May 21, 2024
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On Chofetz Chaim’s Yahrzeit, Gedolim Urge Learning The Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Mishnah Berurah Program

The Chofetz Chaim’s yahrzeit is a tremendous eis ratzon, a remarkable time to invoke Divine mercy. In the last generations, there has perhaps been no one person who has had as profound an impact on Klal Yisroel as the Chofetz Chaim. The list of what he gifted Klal Yisroel is endless. Two of his greatest gifts were his sefer Chofetz Chaim, in which he outlines and arouses awareness to the tremendous transgressions of lashon hara and rechilus and the absolutely unparalleled power to invoke rachmei Shamayim that is found when one is careful in matters of speech.

The next colossal gift that the Chofetz Chaim bestowed on Klal Yisroel was the Mishnah Berurah, which became and remains the Halacha handbook required by every Jew to observe Halacha properly in daily life.

It is for that reason that the yahrzeit of the Chofetz Chaim is such an eis ratzon, a time when we can access the endless zechusim of the Chofetz Chaim.

That is why Dirshu, for the past six years, has designated the day of the Chofetz Chaim’s yahrzeit as a yom limud u’tefillah where hundreds of thousands of Jews across the world make a special effort to learn the Chofetz Chaim’s sefarim and daven for Klal Yisroel.

The Yom Limud u’Tefillah on the auspicious occasion of the Chofetz Chaim’s yahrzeit, which is right before Rosh Hashanah, was specifically established by Dirshu for the dual purpose of uniting all of Klal Yisroel in tefillah on behalf of Klal Yisroel and to encourage the continued learning of the Chofetz Chaim’s sefarim that have such power to invoke rachmei Shamayim.

Organizers of the Yom Limud u’Tefillah clearly tapped into the innate feeling of every Jewish neshama in these extraordinary times when Klal Yisroel is facing clearly unprecedented challenges. This concentrated effort in tefillah and achdus was designed to arouse Heavenly mercy in the zechus of the holy Chofetz Chaim, who was so moser nefesh to promote these ideals among Klal Yisroel.

This year was no different. Worldwide, in Eretz Yisroel, North America, South America, Europe, South Africa and Australia, well over a half million people joined, including many hundreds of schools that had special programing to bring the message of the Chofetz Chaim to tinokos shel bais rabban.

Many gedolei Yisroel have joined Dirshu in encouraging Klal Yisroel to connect on a personal level with the Chofetz Chaim’s legacy. They have come out publicly to urge Jews the world over to bring daily learning of Halacha into their lives by joining the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Mishnah Berurah learning program and to be inspired by the program’s daily dose of mussar from the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim.

In his introduction to chelek gimmel of the Mishnah Berurah, the Chofetz Chaim writes that it is impossible not to transgress the prohibitions of Shabbos without learning hilchos Shabbos. This applies to all areas of Halacha. If a person does not learn Halacha, how can he know what to do in his daily life?

The Sar HaTorah, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, said, “It is obvious that chizuk in the learning of daily Halacha with a program such as Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, coupled with the words and ideals of mussar from the Chofetz Chaim, can serve as a shield and a source of salvation during this difficult period.”

Indeed, we are living in an unprecedentedly difficult period. With a worldwide pandemic wreaking havoc on the world and within our own communities, with civil unrest and instability, we Jews realize that now, more than ever, we need the zechus of the Chofetz Chaim to help us.

The rosh yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, HaGaon HaRav Yeruchem Olshin, shlita, pointed this out when he said, “Klal Yisroel is being buffeted by many tzaros. We see that we can’t rely on anybody, not even our ostensible friends. We need the hatzalah of a daf! And the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is a gevaldige koach harabbim that has the power to immeasurably help Klal Yisroel!”

Now, more than ever, as the Yamim Noraim are upon us and everyone is looking for ways to be zoche b’din, imagine what can be accomplished by a kabbalah to learn Mishnah Berurah daily, to live with Hashem by knowing how to conduct one’s life in accordance?!

Hilchos Shabbos is one of the most complex areas of Halacha that every Jew is obligated to know. Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learners spent more than a year and a half learning those halachos. HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Feivel Schutal, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedola Tiferes Yerachmiel, recently wrote, “I have come to strengthen the distinguished Dirshu organization who have established a holy and sublime daily Mishnah Berurah learning program.” He then remembered a seminal hesped that HaGaon HaRav Shneur Kotler, zt”l, said at the levaya of Rav Yaakov Katz, who was married to an adopted daughter of Rav Aharon Kotler. Rav Shneur praised Rav Yaakov as one who possessed a comprehensive knowledge of hilchos Shabbos. At that levaya, Rav Shneur demanded, “A Yid must know hilchos Shabbos. How can one be a Yid without knowledge of hilchos Shabbos?”

“In our time, we have become a bit weak in this important area. Some think that a person can be a Yid and even a ben Torah without proper knowledge of hilchos Shabbos….May the leaders of Dirshu be blessed and in the zechus of shmiras Shabbos, which is the ‘source of all bracha,’ may they be blessed with hatzlacha!”

Indeed, HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Eliezer Stern, shlita, a talmid muvhak of Rav Shmuel Wosner who serves as av beis din of Beis Din Shaarei Horaah and Rav of Western Bnei Brak, said: “Through learning Daf HaYomi B’Halacha day in and day out, a person merits to go on the path of Torah and yirah. In this way, a person is assured a place in olam haba’ah and eternal life!”

HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Zilberstein, rav of the Gerrer community in Bnei Brak, put it succinctly when he said, “In one place, the Gemara mentions that Hashem can be found in the four amos of Halacha. In another place, the Gemara says that the only treasure house that Hashem has is the treasure house of yiras Shamayim. When one learns Halacha, he gains both these critical qualities, because learning Halacha brings with it both knowledge of Halacha and yiras Shamayim.”

Rav Zilberstein concluded with a powerful message that so resonates in our times, “The Chofetz Chaim’s zechus will certainly offer daily protection to a person who learns Halacha every day, especially now during the Yamim Noraim.”

Now, as a zechus for the new year, is the time to tap into this eis ratzon and join Daf HaYomi B’Halacha—which is currently learning the end of Mishnah Berurah Chelek Hei, Hilchos Yom Tov—to bring Hashem’s four amos of Halacha and yiras Shamayim into your own life.

To join, call 1-888-5Dirshu or email, [email protected]

By Chaim Gold

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