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Heichal Halimmud
music by chony



Drop some coins each morning into the Yagdil Torah פושקא located in 770.
Pushka location: Walk down the main aisle toward the doors, it is on your  on the right side at shoulder height.

Chalukas Hashas 5773   Giving has never been easier

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Chof Hei Teives, 5775

The members of an early-twentieth-century shul once decided to renovate the ezras nashim, which was located in a small, cramped room adjacent to the ezras anashim. The proposed plan entailed elevating the roof of the ezras nashim, which would cause two-thirds of the height of the shul's windows to be obscured, significantly decreasing the illumination of the shul. Were they allowed to continue with their plans?

The rov of the community, R. Dov Te'omim, sent a letter to the famous Galician gaon, R. Meir Arik, detailing the question under discussion. One possible issue was the halachah that one may not destroy any portion of a shul (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 152:1). Perhaps obstructing the windows, thus diminishing their ability to illuminate the shul, was tantamount to destroying them?

R. Meir brings a proof that this might indeed be the case from a law dealing with an eved kna'ani. An eved kna'ani earns his freedom if his master strikes him and severs one of his limbs. The gemara states that if a master struck his slave on the eye and blinded him, the slave has earned his freedom, because disabling the eye is equivalent to severing it (Kiddushin 24b). The same can be said in this case as well: obstructing the windows is the same as breaking them and should be forbidden.

However, one can reach the opposite conclusion by examining the very same gemara. The gemara continues that if the slave can continue to see with his eye, he does not earn freedom. Even if his eyesight has suffered as a result of the blow, being that some quality of sight remains, the eye is not viewed as having been removed.

This rationale can be applied to our case as well. Although the ezras nashim will obstruct the windows of the ezras anashim, the windows will still retain their capacity to illuminate the shul to some degree, by allowing light to enter the shul via the outside windows of the ezras nashim. The renovations are thus not to be seen as an act of destroying the windows.

There is an additional problem, based on the premise of horadah mikedushah chamurah likedushah kalah-decreasing the holiness of an object. Until now, the windows had served the ezras anashim; now, they will serve the ezras nashim as well, which possesses a lesser degree of holiness. B'ezras Hashem, in the next issue we will see if this reason might call for them to withdraw their plans.

The Difference Chof Hei Teives, 5775

A person who learns so that he can teach ultimately enjoys two benefits. The first benefit is that since his intention is to teach the material, he will master it, along with all its generalities and particulars, so that it will be secure in his heart and on his tongue. He will make no error concerning it, or concerning what emerges from his lips and tongue so as best to teach it. He will then acquire colleagues and his knowledge will proliferate.

Pirkei Avot, Chapter 6, Commentary by Rabbenu Shem Tov ben Shem Tov


Yud Aleph Teves, 5775

"The candle burned, so I sat and learned"

Yisrolik was a young Jewish boy who just loved to learn Torah. At the age of seven, he was already so advanced that he graduated from learning with his teachers and began individual lessons with the rabbi of the town. In a very short time, he no longer needed even these lessons, but spent his time learning alone. He turned to the rabbi for help only when he came across a difficult text in the Talmud. Yisrolik was such an ardent student, that he was ready to learn day and night. His father, Reb Shabse, was worried that his son would get sick from too much study and insufficient rest and sleep.

At first, Reb Shabse tried to insist that his son should leave the beit hamidrash (study hall) at a certain time. But when Yisrolik sat down and began to study the Talmud, he forgot about everything else, even about his promise to his father. Very often his father had to go out late in the night to bring him home. So Reb Shabse arranged with the shamash (caretaker) that when Yisrolik came to study after supper, he should give him one candle by which to learn, which should burn not more than one hour. When the candle would burn out, Yisrolik would have to go home and stay home till it was time for him to go to bed.

That evening, after supper, Yisrolik went to learn as usual. More than an hour passed and Yisrolik had not yet come home. Reb Shabse became worried. He tried to tell himself that Yisrolik must have gone to the rabbi about some problem in his studies, for he surely would not remain in the dark alone in the study hall.


Yud Aleph Teves, 5775

The members of an early-twentieth-century shul once decided to renovate the ezras nashim, which was located in a small, cramped room adjacent to the ezras anashim. The proposed plan entailed elevating the roof of the ezras nashim, thus providing the women with much-needed light and air.

The projected renovations aroused a halachic question by the rabbi of the community, centering on the affects these renovations would have on the shul. Until now, the windows of the ezras anashim were located above the roof of the ezras nashim, enabling sunlight to enter the shul. (Needless to say, the Polish shtetl had yet to experience the convenience of electrical lights.) But by raising of the roof of the ezras nashim, two-thirds of the height of the windows would be obscured, significantly decreasing the illumination of the shul.

Big and Revealed Miracles Yud Aleph Teves, 5775

The Torah too has both revealed and hidden parts to it... there are many miracles that Hashem performs in a hidden manner... and then there are miracles that are revealed to us. This comes about by virtue of our studying the Torah: Through study of the hidden parts of Torah, a hidden miracle comes about, while through study of the revealed parts, a revealed miracle comes about. A single cruse of oil-that is to say, the Torah learned in the days of Chashmonaim-was so scant because they applied little intellect to their studies. However, the Kohen Gadol brought much intellect to his worship of Hashem. Therefore a great miracle came about through him.

Meor Einayim (Hatzadik Reb Nochum of Cherbonyl) Mikeitz, 26B

Fourth Annual Melava Malka: Highlights #1 Tes Teves, 5775


Fourth Annual Melava Malka: Highlights #2 Tes Teves, 5775


Fourth Annual Melava Malka: Highlights #3 Tes Teves, 5775


Fourth Annual Melava Malka: Report Chof Zayin Kislev, 5775

The fourth annual Melava Malka for the Yagdil Torah organization celebrated growing learning in the Crown Heights community.

Photos: Mendy Moscowitz, S. Junik. Click on images to view full gallery.

A full crowd of men and women gathered this past Motzei Shabbos for the fourth annual Melava Malka of Yagdil Torah held at the Razag Ballroom in Crown Heights.

The guest speaker was Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg of Israel, and the evening's honorees were Mr. Yerachmiel Jacobson and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Wolf who saluted the organization driven to spread Torah learning throughout the Crown Heights community through shiurim, publications and other projects.

Chief among their activities is the Heichal Halimud Tiferes Yitzchok, the study center on Empire Blvd, which BE"H has not been closed for even a single day since its opening in Elul, 5770. They have also recently opened a second stunning Beis Medrash.

Rabbi Levi Browd founded Yagdil Torah along with his wife, Batsheva, to perpetuate the memory of their first born son, Menachem Mendel.

"The event served to inspire participants and to thank the honorees for what they have done for the Crown Heights community," remarked Browd.

"Thank you to all the supporters who enabled us to achieve this success in the past eight years, and thank you to the thousands who participated by learning; whether at a shiur, in the Heichal Halimud or with one of our print or online publications," he said.

A beautiful selection of rare and unique niggunim was presented by Mendy J and Shimmy Brod, as guests enjoyed a delicious meal and entertainment by Ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner. He was a hit with the crowd laughing over and over. "The elegant ambiance was the perfect setting for the evening which ran seamlessly and kept everyone captivated," said one attendee.

Download the journal at yagdiltorah.org/journal5775 


Chof Zayin Kislev, 5775

Training My Train Time

You are coming home after a hard day's work. The train ride is a time for you to rest albeit a bumpy one. But then your phone vibrates. You want to ignore it and continue snoozing but something inside tells you it might be an important text or maybe even a funny picture your friend sent you. A few seconds later you're laughing out loud and then you forward the message to all your friends, and there goes your sleep...

Even though this doesn't happen to all of us all the time, we sure can learn a valuable lesson from this. Having enough time for things is all in the head. Studies show that the average commute to (and back) work for the zip code 11213 is 39.5 minutes. That is 1.3 hours a day we can use for what we hold most dear to us.

If someone wants to add in learning, here is a great place to start. Instead of bits and pieces of social media, you can pick up on bits and pieces of Torah. You'll be surprised what it adds up to.