May 18, 2024
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Mass Participation at Second Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Test

Torah World Celebrates Release of New Dirshu Sefer Chofetz Chaim

“Es shmekt der Geulah—It has the aroma of the geulah!” exclaimed the venerated senior Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, upon seeing and perusing Dirshu’s new edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim with its Biurim and Musafim. The new sample edition of Sefer Chofetz Chaim provides a running explanation of the sefer as well as an extensive and comprehensive Biurim and Musafim commentary. The sefer was released this past Rosh Chodesh Iyar in conjunction with the second machzor of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program wherein it embarked on learning Sefer Chofetz Chaim in its mussar component.

Leading members of Dirshu’s hanhalah were highly impressed with the results of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha’s recent second test in the present machzor. Rabbi Shlomo Rozenstein, Dirshu’s director of Public Affairs, related that, “Usually, with the start of a new machzor there is a tremendous increase in enrollment as the hischadshus of starting the Mishnah Berurah attracts large crowds. Additionally, the halachos of Birchos Hashachar featured on the first test, are halachos with which many are familiar and thus great numbers at the first test were to be expected. However, with the advent of the complex and less familiar halachos of tzitzis, we realized that we might see a tapering off from the astronomical numbers of some 30,000 test takers that we experienced during the first test. We were wrong! The colossal numbers remained steady even in the second test. The fact that the material was more difficult and less familiar did not deter lomdei Dirshu,” Rav Rozenstein said. “This attests to the deep inroads and bond that Dirshu has forged with the communities comprising the entire cross-section of Torah-observant Jewry,” Rabbi Rozenstein concluded.

The Vital Mussar Component

One of the lesser known areas of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is the mussar component. In addition to learning a page of Sefer Mishnah Berurah with the Dirshu Mishnah Berurah’s Biurim U’musafim, lomdei Daf HaYomi B’Halacha also learn a daily quota of mussar from the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim. This past Rosh Chodesh Iyar the program embarked on the Sefer Chofetz Chaim on Hilchos Lashon Hara. The new Dirshu edition of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim is a groundbreaking creation that brings hundreds of citations from the other poskim as well as piskei halacha and words of gedolei haposkim and baalei mussar that shed light on the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim.

It was perusing this new groundbreaking work that caused the Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman to say, “Es shmekt der Geulah.” The Chofetz Chaim himself writes in his introduction that one of the reasons Moshiach 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 with the aids present in this edition of the Chofetz Chaim can help bring the geulah closer.

During the visit to Rav Shteinman led by Dirshu’s Nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, and other senior members of Dirshu’s hanhalah, Rav Shteinman was told that there are citations in the Biurim U’Musafim from things that he himself had said. Rav Shteinman asked if they could cite one example and they pointed to where the Chofetz Chaim writes that a person who speaks lashon hara transgresses the prohibition of chillul Hashem because lashon hara does not afford physical pleasure and thus people should not lust after it. The fact that people do desire to speak and hear lashon hara therefore constitutes a chillul Hashem. Rav Shteinman, in his sefer E’eleh b’Tamar, explains that he heard from the Chazon Ish that based on this explanation of the Chofetz Chaim it is clear that the Chofetz Chaim himself did not derive pleasure from speaking lashon hara even though others do. Rav Shteinman also cited from the Mashgiach of Mir and Ponovezh, the great tzaddik, HaGaon HaRav Chatzkel Levenstein, zt”l, who essentially said that lashon hara is not a taavah, but once a person immerses himself in it and talks lashon hara without inhibition, he develops a taavah for it. A smile lit up Rav Shteiman’s countenance upon hearing those important citations from his own shmuessen.

Now Is the Time to Finally Learn Hilchos Tefillin!

Rabbi Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s North American Director related, “Many lomdei halacha who have learned the first chelek of Mishnah Berurah in the past would skip the complex and difficult halachos of tefillin. Now, with Dirshu inching towards the end of hilchos tzitizis and the beginning of hilchos tefillin, it is the opportune time to finally learn the halachos of tefillin and take advantage of the koach harabbim and the many shiurim currently available.”

One Dirshu participant related, “I used to learn halacha quite often, but I always skipped the halachos of tzitzis and tefillin because they were not so easy to understand. Now that I am in the framework of a Dirshu program, however, I boruch Hashem am on the way to completing hilchos tzitzis and soon I will embark on hilchos tefillin! It is such a zechus to be part of this program! There are so many halachos that I thought I knew before but now I realize how little I really knew. I am thrilled to be able to be mikayem these vital halachos in the most lechatchiladige way!”

To join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha and bring daily halacha into your life, please call, 1-888-5-Dirshu or e-mail, [email protected].

By Chaim Gold

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