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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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Gimmel Adar I, 5776

Date: 1904. Place:
Kadelburg, Slovakia

There was once a Jew who had a unique substance in his possession-earth from the holy land of Eretz Yisrael. One day, a non-Jewish acquaintance, who had heard of the Jewish custom to include a bit of earth from Eretz Yisrael in the casket of a deceased individual before burial, asked him if he could buy some of his precious earth. "I would like to adopt this practice of yours," he explained. "I am prepared to pay a large sum of money, which I will donate to the needy of Eretz Yisrael!" Was he allowed to fulfill his wish?

The Jew turned to the rov of Kadelburg, R. Yitzchak Weiss, for halachic guidance on the matter. R. Yitzchak researched the topic on his own, after which he asked the opinion of some of the leading rabbonim in the area.

Greater than the Sun Gimmel Adar I, 5776

(Installment 1)

"The Torah of Hashem is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of Hashem is faithful, making the simple one wise. The directives of Hashem are upright, causing the heart to rejoice; the mitzvah of Hashem is clear, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Hashem is pure, existing forever; the judgments of Hashem are true, they are all just" (Tehillim 19:8-10).

Dovid said these three pesukim as praise for the Torah. Beforehand, he mentioned the great luminaries and described some of the accomplishments and benefits of the sun. He then continues that there is a yet greater light, namely, the Torah.

[In what way is the Torah greater than the sun?]

For with the sun, one who sits in its heat for too long will be harmed greatly until he will faint. However, if one continues to study the Torah, it "revives the soul." It is also known that [the heat of] the sun enters a person's brain until he goes mad. However, the Torah "makes the simple one wise." Furthermore, one who sits [before the sun] for a long time will become worried and sad. But with the Torah, "the directives of Hashem are upright, causing the heart to rejoice." Also, by looking at the sun, one's eyes will become dim. The Torah, however, "enlightens the eyes."

Kad Hakemach [Rabbeinu Bechaye], beginning of maareches Torah
(Continuation in the next issue, b'ezras Hashem)


Yud Tes Shevat, 5776

Hashem Has His Ways

In a small village in Poland there lived an unassuming and pious Jew named Meir. While he was by no means well-to-do, his family never wanted for their daily bread. Each day on his way home from the synagogue Meir passed through the farmers' market, buying produce and poultry which his wife sold from a small store attached to their house. The prices were always fair, and they earned a reputation for honesty.

Meir stood out from the other buyers at the market, for he would never haggle over prices. Meir had his one fair price, and that was that--he would never budge. Eventually the farmers came to respect him and would even seek him out when they had some special goods for sale, and he became known to everyone as "Honest Meir."

Meir had only one regret in life--his business took time away from his beloved Torah study. One day he decided that he would work only half as much, and spend the time saved learning Torah. His wife was worried by his decision, but he calmed her saying, "Don't you think that G-d can send us enough in those three days?" She wanted to reply that of course He could, but would He? But she stopped herself and decided to wait and see what would happen. As it turned out, their income was the same and her husband thrived on his Torah learning.

One day his wife came to Meir to discuss the marriage of their daughter, Mirele. "G-d has been good to us, and we must certainly be grateful, but our daughter isn't getting any younger, and the time has come for us to start saving for her dowry."

Meir looked at his wife and replied, "G-d has taken care of us so far. Trust in Him and stop worrying."

But his wife couldn't rest. "Meir, we aren't supposed to rely on miracles. Maybe you should go out and work like you used to..."

Meir replied, "What you're saying may seem true, but don't forget my 'silent partner'--G-d. Haven't you seen with your own eyes that since I've spent extra time with my 'partner' we have lost nothing. I can not stop my Torah studies, especially now when we need Him even more." There was nothing more his wife could say except a heartfelt "Amen."

A short time later a peasant showed up at the marketplace with a large honeycomb encased in a block of wood. Several prospective buyers approached him, but he refused them, saying, "I will sell only to..." And there he sat and waited until finally, late in the afternoon someone told him that Meir wouldn't be coming to market that day.


Yud Tes Shevat, 5776

Date: 1904.
Place: Kadelburg, Slovakia

There was once a Jew who developed a relationship with an affluent non-Jewish individual, with whom he conducted various business dealings. At one point, the non-Jew found out that his Jewish colleague had a unique substance in his possession: some earth from the holy land of Eretz Yisrael.

The non-Jew had heard of the Jewish custom to include a bit of earth from Eretz Yisrael in the casket of a deceased individual before burial. This segulah intrigued him, and he desired to adopt this practice as well. Approaching his Jewish acquaintance, he asked if he could buy some of his precious earth. "I am prepared to pay a large sum of money for it," he offered, "which I will donate to the needy of Eretz Yisrael!"

At first the Jew avoided providing a clear answer, but the non-Jew was persistent with his request. Was he allowed to fulfill his wish and sell him some of the special soil?

Rare expressions from Reb Itche Der Masmid Hy"d Yud Tes Shevat, 5776

It is known that the [Frierdiker] Rebbe's present situation is not good. His health is deteriorating, rachamana litzlan, and his material income-which for us is spiritual-is decreasing as well. . . .

If you have any good news regarding your learning schedule in shul, you should write to the Rebbe about it. We can clearly see that on the day he receives positive news about a learning schedule in shul, he is another person. He feels completely different, because it affects the very life of his soul.

Letter from Reb Itche der Masmid-
"Representative of the Frierdiker Rebbe"-to one of the chassidim in America

Kovetz Limmud Chof Beis Shvat Yud Tes Shevat, 5776

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.


Hei Shevat, 5776

Want to Learn Something?

"I am not interested and that's it"

"Got it.

"In one of the Ani Ledodi Maamorim of Likkutei Torah the Baal Hatanya explains why one should have mercy on his soul due to its depraved state. He then says that if one doesn't feel merciful despite the reasons given he should realize that itself can elicit mercy; that his soul is so removed that even when he thinks about it - it doesn't bother him.

"Perhaps in a similar sense it can be suggested that if despite ones contemplating the greatness of Torah and its pricelessness he still feels "I am not interested and that's it" - that very conclusion should make him feel like something is wrong with his status. Honesty is a first great step to solve many a problem."


Hei Shevat, 5776

Place: Lausanne, Switzerland.
Date: 1963

The Swiss government once decided to put together an exhibition including various artifacts and items of interest which would be displayed before the public. One of the items they wanted to display was a sefer Torah, and they asked Rabbi Schwartz, a Rabbi in one of the local communities, for permission to borrow a sefer Torah from the shul. Was it permitted to hand over a sefer Torah to be displayed as an exhibit?

Rabbi Schwartz posed this question to R. Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg, from the nearby city of Montreaux. R. Weinberg confirmed Rabbi Schwartz's reservations about transporting a sefer Torah to another location where it will not be used for kriah purposes (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 135:14 and commentaries ad loc.). In fact, there are two more halachic considerations as well:

It's Obvious Hei Shevat, 5776

...Besides the obvious that a Jew must constantly add to the amount and quality of his students, and not be satisfied on how much he accomplished until now even if he made plenty of students - still so as long as he has the capability to cause another Jew from any denomination to participate in a shiur - he simply has to do it. What's the question?!

From the Sicha of Parshas Lech Lecha 5752

Kovetz Limmud Yud Shvat Hei Shevat, 5776

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.

Compilation for Chof Daled Teives Chof Beis Teves 5776

Following the Rebbe's horaos that one should learn from the teachings of the Alter Rebbe on Chof Daled Teves, and also that one should learn chapters of Mishnayos beginning with the letters of a Rebbe's name on his Yom Hilulah, Yagdil Torah has prepared an updated learning guide for this day. The compilation features specially selected portions of the Alter Rebbe's teachings, stories, and the full mishnayos. It will be distributed throughout the Shuls in Crown Heights, in the Heichal Halimmud and in our office. It is also available for download here.

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


Chof Teves, 5776

Rambam's Childhood

Moshe was dreaming again. He stood next to his father and brother by the eastern wall of the synagogue. This was a place of honor, for Moshe's father was the Chief Rabbi of Cordova, just as his father and grandfather had been. But Moshe was not praying. His eyes wandered.

A sharp tap on his shoulder made him look up guiltily. His father looked at him with a stern gaze, full of disappointment and sadness. Moshe knew it was because he, the eldest son, could not learn Torah.

Every day his father would give away precious hours to learn with him. But at the end of the lesson, he would just sigh and shake his head. Yesterday it had happened again. Moshe had been sent away from his lesson. His eyes stinging with un-shed tears, he made his way to the kitchen where Batsheva, their housekeeper, was frying cakes in hot oil.

"Did it not go well today?" she asked gently. "Not everyone is cut out to be a scholar. Maybe you take after your mother's side of the family."

"You mean my mother's father, the butcher?" Moshe asked.

"Yes, but that's nothing to be ashamed of. Your grandfather was a kind, honest, and G-d-fearing man, as generous as the day is long. Little wonder G-d sent him such an honorable son-in-law as your father."

The congregation was already rising for the silent prayer. Quickly Moshe turned the pages, wondering if his father had caught him daydreaming again. Moshe bent his head in prayer--and came to the words "Grant us wisdom, understanding, and knowledge..."

The words seemed to spring at him from the page. Perhaps G-d would grant him wisdom and understanding so that he would remember every word, and his father would be proud of him. Moshe resolved to try. During the lesson that morning Moshe concentrated on his father's words, "And G-d said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.'" Light. Through the open window, Moshe saw his familiar world. The fountain glistened in the sun, palm and myrtle trees swayed over the patio.


Chof Teves, 5776

Place: Lausanne, Switzerland.
Date: 1963

The Swiss government once decided to put together an exhibition including various artifacts and items of interest which would be displayed before the public. One of the items they wanted to display was a sefer Torah, which they knew was the holiest object in the Jewish religion. They contacted one of the local Jewish communities and asked the Rabbi, Rabbi Schwartz, for permission to borrow a sefer Torah from the shul, promising to treat it with the utmost respect and return it in perfect condition.

Rabbi Schwartz was unsure how to respond. On the one hand, it is questionable if one may transport a sefer Torah to another location where it will not be used for kriah purposes (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 135:14 and commentaries ad loc.). On the other hand, refusal to consent might offend the authorities. Furthermore, this exhibit would create a kiddush Hashem, as it would give hundreds of non-Jews the opportunity to appreciate what a sefer Torah is all about.

Was it permitted to hand over a sefer Torah to the government for this purpose?

We Found Something New For You Chof Teves, 5776

Every Jew must exercise his full potential for Torah study and find new insights in Torah.

However much a Jew has already learnt, he must always be in the state of adding even to the state of a chidush in Torah. This is due to Torah having no bounds and especially being that it his Hashem's wisdom. It can therefore give strength to give birth -as it were- to new ideas to no end.

From the Sicha of Parshas Lech Lecha 5752


Vov Teves, 5776

Three-Year-Old Lawyer

"Joe, what are you doing poring over those law tomes?"

"I am studying for the bar."

"Seriously?! The bar!? You didn't even learn how to write yet and you can barely speak."

"Is it my fault I am 3?"

"I am sure you know some people end up changing their mind about what they want to do. This is just one issue among others that make it important to carefully consider if this is the career path you want to take"

"I agree but I enjoy studying anyways."

"But wouldn't it make sense to first learn how to write and speak?"

"Come to think of it you are right - I just didn't have my wheeties yet today..."

Chazal say all Torah that doesn't include Derech Eretz will eventually be nullified; how much more so one can reason Derech Eretz without the source of all - Torah...