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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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Chof Daled Shevat, 5775

And then you woke up!?

That's what many critics will tell you about novels; that they are pure fantasy and don't interest many. They simply never happened and probably won't ever. It's much more intriguing and inspiring to read about what is really happening in Venezuela than what could have happened in Los Angeles.

This can also be said about Torah learning. Learning something that you know is true makes it an entirely different experience; it's not just in inyan geret. Every word of Torah is true and relevant and the application of that principle will no doubt make learning a wholesome and meaningful experience for anyone who thinks this through a bit.

Chof Daled Shevat, 5775

Coffee shops are more than just a place where you can buy a cup of coffee; they are places where individuals can gather to spend time, talk, and interact. They can also serve as focal points for businessmen, where deals can be made and potential buyers can be found.

One Shabbos, a certain Jew heard of a fellow Jew who was found in a predicament. Determined to help him to the best of his ability, he decided to consult a certain individual who might be able to provide assistance. However, knowing that this individual frequented the local coffee shop, the Jew wondered if he was allowed to enter on Shabbos.

This coffee shop was a central point for numerous merchants and businessmen, and perhaps bystanders would suspect him of engaging in business matters on this day. This would be problematic, as one must avoid actions that may be perceived as a sin (see Shekalim 8a). 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?

A Teacher Like This You Don't Want To Miss Chof Daled Shevat, 5775

For when a person engages in Torah study, the sounds and breaths that emerge from his mouth become a vehicle on which the souls of the early tzadikim can descend to teach that person Torah.

Arizal, Sha'ar Ruach HaKodesh, Chapter 1 in the beginning

Kovetz Limmud Chof Beis Shvat Chof Aleph Shvat 5775

In honor of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka's yahrtzeit, Yagdil Torah has released a newly updated publication. For the first time ever, the pamphlet includes full mishnayos for those who wish to learn it, expanded quotations on women's part in Torah learning, and a short sicha from the Rebbe.

The publication will be available in local shuls, at the Heichal Halimmud, and at our office.

Click here for publication.

Yud Shevat, 5775

Brokenhearted Chassid

By Mendy Kaminker

Chassidim would say that when learning Torah, one must take utmost care not to forget the Giver of the Torah, but to study in a state of humble awe.

There were once two men named Eizik. Both were great Torah sages as well as venerable chassidim of the first Chabad rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Lyadi. Since one of them hailed from Homel (Gomel) and the other from Vitebsk, they were known as Reb Eizik Homler and Eizik Vitebsker respectively.

In his youth, Reb Eizik Vitebsker had studied Torah at the feet of his learned uncle, Reb Zemle, whose reputation for erudition and insight was known throughout the land. But that was before Eizik had become a chassid and begun learning from Rabbi Schneur Zalman.

Reb Eizik of Homel once asked his friend from Vitebsk, "What is the difference between the Torah that you learned from your uncle and the Torah that you now learn from our rebbe?"

Reb Eizik of Vitebsk burst into tears and replied, "Aside from the actual learning - with his piercing logic, our rebbe opened our eyes to how Torah must be analyzed and applied - the main difference is how we feel after we finished learning."

"Nu," said the man from Homel, "what is the difference in how you feel after study?" Reb Eizik, still sobbing, replied, "After my uncle would conclude a lecture, we would all feel elated. Thank G-d, we have mastered another Torah thought and made it our own. But after hearing a Torah class from the Rebbe, we feel a new awareness of the one who gave the Torah--G-d Himself--and a great sense of humility. We are broken-hearted over our own unrefined state, and recognize how much harder we have to work to connect to the Giver of the Torah."

Reprinted with permission from Chabad.org

Yud Shevat, 5775

The members of an early-twentieth-century shul once decided to renovate the ezras nashim, which was located in a small, cramped room adjacent to the ezras anashim. The proposed plan entailed elevating the roof of the ezras nashim, which would cause two-thirds of the height of the shul's windows to be obscured, significantly decreasing the illumination of the shul. Were they allowed to continue with their plans?

The rov of the community, R. Dov Te'omim, sent a letter to the famous Galician rov, R. Meir Arik, detailing the question under discussion. In the last issue we explained that obstructing the windows and thus diminishing their ability to illuminate the shul was not tantamount to destroying them, because they still can bring in a certain amount of light to the shul. B'ezras Hashem, we will now examine an additional problem, based on the premise of horadah mikedushah chamurah likedushah kalah-decreasing the holiness of an object. Until now, the windows had served the ezras anashim; now, they will serve the ezras nashim as well, which possesses a lesser degree of holiness. Might this reason obligate them to withdraw their plans?

R. Meir quotes the Magen Avraham who writes that one may place possul sifrei torah in the aron kodesh together with the kosher sifrei torah (Orach Chaim 154:14). The reason this is not considered as a decrease in the holiness of the aron kodesh is because it is still being used for the kosher sifrei torah. The same is true in our case. Since the windows will continue to serve the ezras anashim as well by bringing in some degree of light, there is no issue of horadah.

Upon contemplating the matter further, though, one can differentiate between the two cases. In the case of the aron kodesh, placing the possul sifrei torah inside does not diminish the capacity of the aron to house the kosher sifrei torah; but in our case, allowing the windows to serve the ezras nashim will decrease their ability to illuminate the ezras anashim. So perhaps this can indeed be seen as a reduction in the holiness of the windows.

Nonetheless, R. Meir concludes that the community may elevate the roof of the ezras nashim. The Alter Rebbe rules that the issue of horadah is only mid'rabanan (Orach Chaim 34:9), and in our case there is a distinct need to renovate the ezras nashim to provide the women with much-needed light and air. Another factor to take into consideration is the fact that large windows will be built in the outside walls of the ezras nashim, enabling light to enter the ezras anashim as well. In light of all the above, the proposed renovations may be carried out.

(Shu"t Imrei Yosher 1:22)

Wealth and Life Yud Shevat, 5775

Rav Yosef bar Chama said in the name of Rav Sheishes: What is the meaning of the verse, "In her right hand is long life, in her left hand are wealth and esteem"? Is it possible that in its right hand there is long life but not wealth and esteem?! Rather, those who approach it from the right [who study the Torah profoundly and intensively; just as the right hand is stronger for work - Rashi] merit long life, and all the more so wealth and esteem. Those who approach it from the left [whose motivations are less pure] merit wealth and esteem, but not long life.

Shabbos 63a

Kovetz Limmud Yud Shvat Aleph Shvat 5775

On Yud Shvat we mark the Yom Hillulah of the Frierdiker Rebbe. One of the Minhogim the Rebbe set for the day is to learn the Mishnayos of the Frierdiker Rebbe's name.

Yagdil Torah has produced a booklet containing the full Mishnayos for the Frierdiker Rebbe, along with a specially selected portion of the Frierdiker Rebbe's Torah.

The booklet will be available in local shuls, on our website and in our office.

Click here for the pdf.
Click here for the Russian Version. .

Read an amazing story which shows the importance of learning in connection to a Yom Hilulah of our Rabbeim.

Chof Hei Teives, 5775

Careful! You're sitting with the high society.

Ever meet a high ranking official or another famous person and was in awe? When you actually get the courage to ask him something, you don't just wait for an answer. You are thinking what a great privilege you have to be talking to such a person.

This is also true when it comes to Tzaddikim.

To quote the Rebbe Rashab "Chassidus should be studied with intense involvement; it should be taken to heart. It is not meant to be treated with the pedestrian casualness of those who sip coffee or chicory on Shabbos morning while looking through a passage of Torah Or or Likkutei Torah... This way of learning also overlooks what our Sages said that "Whoever quotes a teaching in the name of its author should picture him as standing before him." When a Chassid studies Torah Or or Likkutei Torah, the ... Alter Rebbe, ... the Mitteler Rebbe, and ... the Tzemach Tzedek, are ... standing before him! "(Editorial note: this may not apply to looking rather to actually saying)

This can be applied to any Torah learning. If the Rashbi is quoted he is there as well, as well as Rabbi Akiva, Moshe Rabbeinu and any other of history's greatest Tzaddikim! Rabbi Meir, Rabbeinu Hakodosh, Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam and many more! While we must focus on the awe of what we are learning, we should also focus on the privilege of what is happening and use out our unlimited access to the real high society.