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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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Vov Tammuz, 5774

"Chaim, why don't you come to the Shiur with me? Isn't that what the Rebbe wants"?

"Don't tell me what the Rebbe wants; I just want Moshiach already"!

This brings to mind when there was a calculation in several Seforim that implied that Moshiach would come in the year 5608 (1848). After the year ended the Rebbe Maharash asked the Tzemach Tzedek why it didn't materialize. The Tzemach Tzedek explained that it was actually fulfilled, since in that year Likutei Torah was printed. (After all, the focus of Moshiach's arrival is that then "the world will be filled with knowledge of G-d.") "That's all good, answered the Maharash, "but we want the real thing".

Do you understand what this means?!

By learning the Likkutei Torah and Chassidus in general we bring the Geulah because Chassidus is just that, revealing G-dliness. Everything is ready for the taking. Just jump on the bandwagon.

Vov Tammuz, 5774

A Jew purchased a cow from a non-Jew. Included in his purchase was a calf that felt attached to the cow and was nursing from it. The calf looked almost identical to any ordinary calf, but strangely, all four of its hooves were not cloven. Is it possible to permit such an animal to be eaten?

Do we say that this is an unusual mutation that could have been born from any animal, and therefore we need to attribute it to the majority of animals in the world and assume it was born from a non-kosher animal? Can we say that the calf's feelings of attachment and its nursing from the cow demonstrate that the cow is its mother? Or are we concerned that the cow may have given birth, but lost its own child, and this mutation may have actually been born from a horse, and then adopted by the cow due to its calf-like appearance? Shulchan Aruch (Yor"d 79:2) says: Even if one saw that a kosher animal was pregnant and later found it no longer pregnant, being followed by a non-kosher type of baby animal and nursing it-it is still forbidden to eat the baby, since it may have been born from a non-kosher animal and then become attached to the kosher one. Why should our case be any different? If the non-Jewish seller said that the cow gave birth to this calf, can we trust him?

Don't Leave it Behind the Glass Vov Tammuz, 5774

Hashem had a most precious object, the Torah. He could have just kept it for himself like alot of people do. Instead he wanted to give it to someone. From all humans he picked the Jews. First of all this should give us a lot of pride. Some people think that they should put the Torah in a glass box for people to see and admire in a museum. But that wasn't the point. Hashem wants us to open up his sefer and learn it. What a great zechus this is.

Based on 13 Tammuz 5735 Sicha 4

Chof Beis Sivan, 5774

Miriam, I have some good news and some bad news..." "What is it?"

"I have always felt it's better to give the good news before the bad. The good news is that I was chosen to be an honoree by the Yeshiva; the "bad" news is I pledged $500,000 to get the position."

"What?! Why did you have to pledge so much? Why didn't you tell the chairman you would give something like $18,000? We're wealthy but not that wealthy!"

"The problem is that he asked me to do my best, and as my own accountant I couldn't fool myself into giving less; I know what I'm capable of!

The Aibershter is our accountant; he knows what we have and need. When He asks us to give our best in the amount of time we put toward our Kvius Itim (which is indeed the parameter of our responsibility) we can't fool anyone....

Chof Beis Sivan, 5774

A wealthy man passed away, leaving his immense fortune to his young son. The child was extremely limited in his mental and social abilities, and the doctors recommended that he be sent to an institution where he would achieve significant growth. However, the only food available to him there would be non-kosher food. Were the child's relatives allowed to send the boy to such an institution?

The rabbi of the city, Rabbi Hirsh Openheim, relayed the question to Rabbi Moshe Sofer, famously known as the Chassam Sofer. The Chassam Sofer replied that if the child could halachically be defined as a shoteh-a mentally deranged individual who is exempt from performing mitzvos-it would be permitted to send him to the institution. Although the gemara deduces from a passuk that it is prohibited for an adult to feed non-kosher food to a child or shoteh (see Yevamos 114a), it would be permitted in this scenario, as doing so would enable him to eventually reach a level of mental awareness that would enable him to perform mitzvos. Halachah allows for the temporary waiving of this prohibition in order to reach this long-term benefit.

However, to define the child as a shoteh is not that simple. A shoteh is characterized as one who exhibits bizarre conduct, such as ripping his clothing or sleeping in the cemetery (see Chagigah 3b). In this case, however, the child wasn't displaying idiotic behavior; he was merely cognitively inhibited. Sending him to an institution would thus not have the advantage of enabling him to fulfill mitzvos, as he would be obligated in them regardless; it would just enable him to properly function and deal with others. This by itself would not warrant the transgression of feeding a child non-kosher food.

In this situation, however, the relatives would not be feeding him the food themselves; they would merely be transferring him to the care of the institution, without actually instructing them to feed him non-kosher food. The Chassam Sofer therefore concluded that halachically, it was permitted to send the child to the institution. However, he would need to be removed upon reaching the age of thirteen, because he himself would then be forbidden to consume such food.

However, concluded the Chassam Sofer, he would not recommend them to send the boy to the institution at all. It is known that non-kosher food taints the heart and produces negative character traits. Said the Chassam Sofer, "It is better he remain mentally delayed all his life than to be a rasha for one moment before Hashem!"

(Based on Shu"t Chasam Sofer, Orach Chaim §83)

Love Your Fellow as Yourself Chof Beis Sivan, 5774

One should inspire others to increase their Torah study. Indeed, influencing others is an expression of the commandment, "You shall love your fellow as yourself" which is an important principle of the Torah. In fact, "This is the entire Torah and the rest is commentary"

Toras Menachem 5748, vol. 2, p. 169ff.

Ches Sivan, 5774

True or False?

"Come on Yossi!"

"Yes you can!"

"You can do it!"

"You are THE most energetic and agile runner!"

At first, these comments encouraged Yossi and helped run at his absolute fastest speed. Then, he realized these comments weren't true. He wasn't THE fastest runner (though he was plenty fast). He slowed down and ended up coming in 5th place. Torah is not there to inspire us-though it certainly does; instead, it tells us what IS.

When Torah tells us that through Limmud Torah we are fulfilling our primary purpose in life, this isn't an embellishment meant to encourage us to go faster and further. Rather, it is telling us the truth! So while the goal isn't inspiration, per se, the result is majorly so.

Ches Sivan, 5774

A prosperous man in the city of Temeshvar (in present-day Romania) passed away at a young age, leaving his immense wealth as an inheritance to his only son, then five years old. The son was far from capable of handling his new fortune; in fact, aside from his young age, he had severe social and mental disabilities. At the age of seven, although able to speak, all he did was mumble a mixture of unintelligible words, and his actions and conduct pointed to an extremely low level of comprehension.

Being that money was not an issue, the child's relatives summoned the greatest doctors in the city to evaluate the boy. After a thorough analysis, the doctors suggested that he be sent to an institution either in Vienna or near Pest (part of present-day Budapest), where he would be provided with the necessary tools to achieve mental and social growth. Although he was not expected to ever reach the level of comprehension of an average adult, the doctors predicted that he would see much progress, and perhaps even be able to live and provide for himself independently one day.

There was one issue, however: One of the policies of the institution was that each patient was required to fully integrate with the others; as such, he would be forced to partake of the non-kosher food served to the people living there. Were the child's relatives permitted to send him to the institution?