July 16, 2024
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July 16, 2024
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The passing of the elder mashgiach of our generation, HaGaon HaTzadik Rav Dov Yaffe, zt”l, mashgiach of Yeshivas Knesses Beis Chizkiyahu, has left a great void in the mussar world. For over 60 years, Rav Yaffe, whose shloshim was recently marked, served as a mashgiach, leaving an indelible positive impact on generations of talmidim though his shmuessen, his sefarim and his personal guidance.

The mashgiach always spoke about the importance of learning mussar. He understood how the yetzer hara always finds ways to discourage a person from learning mussar.

Rav Dov and numerous other roshei yeshiva and mashgichim urged their talmidim to carve out a daily seder in limud hamussar so that not a day will go by without having the elixir of limud hamussar to enable a person to combat the constant enticements of the yetzer hara.

Mussar is one of those things that most people realize that we need, but somehow it gets pushed to the side because usually there is no scheduled time and specific limud for it. Over the past year, thousands of participants in Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program have added Dirshu’s Kinyan Chochma mussar program to their daily learning regimen. This daily, scheduled immersion in mussar has resulted in tremendous benefit in their avodas Hashem.

In Dirshu’s Sefer Chizuk, published in honor of Dirshu’s 10th anniversary, the mashgiach Rav Dov Yaffe wrote about this very matter. He wrote, “A person must remember that the yetzer hara always tries to minimize the importance in a person’s own eyes, of inner avodah, of working on one’s self and improving one’s middos. Often, the yetzer hara magnifies the importance in one’s eyes of things that are not directly related to one’s inner avodah, such as assisting others or reaching out to estranged Jews. These are all important, but the daily inner work of avodas Hashem is the primary task that each person has and that is why the yetzer hara always tries to minimize its importance and convince a person not to engage in learning Torah and mussar….” (Sefer Chizuk Chapter 7)”

Recently, the Dirshu Kinyan Chochma program began learning Maseches Avos with the commentary of Rabbeinu Yonah. In conjunction with the beginning of this foundational mussar work, numerous gedolei Yisrael put out a call for even more people to join the Kinyan Chochma program that will facilitate their sustained growth in avodas Hashem and avodas hamussar.

The Kinyan Chochma program was established almost a year ago at Dirshu’s International Convention that celebrated the 20th anniversary of Dirshu’s founding. The program was established at the behest of the leading gedolim who felt that chizuk was needed in daily mussar learning. As in all of Dirshu’s programs, tests are given on the material and a stipend is awarded for excellent results.

In his warm letter praising the Kinyan Chochma program, the mashgiach of Lakewood, HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Salomon, shlita, writes, “The obligation to learn mussar daily is well known, as Rav Yisrael Salanter explains at length in his sefer Ohr Yisrael, in the name of the poskim. It does not require a haskama. Nevertheless, because of its great benefit, the yetzer hara tries to find all kinds of excuses to deter a person from learning mussar.

“Therefore, how great is the joy that the Dirshu organization has added a mussar program to its existing programs to encourage and make it easier to learn mussar every day…”

The well-known chassidishe mashpia, HaRav Elimelech Biderman, shlita, asked, “Why did Chazal place Masechta Avos, which is all about middos tovos, in the order of Nezikin? The answer,” he said, “is that anyone who doesn’t work on his middos is the greatest mazik!”

Rav Biderman continued with the following fascinating story that transpired with Rav Yechezkel Levenstein, the famed mashgiach of Mir and Ponevezh. “A person who had been married for a long time and had not yet been blessed with children came to Rav Yechezkel for a bracha. Rav Levenstein advised him to accept upon himself to learn mussar every day for just 10 minutes. The person agreed, and within a short time thereafter he was blessed with a child. Rav Yechezkel explained, ‘This was not any sort of miracle. The reason he was blessed was that when a person undertakes a good kabbalah, he becomes akin to a new person. Even if a decree of childlessness was decreed on the old person, that decree will not apply to the ‘new person’!’”

If a person wants to bring pnimiyus into his life, if he wants to become the proverbial “new person,” now is the time to join Dirshu’s Kinyan Chochma Program. “Learning Avos with Rabbeinu Yonah,” explained HaGaon HaRav Shimon Galei, shlita, “brings much light into a person’s life. Dirshu has done a great thing by promoting this limud. Dirshu has always promoted Torah; now they are culminating their work by promoting derech eretz that is kadmah, that comes before Torah!”

To join Kinyan Chochma, please call 888-5-Dirshu or e-mail [email protected].

By Chaim Gold

 

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