Like everyone else in my neighborhood, this week I was inundated with knocks on the door from people collecting money. Some were collecting for the poor, as per the account in Megillas Esther of Purim being a time for matanos l'evyonim. In some cases, they were collecting for those who can't help being poor, and in other cases, for those who are poor by choice, mistakenly believing it to be a Torah ideal. But most knocks on the door came from yeshivah students, who were collecting not for the poor, but instead for their yeshivos.
With one striking exception. Today, there was a knock on the door from yeshivah students who were not collecting for their yeshivah. Instead, they were collecting for Lemaan Achai, a local (and amazing) charity organization. The students were from a local and amazing yeshivah, where I had the privilege to teach a weekly class for ten years: Yeshivat Lev HaTorah.
Lev HaTorah is an incredible institution. The staff is amazingly dedicated. The students not only learn Torah, but also how to be good Jews. They do all kinds of chessed programs, helping local families in many different ways, from tutoring children to building sukkos to distributing food.
Like all educational institutions, Lev HaTorah requires donor support. And no doubt they could raise funds by sending out their students to raise money for the yeshivah, like every other yeshivah does. But Lev HaTorah believes that matanos l'evyonim is about matanos l'evyonim. And they want to teach their students to care about the poor.
Purim is about helping the poor, and Lemaan Achai is a great way to do it. But when the Purim season is over, if you're ever thinking about supporting a Torah institution (aside from The Biblical Museum of Natural History!), I would recommend Lev HaTorah. Just take a look at their donation page to see the incredible programs that they run!