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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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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


Aleph Av, 5775

Very Picky

I don't want to start a fight with shadchanim etc. however there is room for the notion that you want to find someone who has all the qualities on your list. Your thinking, "hey, it would be nice if I can find a shidduch who has all that it speaks about in the aishes chayil passage".

Actually there sort of is!

In Rashi, pshuto shel mikra, he explains all of Aishes Chayil as it applies to the study of Torah. While we definitely recommend marriage and choosing someone practical etc. if there is something perfect that you want to have to do with - learning Torah is your address.


Aleph Av, 5775

A group of yidden in seventeenth-century Europe would gather together every day for a shiur in the Rif. The Rif quotes the portions of the Gemara which are relevant to practical halachah and points to the opinions which should be followed. Learning this sefer is helpful in providing the relevant halachos that should be inferred from the various sugyos of Shas, and it was for this reason that the group chose this sefer as the topic of their study.

As the months passed, the group saw progress in their studies, and they covered the Rif on many masechtos. As they neared the completion of the entire sefer, they began to consider a date for the upcoming siyum. (Although they hadn't concluded a masechta of Gemara, they were certain that a siyum could be made upon completion of the entire Rif, quite an impressive achievement in its own right.)

It was the month of Tamuz, 5454 (1694), and the members of the group considered delaying the last few lines of the sefer and the subsequent siyum until after Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av. This would enable them to utilize the occasion to eat meat and drink wine*, normally forbidden during the nine days. Were they allowed to do so, or were they required to conclude the sefer and make the siyum at the first possible opportunity?

_____
*The Chabad minhag is not to eat meat and drink wine even if a siyum was made.

The Entire Mind Aleph Av, 5775

"I hate [foreign] thoughts, but I love Your Torah." Earlier the possuk says, "How I love your Torah; it is my speech the entire day." We see that [Dovid Hamelech] did not speak about anything else other than Torah. The possuk adds here that he would not even consider any thought other than the thought of Torah. Since he loved Torah so much, his entire mind was dedicated to it, and he abhorred allowing any other thought to enter his heart.

Malbim, Tehillim 119:113


Tes Zayin Tammuz, 5775

The Identifying Fruit

A wealthy man by the name of Elimelech received many honors in the shul of the Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim of Antunia. He had one of the important seats in the front, facing the congregation, near the Rebbe's own chair.

For his part, Elimelech had great respect for the Rebbe. He would always bow his head before him, and contribute generously to the spectrum of charitable causes that the Rebbe maintained.

The chassidim, however, mostly did not think so highly of Elimelech, despite the affection the Rebbe openly displayed towards him. They suspected that his generous good deeds indicated only a superficial piety, and that at home he was not as religious as he appeared in public. Sharper tongues said that he was influenced by the so-called Enlightenment movement and its innovations and that this had already weakened his Fear of Heaven.

But now, an uncrossable line had been crossed: his son had enrolled in their high school, something no youth from any religious family had yet dared to do, never mind one from a chassidic home and associated with the Rebbe, no less.


Tes Zayin Tammuz, 5775

Sir Herbert Samuel, a non-practicing Jew, was the first High Commissioner of the British Mandate of Palestine in the 1920s. These unique circumstances led to an interesting halachic question. First of all, was his position as High Commissioner prominent enough to warrant the berachah said when seeing a king? And second, if a berachah should indeed be recited, should it be the berachahsaid on a Jewish king (shechalak mikvodo lirei'av), being that he was Jewish, or the one said on a non-Jewish king (shenasan mikvodo lebasar vedam), since he was a representative of the British government?

This question was addressed by R. Chalfon Moshe HaKohen, a rabbi in Djerba, Tunisia. (Apparently, Sir Samuel traveled abroad as part of his duties and visited this Tunisian island as well.) R. Moshe cited a similar query that was presented to the Radvaz, whether a berachah should be recited upon seeing the Pasha of Egypt, appointed to the position by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

The Radvaz, in turn, makes reference to a teshuvah penned by R. Avraham Av Beis Din, which deals with reciting a berachah on the local rulers of medieval Europe. R. Avraham rules that one can recite the berachah, being that these rulers had the power to punish and even kill as they saw fit, with no one to overturn their decisions.

However, a distinction can be made between these local rulers and a Pasha.