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Heichal Halimmud
music by chony

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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Amazing Story Yud Aleph Tishrei, 5775

The following is an incredible story that was told to Yagdil Torah by one of the important people of the "Anash" of Crown Heights. It is regarding the pamphlets (Kovtzei Limud) that are published by Yagdil Torah in honor of the Yom Hilulah of the Rabbeim. Besides the great holiness of Torah learning in general, the story reveals the unique quality of learning Mishnayos and especially when the learning is in connection to a Yartzeit, and more specifically to a Yom Hilulah of our Rabbeim.

Whenever we mark the Yom Hillula of one of the Rebbeim, I have the practice of learning chapters of Mishnayos whose first letters spell out the name of that Rebbe, and of giving Tzedaka in the amount corresponding to the numerical value of the name.

A number of years ago, I was out of town on Yud-Gimmel Nisssan (the Yom Hillulah of the Tzemach Tzedek). A family member had been hospitalized and I was at the hospital without a Mishnayos. I felt bad for not being able to recite the Mishnayos, but I thought to myself: "What can I do? The Rebbe will surely understand. Bli-neder when I have a Mishnayos, I will recite the chapters corresponding to the name of the Tzemach Tzedek".

On Motzei Yom Tov (Pesach), I phoned my parents to see how Yom Tov was by them. My father told me the following: "On the first night of Pesach, I dreamt that I [had an audience] with the Tzemach Tzedek. In my dream, I was upset that you did not ask the Tzemach Tzedek for a bracha. The Tzemach Tzedek, however, gestured with his hand, as if to say, don't worry about it. Then he said in Russian: "Idi ee krepki budyet" ["Go, and it will good"].

Zayin Tishrei, 5775

Is life all about learning?

Let's see;

In Shaar Habitochon it says that Hashem requires us to work in order to test us and see how working will impact our Mitzvah observance.

Which Mitzvah does this apply to in a quantitative sense?

It would make sense that its Limmud Hatorah. It's a daily constant Mitzvah and causes one to often think, do I have time for this now; maybe I can earn more? Or relax more? Or enjoy more?

Every moment we learn we are passing this test, thereby accomplish in a quantitative way - one of the largest nisyonos of - life!

Zayin Tishrei, 5775

In parshas Ki Seitzei, the issur of sha'atnez is immediately followed by the mitzvah of tzitzis. The gemara learns from this that tzitzis may be fashioned from sha'atnez, because a mitzvas asei takes precedence over a mitzvas lo sa'asei (Yevamos 3b f. See also Igeres Hateshuvah §1).

This principle, that a mitzvas asei takes precedence over a mitzvas lo sa'asei-can be applied to numerous areas of halachah. One example is the mitzvah to eat in a sukkah on the Yom Tov of Sukkos. The gemara deduces that one is obligated to eat a kazayis of bread in the sukkah on the first night of Sukkos, just like one must eat a kazayis of matzah on the first night of Pesach (Sukkah 27a). What is the halachah if the only bread one has is chadash, i.e., it has been baked from wheat that was grown after Pesach? Eating chadash entails the transgression of a mitzvas lo sa'asei. Does the mitzvas asei to eat in the sukkah take precedence over the mitzvas lo sa'asei of eating chadash?

How to Weaken Natural Desires Zayin Tishrei, 5775

One who unfortunately falls into permissible desires, may, through toil in Torah learning, weaken his natural desires thereby not letting him succumb to those desires.

V'Kacha 5636 Chapter 69

Kovetz Limmud Vov Tishrei Hei Tishrei 5775

On Vov Tishrei we mark the Yom Hillulah of Rebbetzin Chana. The Rebbe encouraged us to learn from her ways for she was a true paradigm of an "Eizer K'negdo. This updated publication includes stories from the Rebbetzin's life, as well as a full selection of chapters of Mishnayos that begin with the letters of her name.

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

Click here to download the Kovetz Limmud for Vov Tishrei.
For Russian version Click here.

The Rules of Ribis Chof Zayin Elul, 5774

Ribis is confusing, for it has many details, and many don't realize how much it actually impacts our daily lives. However, those who attended Rabbi Vind's shiur last week left much more well-informed about Ribis and all its implications.

Rabbi Vind gave examples of Ribis in our day to day lives: Can a customer decline change from a cashier? Can a store-owner change the price of an item within minutes, depending on whether or not the customer will buy the item right away or sometime in the future?

All these and more were explained during the class. Rabbi Vind brought sources and explained the reasonings and nuances of the laws of Ribis. He illustrated the chiddushim introduced by the Alter Rebbe, and showed how many today paskin according to what he taught. Even though there are so many details, Halacha examines each possible scenario that can include Ribis, and describes exactly what to do, so one is never at a loss.

Many attended and some asked questions, which in the end were all answered. Thank you to those who attended, and thank you to Rabbi Shmuel Pevzner for helping Yagdil Torah to organize this shiur.

Yagdil Torah תשע"ה Crown Heights Community Calendar to be delivered to Crown Heights homes over the next few days.
Yud Zayin Elul, 5774

We are glad to announce that with the help of our partners, the 5775 Yagdil Torah Calendar will be delivered to Crown Heights homes over the next few days.

The Yagdil Torah Calendar has become a popular calendar amongst many Crown Heights residents.

Some like it because of it's durable binding and hanger,

Some like it because of the unique system of weekly זמנים,

Some like it because of the ruled daily calendar boxes,

And some like it for it's clear design and size.

Whatever the reason, we are sure you will appreciate it and find it useful, as it was designed with you in mind.

If you have any comments about the calendar or would like to make sure your address will be covered by our delivery please contact us.

Yud Zayin Elul, 5774

Venture Capitalists

Venture Capitalists. This term is synonymous with "fabulously wealthy, great investors, often good choices... and oftentimes, a lot of risk."

Venture capitalists look for potential in startup companies or people with talent who haven't yet been "found." They help the unknown companies or people become well-known, sought after, even famous. In return, they receive a "cut" of all the business given to the previously unknown companies/people.

In your neighborhood, too, there are talented people who haven't yet been "found." They are skilled orators, knowledgeable teachers, but they sit with only a couple of people because they are "unknown" and people don't come to hear them. Instead of shying away from the "smaller names," be an opportunist. Attend a class given by a previously unknown maggid shiur. Now, these people are easily accessible. Who knows? One day your soon-to-be favorite maggid shiur could become famous, and you'll get to say that you attended his shiurim way back when....

Yud Zayin Elul, 5774

A certain individual once built a house whose height extended above the height of the local shul. When he discovered that the shul is supposed to be the highest and most prominent building in town (see Shabbos 11a), he quickly hastened to do his best to solve the issue. Instead of breaking down his house and building it anew at a lower level, he decided to erect a flag on the roof of the shul, thus elevating its height. Would such a method be effective to allow him to keep his house at its present height?

This question was posed to R. Chaim Elazar Shapiro, the author of Minchas Elazar. R. Shapiro explains that this doubt can be resolved by clarifying whether a flag or similar structure is to be viewed as a part of the building itself or as a separate entity. If the flag is considered as part of the shul, it would indeed be effective; if not, however, erecting a flag would not resolve the issue.

Perhaps this question can be answered based on a quote from the above-mentioned Gemara: "When were these words stated [that the houses in the city may not rise above the shul]? With regard to the houses themselves. But with regard to structures and towers [built as an extension above the house], there is no concern." This Gemara clearly demonstrates that these structures are not to be viewed as part of the house. It thus follows that attaching a flag to the roof of a shul does not affect the height of the shul itself.

However, this proof can be challenged. One can argue that the reason why one may build a structure atop his house that rises above the height of the shul is (not because it is a separate entity, but) because one is not degrading the shul by doing so,being that the structure is not inhabited or used (see Tosafos Yeshanim, Shabbos ad loc.). In truth, however, a structure is considered as part of the house, and erecting a flag over a shul should thus be advantageous.

R. Shapiro raises another issue which would pose a problem in this case. Recent times have seen an increase in the establishing of "new" Temples, characterized by flags and similar structures meant to give the "synagogue" a more modern look. Building a flag can thus be seen as a slant towards this wrong viewpoint, and it may even entail an issur de'oraysa (see Hasagas HaRaavad, Avodah Zarah 11:1). Doing so is thus out of the question.

As a solution, R. Shapiro suggested that a pole be erected atop the shul to elevate its height. Although the Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 150:3) writes that this is ineffective, the Peri Megadim (ad loc.) states that one may employ this method if no other option is present. Nowadays, as well, no other option is available, as anything more impressive than a simple pole can be viewed as a resemblance to movements not in line with the Torah.

(Shu"t Minchas Elazar 1:57)

Learning Torah Is Greater Yud Zayin Elul, 5774

"Great is the Torah, for it gives life to those who practice it" (Pirkei Avos 6:7) "Those who practice it" refers to individuals who observe the Mitzvos. By saying "great is the Torah," the Mishna emphasizes that learning Torah is greater than doing Mitzvos.

And it explains why: "for it gives life." It is possible that even a person who is meticulous in observing Mitzvos will do so without passion. By learning Torah we come to understand the bond with Hashem that is established through doing Mitzvos, and thus infuses them with energy and vitality.

Sichos Shabbos Parshas Bamidbar, 5729