesaken. Arvis, from the loshon or areivim, signifies being responsible for one’s fellow Jew. A Jew cannot go to sleep until he can account for his efforts of the day and attest that he looked out and tried to help his fellow yid; this is what tefillas Arvis signifies. And that areivus, that sense of caring, is the goal of 10K Batay Yisroel. R’ Shapiro concluded by beseeching upon R’ Levin and R’ Kaplan that the name be rebranded as 20K Batay Yisroel for next year לשנה הבאה בירושלים.
R’ Joel Kaplan, who served as emcee of the event, spoke throughout with devarim hayotzim min halev. He quoted R’ Levins speech that he had made at their children’s levaya almost verbatim. He reminded us of the memorable words when R’ Levin addressed Hashem and said: “You can have their pure and pristine neshamos, but I want an Afikomen present. I want ten thousand shidduchim. Not five-thousand for the boys and five-thousand for the girls; I want ten-thousand for the boys, and ten-thousand for the girls!” The respect and love between R’ Levin and R’ Kaplan was palatable; they will forever consider themselves mechutanim.
A beautiful video was then played showing what 10K Batay Yisroel is about and gave us the opportunity to hear some of the encouraging and inspiring stories directly from the people behind the engagements that were celebrated in the first year of the organization’s existence.
R’ Shaya Levin concluded the evening thanking everyone who worked behind the scenes of the 10K team and then explained his hopes for the future of the organization. He explained, that after this magnificent evening, we will all be inspired to start redting shidduchim. R’ Levin made some practical suggestions in order to facilitate redting shidduchim. Number one, he recommended that one take on a shidduch “chavrusa” or “partner” in order to: keep each other accountable; help each other out; and to provide encouragement. Number two, if a person has any question about the process of redting shidduchim, R’ Levin suggested reaching out to 10K by email in order to be paired up with a seasoned Shadchan who can serve as a mentor. Finally, R’ Levin announced his fervent wish that the 10K website will serve as a bulletin board for shidduch meetings around the world. The 10K Shidduch Groups were a huge success in the Catskills Mountains last summer and R’ Levin asked that we bring that success to cities everywhere. Anyone interested in hosting a shidduch meeting is encouraged to visit 10KBatayYisroel.org and register their 10K Group so that it can be listed there for others to join.
At one point it was exclaimed: “In this past year alone 50 shidduchim have come about since the 10K initiative”– “58”– R’ Levin interjected–“58 is the gematria of chein!” Rabbi Shapiro boomed in return. Inevitably, this event and these efforts l’iluy nishmas the young couple,will find great favor before the Kisei Hakavod.
A member of the Levin family reflected after The Event: “It is always so meaningful to us every time someone gets in touch to share how they are working on a shidduch as a zchus for for Yisroel and Elisheva. Looking at the hundreds and hundreds of people who showed up to join this event and be inspired really gave me a warm feeling that the community cares about Yisroel and Elisheva and about this movement”
For more information about 10K Batay Yisroel, visit their website at https://10kbatayyisroel.org or reach out to them at 10KBatayYisroel@gmail.com
May this event should be a source of Nechama and Aliya for the Levin and Kaplan families.