May 26, 2024
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Dirshu Edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim Published

There are times when a new sefer is published that one can tell will have a transformational impact on all of klal Yisrael. Undoubtedly, the new Dirshu edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim is one of those revolutionary sefarim that will bring newfound clarity to the learning of hilchos lashon hara in the Sefer Chofetz Chaim.

“The Aroma of Geulah”

It is no wonder that upon perusing the new Sefer Chofetz Chaim, the senior Rosh Yeshiva, the venerated HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, remarked with profound simcha, “Es shmekt der geulah—It has the aroma of the geulah!”

The Chofetz Chaim writes in his introduction that one of the reasons Mashiach has not yet arrived is because we have not yet managed to rectify the colossal sin of lashon hara. Inherent in Rav Shteinman’s words was the fact that the comprehensive learning of these halachos, combined with the aids to help learn and understand the halachos in the present, in this edition of the Chofetz Chaim can help bring the geulah closer.

HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, shlita: “This Sefer Has Special Meaning for Me”

HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, shlita, Gaavad of the Eidah Hachareidis, was another venerated senior gadol who was unable to contain his admiration and joy upon seeing the sefer. A delegation of senior members of Dirshu’s hanhala, led by Dirshu’s nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, visited and brought the sefer to Rav Weiss. After spending a considerable amount of time looking at the sefer and the special Biurim U’Musafim section that sheds light on each halacha, Rav Weiss told Rav Hofstedter that the publishing of such a sefer has special meaning for him as a talmid of Rav Moshe Schneider, zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Toras Emes of London. Rav Schneider was a close talmid of the Chofetz Chaim and would constantly relate to the bachurim teachings that he had heard directly from the Chofetz Chaim. Rav Weiss began to reminisce from over 70 years ago about the impact Rav Schneider had on his talmidim and the stories he would relate from the Chofetz Chaim.

The hanhala of Dirshu and Rav Weiss conversed about one important citation in the Biurim U’Musafim section of the Dirshu Sefer Chofetz Chaim, where a fascinating quote from his rebbe, Rav Moshe Schneider, is cited in the name of HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, Raavad of the Eidah Hachareidis and a fellow talmid of Rav Schneider. He mentions that Rav Schneider once asked the Chofetz Chaim why, in the entire Sefer Chofetz Chaim, there are copious quotations from the Rishonim emphasizing the terrible sin of lashon hara, but the Chofetz Chaim seemingly neglects to bring the Rambam’s powerful words that state, “These people do not have a portion in Olam Haba, but are cut off and lost and judged for their terrible wickedness, and their sin extends forever. They are: minim, apirkorsim…and baalei lashon hara.”

Rav Schenider related that the Chofetz Chaim did not quote the Rambam in his sefer because, he said, “I did not want to scare people too much.” He explained that if people would feel that they would not have Olam Haba they would just give up.

The nonagenarian, Rav Weiss, then took the rare step of accompanying Rav Hofstedter and the hanhala of Dirshu all the way from his home to the car, remarking that the zechus of harbotzas Torah of the organization is tremendous.

HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, Warmly Receives the Sefer

The Dirshu’s hanhala also visited HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, and presented him with the sefer. Rav Chaim took great pleasure in receiving the sefer and spent time going through the Biurim U’Musafim. In fact, his grandson related to the hanhala of Dirshu that Rav Chaim often looks into the Biurim U’Musafim on the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah and finds it very useful. Rav Chaim warmly blessed Rav Hofstedter and the hanhala for producing the sefer.

“Repairing a Breach in Klal Yisrael”

The hanhala of Dirshu also visited the well-known Chasidishe mashpia, HaGaon HaRav Avrohom Elimelech Biderman, shlita, who could not contain his wonderment about the remarkable work on the Sefer Chofetz Chaim. He expressed the hope that the enhanced learning of Sefer Chofetz Chaim would immeasurably help klal Yisrael and be a source of great yeshuos.

Indeed, the venerated Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, expressed a similar sentiment. As he held the new sefer, he said, “When the Chofetz Chaim wrote and published his Sefer Chofetz Chaim, his intention was to try to repair the tremendous breach in this vital area of Yiddishkeit that had become so neglected. Although the Chofetz Chaim created a tremendous awareness with his sefer, to our great distress—to this very day, the sin has still not been rectified as it should. Perhaps, the publishing of this sefer will lead to additional rectification of the aveirah of lashon hara and the terrible spiritual toll that it has on the collective body of klal Yisrael!”

Editor’s Note: The above is sponsored content provided by Dirshu.

By Chaim Gold

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