"I live in Pittsburgh, PA, and have a regular day job. Most of my learning is done on the bus or while walking. You have great resources to help keep me learning and participating in things. I have enjoyed the Mishnayos printouts for 9 Kislev and 13 Tishrei."

Michoel Dovid Leopold

"I have been to other communities and I can't express enough how fortunate we are to have an organization like Yagdil Torah where you can walk down the street and see, 'Oh, a shiur on this, another shiur on this,' always learning and you never have to worry."

Menachem Mendel Simon

"Here more than any other place in Crown Heights have I been able to really 'chap' more of the Torah and the Rebbe's Sichos and more of the inspiration that Chassidus has to offer."

Ari Pfeffer

“I heard about Yagdil Torah’s 20 hour open-door policy and decided I had to check it out for myself. I went there at about 12:45 AM and was amazed to find people learning. I sat down and before I knew it, an hour had passed as if it was only 5 minutes… The undisturbed, quiet atmosphere made it a pleasure.

I got hooked.

I guess my newfound pleasure was noticed by my friends and neighbors – they joined too. The secret is out: If anyone wants to learn in a quiet, heimishe place, this is it.”

Shlomo Ezagui

“To have a comfortable place in the Shechunah where everyone can sit and learn is great enough, but to have so many shiurim available on a regular basis, finding chavrusas, encouraging people - especially through your wonderful newsletter -on top of that? Incredible.

But what is most amazing for me is that all the shiurim are available for me to enjoy in Miami Beach! I’m a regular listener to your shiurim on Chassidus, Nigleh, and Halachoh L'Maaseh.

Keep up the amazing work, and have tremendous hatzlochah!”

Shmuel Mendelsohn - Mashpia of Yeshivah Torah Ohr in North Miami Beach

"One of the Yagdil Torah tactics I admire is the exposure of existing Torah learning as a means of inspiring others."

Rabbi Yoseph Paltiel - Mashpia United Lubavitcher Yeshivah, Chovevei Torah

"Yagdil Torah is breathing vital life into our community. The efforts of the organization are not only important, but crucial for our very existence.

So thank you Levi and the Yagdil Torah team, for bringing us life!"

Rabbi Yossi Pels - Co-Director Chayeinu Publications

"The study of Torah each day is critical for every member of our community. It will broaden our horizons, make us happier, healthier, more wholesome people, better humans, husbands and fathers. It will challenge us to grow and live our lives to the fullest. Yagdil Torah-the way to go!"

Rabbi Yoseph Jacobson - Dean TheYeshivah.net

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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.

Two Headed Creatures


Chof Tes Sivan, 5777

Subterraneous Worlds  Installment 3 of 5

In the last installment, we saw what Torah has to say about two-headed animals. Now let's see what Torah says about two-headed people.

The existence of people with two heads can be traced back to the first years of Creation, when Kayin sinned by murdering his brother Hevel.

The Zohar (I 253b-254a) tells us that there are seven lands, one above the next: Eretz, adamah, arka, gei, neshiyah, tziyah, and tevel. The outermost land, tevel, is where we dwell; all the others lie beneath us, with eretz being the lowest of them all. When Kayin sinned, he was sent to the lowermost land of eretz, and when he did teshuvah, he ascended to the land known as arka. While he was there, he gave birth to children with two heads, who grew up and had similar children of their own.

Elsewhere, the Zohar (III 10a) describes the creatures of these subterranean worlds as "some having four faces, some two, and others, one." Another source (Beraysa D'Maaseh Bereishis, cited in Chesed L'Avraham 2:4, 1996 ed.) describes the creatures of the land called tevel:1 "There are 365 types of creatures in tevel....Some of them have two heads, four hands, one body, one stomach, and two feet....When they eat they argue with each other and say, 'You ate more than me! You drank more than me!'"

Although these creatures do not dwell in our world, there were times when they paid us a visit. One such instance is recorded in a Midrash (Beis Hamidrash [Yellinek] vol. 4, p. 151-1522), which relates that Ashemdai once withdrew a person with two heads3 from under the earth-a descendant of Kayin-and presented him to Shlomo Hamelech. The man married and had seven sons, six of whom had one head and one who had two. When the father died, the two-headed son claimed that he be given a double portion, as he was actually two people, while the other sons argued that he was a single person and deserved just one portion. Shlomo Hamelech instructed that one head be covered, and hot water be poured on the other. This was done, and both heads starting shouting from pain. "Since one head felt what happened to the other," Shlomo said, "it must be that you are a single person!"

Another instance is recorded in the Zohar (I 157a). Rebbi Chiya and Rebbi Yossi were once sitting on a mountain, when a person suddenly emerged from a crack in a nearby rock. "Who are you?" they asked. "I am from the land arka," he replied, "and I have ascended to find out the name of the land you dwell in." After a short conversation, the person re-entered the crack and disappeared.

[It should be noted that the famous mekubal R. Avraham Azulai proves from this episode that the inhabitants of these underground lands are not physical creatures, rather they are similar to demons. If they were physical creatures like us, they would not be allowed to ascend to our world, just as we may not descend to theirs (Chesed L'Avraham, ibid.).]

Let us now continue and see if there are any recorded instances in Chazal and other sefarim of two-headed people who lived in our world.

To be continued, bli neder...

_____

  1. According to this source, tevel is also one of the lower worlds, unlike the Zohar cited above-see Chesed L'Avraham loc. cit.
  2. A shortened version of the story is cited in Tosafos to Menachos 37a s.v. O kum and Shitah Mekubetzes ad loc.
  3. According to one version, he possessed seven heads-see Pirush Sefer Yetzirah L'Rebbi Yehudah Bartzeloni (p. 228, new ed.).