How To Start Your Own Kollel Tiferes Zekeinim - Levi Yitzchok
In establishing Kollel Tiferes Zekeinim Levi Yitzchok for seniors, the Rebbe said it was “a personal request to those who feel a special closeness and friendship” to him as the network honored the memory of his own father.
“The purpose of establishing this kollel is not to increase the number of organizations in the world. The goal is to increase the amount of Jews learning Torah,” the Rebbe said.
While the Rebbe noted that “the details are irrelevant, so long as Torah learning spread,” the Rebbe did however spell out specific instructions on how these kollels should be operating.
1. Unified Name
The kollels should be called “Tiferes Zekeinim” and a special request to also name them “Levi Yitzchok.” Kollel is a common name for Torah learning institutions, Tiferes Zekeinim means “Beauty of the Elderly,” and Levi Yitzchok is the name of his scholarly and righteous father.
2. A Minyan
The studies should be among a minimum of 10 people (and preferably more) who are over middle age (65+). Having a minyan present would make them “a holy community.” As the Mishnah (Avos 3:6) says: “Ten who sit together and occupy themselves with Torah, the Divine Presence rests amongst them.”
3. Daily Schedule
Members of the kollel should be meeting on a daily basis for Torah study with an organized schedule.
4. Unified Learning
Kollel members should be studying together the weekly Parsha with the explanations of Rashi, in addition to Chitas and the study of other subjects. They should be learning in chavrusa partnerships, as well as attending at least one shiur a week.
Kollel members should receive material benefit from the studies, in additional to the spiritual fulfillment of learning Torah. A set stipend should be distributed to encourage consistent participation. The stipend should be in amount of 18 – “Chai” in the local currency.
6. Associate With Prayer
The daily schedule of the kollel should coincide with one of the prayers of Shachris, Mincha or Maariv.
7. Charity Giving
On weekdays, there should be a tzedakah box on the table at the kollel to afford members the opportunity to give charity.
8. Acts of Kindness
Each kollel should establish a gemach fund so that the tzedakah generated by the group should have an enduring impact.
9. Ongoing Connection
There should be cooperation and a direct connection between all the kollels and the people studying in them to make members feel that they are part of a large network.
10. Kollels For Women
Kollels should also be established for elderly women to gather and study Torah. These chapters should be named “Beis Chochmas Noshim” (Home of Women Wisdom).