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Guard Your Eyes
Heichal Halimmud



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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Beis Tammuz, 5775

Ben Olam Habah

The Gemara says that whoever learns halachos every day is assured to be "a son of Olam Haba." Why does the Gemara use the expression "a son of Olam Haba?"

I once heard the following explanation: just as a son feels comfortable in his home and goes about as he pleases, a person who learns halachos every day will be able to move about freely through all the heichalos in Olam Haba.

Perhaps we can explain the reason he will merit such a reward as follows:

When a person learns a halachah, he becomes connected to the tzadik who authored this halachah. However, a halachah is often associated with numerous tzadikim. For example, a person may learn a halachah in the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, which is based on the ruling of the mechaber, who extrapolated it from two Rishonim, who took it from the opinion of Abaye, which is based on a story about Shimon ben Shetach, who acted according to a teaching he heard from Shimon HaTzadik. When a person learns a halachah every day, he connects to a multitude of tzadikim and will merit to enter their heichalos in Olam Haba.


Beis Tammuz, 5775

Sir Herbert Samuel was the first High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine, ruling the country from 1920 to 1925. What was unusual about his sovereignty was the fact that he was a Jew. Having been raised in an Orthodox home, he demonstrated strong feelings toward his brethren and was heavily involved in Jewish communal problems, although he did not actually practice his religion.

These unique circumstances led to an interesting halachic question. There is a special berachah that is said upon seeing a king. If the king is Jewish, the berachah concludes with the words shechalak mikvodo lirei'av ("who has apportioned from His glory to those who fear Him"), while if he is a gentile king, it concludes with shenasan mikvodo lebasar vedam ("who has imparted from His glory to flesh and blood"). What berachah, if any, should be recited upon seeing Sir Samuel?

The question is twofold: First of all, was his position as High Commissioner prominent enough to warrant the berachah said on a king? And second, if a berachah should indeed be recited, should it be the berachah said on a Jewish king, being that he was Jewish, or the one said on a non-Jewish king, since the citizens under his rule were predominantly non-Jewish?

Even when... Beis Tammuz, 5775

The reason Hashem gave us the Torah was not to place it on the shelf as a precious and polished item and take pleasure in the fact he has a beautiful sefer torah safeguarded in a revered location. Torah is from the word hora'ah-lesson; this means that the Torah teaches a person how to act in his daily life. A person should not only follow the instructions of the Torah when he is in yeshivah or shul and joins a shiur, but also when he eats, drinks, and is involved in business; even then it should be clear to whoever meets him that he is a Torah yid who is familiar with Shulchan Aruch. The fact that he learned Shulchan Aruch until his Bar Mitzvah is not enough, and neither is the fact that he learned it until his chasunah or even afterward, when he was still supported by his father-in-law. Even later, when a person must work to support himself, he must continue to study Torah daily.

Sichah of Shavuos 5729


Yud Ches Sivan, 5775

Scheduling Problems

There was once a Torah scholar named Yosef who lived in the city of Nikopol, in northern Bulgaria. Although Rabbi Yosef's main interest and joy in life was the study of Torah, he insisted on supporting his family through the sweat of his own labor. To that end, he entered into a business partnership with an acquaintance and opened a store.

The division of labor would prove to be problematic. R. Yosef's daily schedule was as follows: After early morning prayers, he would go to the study hall for several hours; thus he never arrived at the store until noon. His partner, who had already been dealing with customers for several hours, eventually began to resent this arrangement. He respected his partner's diligence in Torah study, but at the same time needed help with the practical aspect of running a business.

R. Yosef realized that his partner was right and remained silent. "But what can I do," he thought to himself, "if my love of Torah is so strong?"

One morning, someone in the study hall raised a particularly complex question in Torah law. The heated discussion that ensued lasted for hours as all the scholars in the study hall attempted to answer it. By the time R. Yosef looked up from his volume of Talmud it was already late in the afternoon.

When R. Yosef finally arrived at the store his partner was furious. "That's it!" he fumed. "I've had enough of this joint venture!"


Yud Ches Sivan, 5775

A Jew in sixteenth-century Turkey once made a neder to travel to Eretz Yisrael on the next available ship. He did not want to take his wife along on this perilous voyage; instead, he intended to travel alone and eventually return to his hometown. In the midst of his preparations, his wife became pregnant and voiced her dissatisfaction at him leaving her alone at the time she needed his help most. Was the husband required to fulfill his neder?

The Jew turned to the chief Rabbi of Constantinople, R. Eliyahu ibn Chaim (the Ranach). R. Eliyahu begins his teshuvah by clarifying whether the neder is valid in the first place. One of the differences between a neder (vow) and shevu'ah (oath) is that in a neder one forbids an object upon himself ("I forbid apples upon myself"), while in a shevu'ah one restricts himself from performing an action ("I swear that I will not eat apples").

Not Interested Yud Ches Sivan, 5775

In response to his letter, in which he writes that he does not feel a passion and inner desire to learn, etc. ...

I wrote previously to some of his friends and included all of the yeshiva students in this. Our holy Torah, Toras Chayim, rules that יגעת ולא מצאת אל תאמין ("if one toiled and didn't find, don't believe him"). It is in their hands to make efforts in this, through diligence and consistency. In addition to setting a time and keeping the times and seder of learning, and being involved in Hashem's Torah, Torah temima, with true devotion without external thoughts, calculations, etc., then they are promised that they will succeed. It is only that they need to purify the vessel for receiving the Torah, which is the body, and specifically thought and speech.

Therefore, it is necessary to be careful with tevilas ezrah, and to be careful with the mitzvah of ahavas Yisroel, more and more, and with good middos in general, and being involved with pnimius haTorah, the neshama of Torah and its chayus. Through this, the chayus in nigleh d'Torah is also revealed ...

Igros Kodesh, vol. 10, p. 17

We need you on board! Yud Sivan, 5775

For the first time in the almost ten years since our inception, we are in a situation where we may have to go backwards and ch"v close down one of the wonderful parts of our infrastructure: Our Heichal Halimmud at 574 Empire Boulevard.

We have always believed in taking upon ourselves whatever we could, as long as it would benefit the community. Unfortunately, our current schedule and funding needs give us one viable option for keeping open the above mentioned study hall:


Daled Sivan, 5775

Can you join a minyan?
No, not to daven - to learn!

We all got to admit there is something strange here.

Let me explain...

There is a special kedusha that envelops a minyan and that is part of the reason we daven with one, however the Baal Hatanya seems to imply that within that itself the greatest kedusha is that of the Torah.

The Alter Rebbe says in Igeres Hakodesh Epistle 23 that he heard from his masters that if there were an angel standing in the presence of a gathering of ten, an unlimited and infinite fear and awe would then befall him from the Shechinah that dwells over them and he would become totally nullified.

While there is no halachic requirement to seek a minyan for learning and while it is more important to daven with a minyan than to learn with one there is quite clearly an advantage in learning when possible in a place where nine other Jews are learning - in a shiur or in the same hall as them.

And as Tanya goes on to say (ad loc): But he that will listen to me shall dwell securely, and in his and in our own days Yehudah shall be saved and Yerushalayim shall dwell securely, - amen, may this be (His) will.


Daled Sivan, 5775

A Jew in sixteenth-century Turkey once made a neder to travel to Eretz Yisrael on the next available ship, which was to depart the following Elul. His love of the Holy Land propelled him to disregard the many dangers common in those days, such as capture by pirates, ocean storms, and disease. He did not want to take his wife along on this perilous voyage; instead, he intended to travel alone and eventually return to his hometown, after spending some time soaking in the holiness of Eretz Yisrael.

In the midst of his preparations, his wife approached him with the good news that she had become pregnant. His joy at the prospect of welcoming a new child to the family was marred by the fact that he would not be present by the bris (if it would be a boy). Furthermore, his wife didn't want him to leave her alone at the time she needed his help most.

Was the husband required to fulfill his neder and travel to Eretz Yisrael despite the impediments it would create?

Talk of Extreme Circumstances Daled Sivan, 5775

"Bands of wicked men looted me; I did not forget Your Torah." The cruelty of other men did not prevent me from studying Torah. Yes, "bands of wicked men looted me," consuming me as if I was their prey. This typically inhibits the ability to study Torah deeply, which requires a clear and settled mind. But nonetheless, "I did not forget Your Torah."

Malbim, Tehilim, 119, 61