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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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Yud Gimmel Elul, 5775

POPULAR NAMES

Moshe Shlomo, a village merchant, was a simple, good-hearted person, as was his wife Rivka.  Although they had been married for fifteen years they didn't have any children.

Many times during that decade and a half, Moshe Shlomo had gone to the Baal Shem Tov and entreated him to pray for them to have children. The Baal Shem Tov always showered him with blessings-for wealth, for long life, for health, for happiness-but never for what he so dearly hoped to hear.

Ten more years went by. The Baal Shem Tov's blessings all came to fruition. Moshe Shlomo's business affairs prospered and expanded. The couple, however, grew even more unhappy. They still had no children, and no encouragement from the Rebbe.

One day, they both went to see him. "Why do you two look so sad?" asked the Baal Shem Tov. Hasn't G-d blessed you with great prosperity, good health, and pleasant dispositions? And you have made the most of these blessings to do many mitzvos and good deeds."

"It may be true, all that you say," they both answered, "but still, we have no children. What do we need all of this wealth for?" They burst into tears. "After 120, there will be no inheritor and no one to remember us."

The Baal Shem Tov did not respond directly. He simply said, "Tomorrow I'm leaving on a little journey with a few of my students. Why don't you two come along also?"

They were surprised by the invitation but they quickly agreed. The travelers set out the next morning. For two days they were on the road, until finally they arrived at a certain town. After a short rest, the Baal Shem Tov suggested that they all go out and have a look around.

As they walked, they came across a bunch of children playing in the sand. The Baal Shem Tov went over to them and said to the nearest one, "What's your name?"

Six of the little boys were named Boruch Moshe, while most of the rest were Boruch or Moshe or one of those two names in combination with another. They went into a few more schools, and also a yeshiva that had students from all the surrounding villages, and found the same pattern of names. Not only that, whatever girls they encountered along the way were mostly named Brocha Leah, or one of those names singly or in combination with another.

By now it was time for the afternoon Mincha prayer. The men went into a shul. As soon as the minyan ended, the Baal Shem Tov asked one of the local men why all the children of the town had the same names. The man answered obligingly that he would be happy to tell them the whole story.


Yud Gimmel Elul, 5775

Although sugar looks quite similar to salt in color and texture, the taste it provides is extremely different. Does this mean that it belongs to a different category, or is it perhaps to be viewed as a salt derivative? The practical ramifications of this question are twofold. First of all, can a korban be "salted" with sugar? And second, if a piece of chicken or meat was accidentally "salted" with sugar instead of salt, is it kosher?

The first question was asked by the students of R. Yaakov Chagiz (1620-1674), the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Beis Yaakov in Yerushalayim, at one of the weekly erev Shabbos question-and-answer sessions he conducted with them. R. Yaakov asserts that sugar is undoubtedly a type of salt. Just as there are both sweet and sour lemons, oranges, and pomegranates, so too there is salt that is salty and there is salt that is sweet. The defining quality of salt is its ability to preserve, a characteristic present in sugar as well.

But considering sugar a type a salt doesn't mean that it can always be sprinkled on a korban.

The Book of Life Yud Gimmel Elul, 5775

The Zohar teaches us that the Torah and the name of Hashem are one; similarly, the Gemara says that the entire Torah consists of "the names of Hashem." Since the names of Hashem include both the levels of chessed and gevurah, it follows that the Torah possesses these two levels as well.

The Torah is called Adam, and the 248 mitzvos asei and 365 mitzvos lo saaseh are the source of a Yid's neshamah. Accordingly, when a Yid learns Torah sincerely and connects his neshamah with the Torah, he will also receive these two levels of chessed and gevurah.

This is expressed in his ability to bring about both death and life. As the Gemara (Shabbos 88b) explains the possuk (Mishlei 8:6),"Listen, for I will speak noble things": "Just as a nobleman has the ability to end a life or keep someone alive, so do the words of Torah have the ability to bring about death and life." This means that through the Torah, talmidei chachamim have the abilityto bring about death and life.

Degel Machanei Ephraim, Bamidbar 21:14


Chof Tes Av, 5775

Add in the Golf

Riing,

Hello, you have reached Megushem Spa and Resorts how can I help?

Yes actually please also add the golf package.

That's it?

Yes, thanks... Click

Wow; he just keeps on calling to improve his vacation. What can you expect; it's the center of his life.

Processing, processing...

Now I understand what the Baal Hatanya means that Kvius itim means binefesh. The amount of time I spend learning doesn't have to be as much as time as I spend working. What counts is that it's the center of life. If that means an hour in the morning and hour in the evening vs. an 8 hour work day, it doesn't mean it's not the most important thing. Like the example with vacation, most people don't vacation for the majority of the year, but like with the not such rare example above - it can still be the center of life.


Chof Tes Av, 5775

Salt plays an important role in various areas of yiddishkeit. In addition to dipping bread and challah in it, it is a mitzvas asei to douse every korban sacrificed on the mizbei'ach with salt, and chicken and meat must be salted to remove the blood contained within and allow it to be eaten.

Although sugar looks quite similar to salt in color and texture, the taste it provides is extremely different. Does this mean that it belongs to a different category, or is it perhaps to be viewed as a salt derivative?

There are two practical ramifications of this question. First of all, can a korban be "salted" with sugar? And second, if a piece of chicken or meat was accidentally "salted" with sugar instead of salt, is it kosher?

Don't Hurt Yourself! Chof Tes Av, 5775

You describe the way a certain individual treats you, writing that he should have displayed more warmth toward you and has not. It seems that you connect this with your [negative] outlook toward learning Torah [i.e., this has caused you to decrease in your studies].

It is obvious that there is no connection between the two. One must study Torah because it is the Will and Wisdom of Hashem and it is what gives us life. Is there any logic in saying that since someone does not treat you properly, you should inflict damage upon yourself by decreasing in learning Torah?!

Igros Kodesh, Vol. 15, p. 294

Chof Av Learning Guide With Additions Yud Tes Av, 5775

Chof Av DownloadIn honor of Chof Av, the Yohrtzeit of Reb Levi Yitzchak, the Rebbe's father, Yagdil Torah has compiled a publication with Mishnayos and selected pieces of his Torah, in keeping with the Rebbe's instructions for such occasions. The guide will be available in local shuls, at our office and on our website. The updated version contains stories of the Rebbe's father and the entire Mishnayos that corresponds to his name.

Click here to download the Kovetz Limmud for Chof Av.

For Russian version click here.


Tes Vov Av, 5775

Playing With Fire

When the Mitteler Rebbe was sixteen, his chavrusa (study-partner) for the year was his age-mate, Nachman of Ushatz, who subsequently became well-known as a chassid, rabbi and shochet. After the completion of his yeshiva studies R. Nachman returned home, where of necessity he became involved in business.

Three years later, he made the journey back to Liadi, in order to see the Alter Rebbe. While there, he said to himself, "I think I shall go say hello to my old friend," and went to see R. DovBer. When he entered the house, the Mitteler Rebbe was learning Talmud, and R. Nachman noticed that he was on page 4. The next day, when he visited again, he saw that his old friend was now studying page 40. He began to tease him. "Yesterday you were on page 4 and today you are already up to page 40! How come we didn't learn so fast when we were study-partners?"

DovBer remained silent, making no response.

Several days later, R. Nachman returned home. Shortly thereafter his house caught fire and burned down. He lost roughly half of all what he had. He immediately went back to Liadi and requested the Alter Rebbe to pray for him, that Heaven be merciful towards him. He told the Rebbe about the tragedy that had befallen him.

The Rebbe's reaction was one of surprise. "I see that this is not because of you at all," he said, "nor is there an unfavorable heavenly judgment against you. Rather, this was a result of someone being upset with you."

"I don't know who it could be," R. Nachman replied.

"Perhaps you did something to upset my son DovBer?" suggested the Rebbe.

"No, no," R. Nachman insisted. "That can't be. We are such close friends."

After he left the Rebbe's presence, R. Nachman sat down in a secluded spot and racked his brain, trying to think of something that might justify the Rebbe's explanation. Finally, he recollected how he had teased the Rebbe's son about the speed of his learning, and he wondered if that might be what the Alter Rebbe had sensed. He decided to speak to R. DovBer about it, and hurried off to see him.

Said the Alter Rebbe's son: "To tell you the truth, I was annoyed with you. Why should you tease me about how fast I was learning, when you know well that some of my time for Talmud-study is specifically to do so not in great depth in order to cover much material. Also, for the last three years while you have been primarily involved in business, I have devoted myself to studying with great diligence day and night; so in any case you have no right to say anything about the speed of my learning.

"Nevertheless," he continued, "it disturbs me terribly that I could possibly be the cause of such a great loss for you. Let me say that I sincerely and absolutely forgive you with all my heart, and G-d Al-mighty in his great mercy should restore your loss twice over."

Although he was only eighteen or nineteen years old at the time, all that the Mitteler Rebbe said came to be. That same year R. Nachman profited in his business more than double what he had lost through the fire in his house.

[Translated and retold by Yerachmiel Tilles from Siporim Noraim by Rabbi Yaakov Kaidener, who heard it from Rabbi Nachman of Ushatz himself! (first published in Kfar Chabad magazine).]


Tes Vov Av, 5775

It was the month of Tamuz, 5454 (1694), and a group of Jews were about to conclude the entire sefer of Rif. They considered delaying the last few lines of the sefer and the subsequent siyum until after Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av so they could utilize the occasion to eat meat and drink wine*. Were they allowed to do so, or were they required to make the siyum at the first possible opportunity?

This question was addressed to R. Dovid Oppenheim (1664-1736), the Rabbi of Moravia. R. Dovid cites a Gemara (Moed Katan 9a) which discusses the chanukas habayis of the first Beis Hamikdash. The possuk says that the chanukas habayis was celebrated during the seven days preceding Sukkos, and immediately afterward another seven days were celebrated, making a total of fourteen days of festivities (I Melachim 8:65). The Gemara attempts to prove from this possuk that one should not merge two celebrations together (ein me'arvin simchah besimchah), forif merging two simchos is not an issue, why didn't Shlomo Hamelech wait a couple of days and celebrate the chanukas habayis together with the Yom Tov of Sukkos?

It Can't Be Tes Vov Av, 5775

You write that you are disheartened from the fact that you see no effect and change in the people who listen to your shiur in shul.

This is certainly only the way it appears to you. It is impossible that words of Torah in general and words of Chassidus in particular should not have an effect, both in sur mera and va'asei tov, to the extent that even a human-who can only see the superficial-will recognize the change. However, this does not always occur right away, and not all recipients are affected in the same way.

Igros Kodesh, Vol. 11, p. 205