Leading Gedolim Gather at Home of Vizhnitzer Rebbe to Urge Participation in Daf HaYomi B’Halacha.
“I feel that we are in yemos haMashiach! I had tears in my eyes when I saw senior Gedolei Yisrael from all three Moetzos Gedolei HaTorahs sitting at one table coming together to encourage Klal Yisrael to learn a daily daf of halacha.” Those were the words of Rabbi Avigdor Berenstein, a member of Dirshu’s hanhala, who merited being present at the historic event.
The first kinnus of the Nesius of Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program was a demonstration of the beauty of Klal Yisrael and a reminder on the importance of undertaking the daily learning of halacha. This is why senior Gedolei Yisrael, Roshei Yeshiva and Admorim led by the centenarian Rosh Yeshiva, HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita, felt compelled to interrupt their packed schedules and travel to the home of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe in Kiryat Vizhnitz in Bnei Brak to participate in the first Nesius gathering of the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha.
Nesius members who participated were HaGaon HaRav Berel Povarsky, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Ponovezh, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Shimon Badani, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva Torah V’Chaim, the Sanzer Rebbe, shlita, the Boyaner Rebbe, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Dovid Cohen, shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Chevron, the Alexander Rebbe, shlita, the Modzhitzer Rebbe shlita, and HaGaon HaRav Binyomin Finkel, Mashgiach of the Mir Yeshiva of Yerushalayim, who chaired the event.
In addition, Dirshu has merited to have an American Nesius of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha led by Gedolei Rosh Yeshivos and Admorim. The American Nesius is comprised of luminaries of Torah and piety including the Skulener Rebbe, shlita, the Roshei Yeshiva of Lakewood, HaGaon HaRav Aryeh Malkiel Kolter, shlita, and HaGaon HaRav Yeruchim Olshin, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Yosef Harari Raful, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva Ateret Torah, HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Solomon, shlita, Mashgiach Beis Medrash Govoha, Lakewood, the Vizhniter Rebbe of Monsey, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of South Fallsburg, HaGaon HaRav Yechezkel Roth, shlita, the Karlsberger Rov, and HaGaon HaRav Asher Anshel Katz, shlita, the Vienner Rav.
Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha has united the venerated senior Gedolei Yisrael representing the entire cross-section of Torah Jewry, k’ish echad b’lev echad. These gedolim have come together not only to encourage Klal Yisrael to bring daily halacha into their lives, but also to give a sense of urgency on how important it is for every Jew to be familiar with the halachos of daily living and thus realize the primacy of making a daily halacha seder. Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is an ideal way to accomplish that goal.
Without a doubt, one of the primary highlights was the words of chizuk of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, shlita. Rav Shteinman spoke about the importance of daily halacha, saying, “The foundation of a Jew is to conduct himself in accordance with the four orders of Shulchan Aruch. Nevertheless, from the very fact that the Chofetz Chaim wrote the Sefer Mishnah Berurah on the chelek of Orach Chaim (and according to those who maintain that it was his intention to write on all four orders, the fact that he chose to start with Orach Chaim) shows that one must learn halacha daily. Orach Chaim is unique in that it outlines the daily halachos that every Jew must know. This is the chelek that a person must live with every day of his life. Thus he must learn it every day of his life.”
The Chairman of the evening, Rav Binyomin Finkel mentioned that the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha was established upon the advice of HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, zt”l.
The Vizhnitzer Rebbe then addressed the assemblage, explaining the well-known words of Chazal, “Kol hashoneh halachos b’chol yom muvtach sh’ehu ben Olam Haba’ah—He who learns halachos every day is assured a place in the world to come. B’chol yom means everyday but it can also mean, ‘throughout the day’. When a person learns halacha daily his entire day is one long manifestation of learning and fulfilling halacha,” concluded the Rebbe.
Although the Gerer Rebbe, shlita, was unable to attend, he told Dirshu leaders. “It is very important to convince and urge people to learn halacha. It is the desire of Hashem that every Jew should know practical halacha properly so that he can fulfill Torah and mitzvos in accordance with halacha. “A tremendous responsibly rests upon marbitzei Torah and mechanchim to influence their talmidim to institute a non-negotiable seder in practical halacha. It is not sufficient to be a lamdan or someone who knows Torah. Without knowledge of halacha, a person is missing the “orach chaim”, the path of life that must characterize every Jew.
HaGaon HaRav Shimon Badani, shlita, brought proof from pesukim that specifically when the world is in a terrible situation, when Jewish blood is being spilled and so many want to ruin the Jewish Nation, the solution to neutralize the middas hadin and invoke middas harachamim is to learn halacha. The Sanzer Rebbe picked up where Rav Badani left off saying that the holy seforim relate that the learning of halacha has the power to neutralize terrible gezeiros.
The American Nesius of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha
The creation of the American Nesius of Daf HaYomi B’Halacha has similarly inspired American Jewry to recognize the importance of a serious daily halacha seder.
According to Rabbi Ahron Gobioff, Dirshu’s American Director, the enthusiasm shown by all the Gedolei Yisrael representing the Sephardic World, the Yeshiva World and the Chassidic World, is deeply moving. They were full of praise and excitement about the benefits for all of Klal Yisrael that would be gained through mass enrollment in such a program.
In a beautiful display of the importance with which the American Nesius attaches to the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program they signed a historic document outlining the hashkafa behind the program and explaining why it has garnered such an enthusiastic worldwide backing of Gedolei Yisrael. It says, “It is impossible to properly depict the importance of this [Daf HaYomi B’Halacha] undertaking, because the foundation of the life of a Jew is to conduct his life in accordance with Torah…Baruch Hashem our generation has been worthy and we see kehillos comprehensively learning halacha all over the world. Together with the halacha program [Dirshu] also has established daily learning of mussar in the seforim of the Chofetz Chaim….
From here we call on all G-d fearing Jews, to be clever and join the tens of thousands already in the program and to give nachas to Hashem.”