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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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A publication which will bring Beis Nissan to life
Chof Vov Adar, 5775

The Rebbe encourages us to learn the works of a Rebbe in Nigleh and Chassidus on his yom hilula, and to learn (at least one perek) Mishnayos beginning with the letters of his name. Yagdil Torah compiled a publication with Mishnayos and selected pieces of the Rebbe Rashab's Torah. The publication will be available in local shuls, at our office and on our website.

This year the publication marking Beis Nissan(the Yom Hilula of the Rebbe Rashab) has been updated with the full Mishnayos. Keep an eye out for more easily accessible learning material and sections in English. It also includes stories of the Rebbe Rashab.

Click here to download the Beis Nissan Publication.

"Your budget is WHAT?!

We LOVE what you do, but how is my small contribution going to help...

... in your massive budget...


Actually it will. We are now campaigning for small recurring gifts $5, $10, $18, $25 a week or a month - whatever works for you.

Your assistance will help us sustain the tremendous responsibility of running two Heichal Hallimud's, shiurim, programs and publications on a constant basis.

Please join our campaign, do your best and encourage your friend to as well.

Joining is quick and easy;

it can be done online with a couple of clicks.


Calendar Ads Chof Beis Adar, 5775

The highly popular Yagdil Torah Crown Heights Community Calendar for תשע"ו is getting ready to go to print.

Advertising opportunities are available, act fast to get the best exposure. Our unique calendar centered on the user's. This has made it extremely popular.

Our advertisers and supporters get effective positive exposure as partners in expanding Torah learning in our community.

Please email or call 917-727-0770 to discuss advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

Chof Beis Adar, 5775

Not For Use as Baby Formula

Many parents would have liked to get away with soy, rice or some other type of non dairy milk as a baby formula. It's cheap, natural and simple but there is a clear notice on the bottle "Do not use as baby formula".

Why? Because it doesn't do the job; it isn't fortified with the critical ingredients a baby needs (there may be other reasons, not relevant to this article).

Okay what will Yagdil Torah extrapolate from this?

There are many interesting and actually holy alternatives to real Torah study; highly processed classes which take great caution that you don't need to think for a nano moment, short thoughts which are squeezed into the convenience of your attention span.

Torah is milk and it develops the Neshama (Torah Ohr Teruma 80a), but in order to avoid any lack of nutrition it's necessary to look at the label. The most reliable ingredients in Torah are made by Hashem and Tzadikim- a good old daf of Gemara, a seif in Shulchan Aruch, and learning of a Maamar in a Sefer Chassidus.

No mistake to be made; the above are great for tough days, desert or the like - but never forget the base of your diet.

Chof Beis Adar, 5775

A woman in the city of Brody in 1755 was preparing a special Pesach delicacy: latkes made of chicken fat, honey, and water. As she was shaping the latkes, she noticed a kernel of wheat in the batter. Is the batter chametz, or can she dispose of the kernel and use the rest?

This sha'alah is just one of the many hundreds of Pesach-related sha'alos that have arisen over the course of the centuries. Such sha'alos were commonplace before the advent of kasher lepesach ingredients and the strict hygienic guidelines now enforced in food-producing factories. Typically, the individual with the sha'alah would approach the local Rabbi to determine what should be done, and if he did not know the answer, he would send a letter describing the sha'alah to one of the leading poskim of the time. (The above-mentioned sha'alah was presented to R. Yechezkel Landa, the Noda Beyehudah, who happened to be passing through Brody at the time. See Shu"t Noda Beyehudah, mahadurah kama, Orach Chaim §22)

Keeping in mind the fact that a written response from the posek could take days, if not weeks, to arrive, it is difficult to understand how one was allowed to hold on to the doubtful chametz until clarity was obtained. We know that it is forbidden to have chametz in one's possession; shouldn't one be obligated to immediately dispose of any food that may have the status of chametz? How can it be permissible to merely wait for a response?

Today's Manna Chof Beis Adar, 5775

... And the Torah thus was given only to eaters of manna, for this is the path tread by all those who occupy themselves with Hashem's Torah, who spurn extravagances whose end is worms with the exception of what they leave over for the Shabbos day, which does not spoil and in which there is no worm-for this symbolizes what man leaves over of what he has to eat for the day that is entirely one of rest and the World to Come by feeding of his bread to the hungry. This is what endures forever and does not spoil-and such an allusion as this will suffice for those who revere Hashem and esteem His name ...

Kli Yakar, Shemos 16:18

Ches Adar, 5775

The Orphan Sage

By Yerachmiel Tilles

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak of Pshischa (1766-1813), known in the chassidic world by the title "The Holy Jew" (Yid Hakadosh), had the following custom when teaching his disciples: whenever a very difficult question arose, he would concentrate very deeply, often remaining steeped in his thoughts for half an hour or more, until the answer came to him.

One day, when one of these questions came up, one of his students, a young man who was orphaned of his father, became very hungry and decided to dart home to his mother for a quick bite while everyone waited for their rebbe to emerge from his meditative trance.

He quickly ran home and asked his mother for some food. While he ate, his mother asked him to bring down a package that she needed from the attic. Nervous about returning late, the young man told his mother he had to return right away. But as he hurried back to the study hall, the student realized what he had done: after all, isn't the study of Torah supposed to lead to fulfillment of its mitzvot? He had just missed an opportunity to fulfill the divine commandment to honor his mother!

The student did an about-face and ran back to his mother's house. He begged his mother's forgiveness and brought the package down from the attic. He then rushed back to the study hall. As soon as he entered the room, the Rebbe of Pshischa emerged from his deep thoughts, and promptly stood up to greet the young man.

Noticing that their master had stood up, all the other students also stood. The young man was quite bewildered at all of this. The rebbe then delivered his answer to the difficult question, and asked everyone to sit down. Sitting down with them, he turned to the young man and said: "Now tell us everything that happened to you."

After the young man related what had happened, the rebbe said:

"Surely you wonder why I stood up. The Talmud tells us that the great sage Abayei was orphaned of both parents. His father had passed away soon after his mother had conceived, and his mother died in childbirth. How, then, could he fulfill the command of honoring one's parents, which is one of the Ten Commandments? Therefore, whenever anyone fulfills this mitzvah properly, Abayei accompanies him.

"Since you fulfilled this mitzvah," said the Holy Jew to the fatherless student, "Abayei went with you. When you came here, Abayei came along with you, and I stood up in his honor. And it was he who gave me the answer to the difficult question . . ."

Reprinted with permission from

A Shiur leads to a Sefer Ches Adar, 5775

Over six years ago we asked Rabbi Berl Levin to give a Shiur to the Crown Heights community. He agreed and started what has come to be a six year stretch of Shiurim on the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch. With time the Shiur became one of the most attended weekly Shiurim in the community. Recently Rabbi Levin furthered the reach of these Shiurim by writing a Sefer based on his Shiurim. The Sefer is now available for purchase.

At present the shiur is learning the dinim of donning a Talis Katan, every Sunday at 8:00pm in Empire Shtibel (Yiddish).

Ches Adar, 5775

A certain Jew once wanted to help a fellow Jew in a predicament by visiting the local coffee shop on Shabbos, which was frequented by a certain individual who might be able to provide assistance. However, this coffee shop was a central point for numerous merchants and businessmen, and the Jew wondered if he was allowed to enter on Shabbos, when bystanders would suspect him of engaging in business matters on this day. On the other hand, he would be entering for the sake of a mitzvah, to help a fellow Jew. Does performing a mitzvah override the obligation to avoid actions that will arouse suspicion (see Shekalim 8a)?

This question was posed to R. Avraham Menachem Steinberg (1847-1928), the rov of Brody. R. Steinberg quotes numerous sources that can possibly shed light on this question. One source is the law that one may not run when leaving shul, because it makes it appear as if attending shul is a burden (Berachos 6b). However, some say that one may run for the sake of a mitzvah-such as to return quickly before the minyan will reach kedushah, or to study Torah in a beis midrash-and this overrides the fact that he will be suspected of transgressing this halachah (see Magen Avraham Orach Chaim 90:26).

On the other hand, R. Steinberg cites another source that appears to indicate that preventing suspicion is more important.

According to R. Eliezer, one may carry a knife in the street on Shabbos to perform a bris if the knife was not prepared beforehand. The Mishnah continues that there was a time when a Roman decree prohibiting bris milah was in effect. In such a situation, the knife should be covered before carrying it outside so that it will be hidden from view. The covering of the knife should be done in the presence of witnesses. This will prevent people from suspecting him of desecrating Shabbos, as the witnesses will testify that the carrier is transporting a knife for a bris and not something else (Shabbos 130a). At first glance, this gemara can serve as a proof that one must prevent suspicion even when performing a mitzvah.

However, R. Steinberg refutes this proof: in this case it is possible to prevent suspicion by covering the knife in the presence of witnesses; but if no other option is available, perhaps performing the mitzvah takes precedence.

Another source can demonstrate that performing a mitzvah (or care to avoid performing an aveirah) overrides preventing suspicion. A story is brought down in Sefer Chassidim (§622), in which Shimon asks Levi for advice in a proposed match between Shimon's daughter and Reuven's son. Levi knows that the match was not ideal, but he nonetheless gives his approval. His rationale is that if he would say what he really believed, people would suspect him of disapproving the match because he desired Reuven's son as a husband for his daughter. When Reuven finds out what had happened, he criticizes Levi, saying that he should not have transgressed the prohibition of lifnei iver-offering improper advice-even if the intent was to avoid suspicion.

(Shu"t Machazeh Avraham Vol. 2 Orach Chaim §12)

A Free Man Ches Adar, 5775

Even if a person has not sinned in the least, he nevertheless should make a point of being among those who perpetually examine any thought, speech, or action that is not dedicated to Hashem, but comes in vanity and goes in darkness. Then he will be able to accept upon himself the yoke of the kingship of heaven as at Yam Suf, as noted above, by occupying himself with the Torah and mitzvos. Then, when he has accepted upon himself the yoke of the Torah, the yoke of derech deretz -subjugation to the animal soul-will be removed from him.

Torah Or, Beshallach 61:4