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Heichal Halimmud
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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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Chof Tammuz, 5774

The Battle Within

We are inclined to follow our emotions but often try to follow our intellect. Depending on the balance of strength between the two, the outcome of the "battle" can usually be predicted.

The need for Kvius Itim tends to be in line with the intellect, and it competes with our emotions when they disagree with the intellect, causing a real struggle. If we take the time, however, we can train our emotions to follow the direction of our intellect, and thereby help us feel things in the right way, for the right reasons, at the right times.

What's your balance?

Chof Tammuz, 5774

In 5589, R' Yisochor Ber Horowitz, the Rov of Bichov Chadash (and later the Rov in Lubavitch), raised the question of a Jew who bought a cow from a non-Jew, along with a calf that felt attached to the cow and was nursing from it and that, strangely, had four non-cloven hooves - was it possible to permit such an animal for consumption? He first sent the question to R' Dovid Luria (the Radal), the Rov of Bichov Yoshon. The Radal initially ruled the calf forbidden, considering it an unusual mutation that could have been born from any animal and that was therefore assumed to have been born from one of the majority of the animals in the world, a non-kosher animal. However, in a follow-up letter, the Radal mentioned he was still a bit unsure as to whether the calf could be permitted.

The Tzemach Tzedek was later consulted and permitted the calf. However, due to the severity of eating non-kosher food, the Tzemach Tzedek felt it necessary to combine multiple permitting factors: (a) The extremely close resemblance to a calf makes it more likely to be the child of a cow, than of a non-kosher animal; especially since it was possible that even the calf's non-cloven hooves were not round like horse hooves, but rather shaped like cow hooves. (b) Though the Gemara in Bechoros (24a-b) questions whether nursing and a relationship between two such animals is proof of motherhood (and accordingly Shulchan Oruch (Yor"d 79:2) disregards such proof), nonetheless, in our case the fact that she is tending to it is partial proof of motherhood. (c) It's likely that the non-Jewish seller mentioned in passing that the cow gave birth to this calf, and in our case this can be combined with the other reasons to permit the calf.

(Sources: Tzemach Tzedek Piskei Dinim Yor"d 79; Yagdil Torah (NY) 9:41, 13:8, 13:12)

Hard but worth it Chof Tammuz, 5774

When he does not want to study, and he studies because the will of G-D is that he shall study, then it will be revealed the will of G-D in a revealed way. For it is apparent and felt that he is compelling himself unwillingly, and is engaged with the study of Torah, because that is the will of G-D. This in actuality is the revelation of the supernal will.

Likutei Torah 69, 4

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)