July 15, 2024
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International Yom Limud and Tefillah Held on Yahrzeit of Chofetz Chaim

“A Yid came to the venerated rosh yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, begging him to daven for a person plagued with a terrible, terminal illness. He asked Rav Shteinman, ‘What should we do?’ Rav Shteinman answered, “I don’t know. Perhaps tefillah at the kever of the Chofetz Chaim could help?” This was the story used by Rav Chizkiyahu Yosef Mishkovsky, menahel ruchani of Yeshiva Orchos Torah, to describe the potency of tefillah at the kever of the Chofetz Chaim.

This coming 24 Elul/September 27, the yahrtzeit of the Chofetz Chaim, a delegation of prominent rabbonim representing the cross-section of Torah-observant Jewry will journey to Radin to daven on behalf of Klal Yisrael at the kever of the Chofetz Chaim.

Last year, too, a large group of rabbonim and roshei yeshiva journeyed to Radin to daven at the kever. At last year’s yom tefillah, Rav Mishkovsky related, “The Chofetz Chaim bequeathed many great treasures to klal Yisrael, among them were two sparkling diamonds: the Sefer Mishnah Berurah and the Sefer Chofetz Chaim. Until now there were those who made the Mishnah Berurah their primary interest and others who gravitated to the Sefer Chofetz Chaim. Dirshu has brought both together and published special editions of each sefer, thereby immeasurably enhancing the learning of them. They are the ones who can truly come to the kever of the Chofetz Chaim and say, ‘We learn your Mishnah Berurah, we learn your Chofetz Chaim, please grant a shana tova u’mesukah for all lomdei Dirshu and all of klal Yisrael.’”

It is in this spirit that Dirshu has again invited all members of klal Yisrael to be included in the “Sefer HaGiborim.” The Sefer HaGiborim is a sefer containing the names of all current Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learners as well as the names of any person who accepts upon himself to learn daily halacha with Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and mussar. The names will be placed at the kever and remain there as an eternal merit for those inscribed therein.

Anyone who accepts upon himself to start learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha of Mishnah Berurah with the mussar portion of the learning schedule; anyone who accepted and actually started learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, even if he is unable to continue, will still be worthy of entry into the sefer. The kabbalah is to learn the essence—five days a week, it does not have to include the Friday/Shabbos chazara nor does it require taking the tests. Understandably, the kabbalah is to be made bli neder.

The yahrtzeit of the Chofetz Chaim is a day of limud, tefillah and Jewish unity for all of klal Yisrael. Rabbi Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s communications director, related that “in order to tap into the auspicious power of this special day of tefillah and achdus, mosdos hachinuch all over the world—yeshivos, chadarim, Bais Yaakovs, shuls and even businesses—have undertaken to recite special tefillos with heartfelt recitation of Tehillim, joining the multitudes on the Chofetz Chaim’s yahrtzeit who will be storming the heavens with tefillos with a koach harabim.
“An additional purpose of the trip,” said Rabbi Rozenstein, “is to encourage Yidden the world over who have not yet joined Daf HaYomi B’Halacha to join the program together with the multitudes throughout the world. Perhaps there is no greater zechus to invoke rachmei Shamayim than additional Yidden joining those who are already learning the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim in a daily program of halacha and mussar.”

HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Kiryas Melech, encapsulated the feelings at last year’s yom tefillah: “As we approach the kever of the Chofetz Chaim, the one person in the last generations whose sefarim are literally the basic sefarim that have been accepted by all of klal Yisrael, we must beg here, at this heilige place on behalf of all of klal Yisrael. We must beg Hashem that in the zechus of the Chofetz Chaim, Yidden should be able to overcome the terribly difficult nisyonos, spiritual hurdles, that our generation faces. Let us daven that in the zechus of the daily learning of the Mishnah Berurah and Sefer Chofetz Chaim and in the zechus of women and girls learning the laws of lashon hara, Hashem will give our generation the strength to overcome the constantly expanding enticements put forth by the yetzer hara.”

As the yahrtzeit of the Chofetz Chaim and the yom tefillah approaches, it is important for all current Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learners and especially those who are contemplating joining the program to be cognizant of the Gemara (Bava Metzia 85) that tells us that when one of the Amoraim was ill, he approached the kever of his rebbi, wanting to invoke the powerful zechus of his rebbi, whose Torah he constantly learned, and exclaimed, “I learn your Torah!” The Gemara explains that in that merit he was healed.

From afar, lomdei Torah, bnei yeshivos and tinokos shel beis rabban will join the delegation of rabbonim who will be at the Chofetz Chaim’s kever, davening and learning the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim on his yahrtzeit to invoke rachamei Shamayim for all of klal Yisrael.

By Chaim Gold

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