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Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

"

 Volume XII - Issue II


 The DRS Weekly Torah Publication
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This week’s issue of


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This week’s issue of
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A Special Connection
By Rabbi Elly Storch, Assistant Principal of Judaic Studies
GourmetGlatt.com • 516.569.2662

Last week, when we were introduced to Noach, the Torah used several
adjectives to describe why Hashem chose him, saying specifically ‫אלה תולדת נח נח‬
‫איש צדיק תמים היה בדרתיו את האלהים התהלך נח‬. In contrast, in this week’s parsha,
Parshas Lech Lecha, when we are introduced to Avraham, the Torah does not use
PARSHAS LECH LECHA
any adjectives at all. Instead, it chooses to merely begin with Hashem’s command, 8 CHESHVAN, 5771
“‫ ”ויאמר ה‘ אל אברם לך לך מארצך וממולדתך ומבית אביך אל הארץ אשר אראך‬Why are the OCTOBER 16, 2010
two tzadikim introduced so differently? All Zmanim are calculated by myzmanim.com for
Woodmere, NY (11598)

Candle Lighting: 5:56 pm


Rav Hutner explains that the answer lies in the inherent difference between Latest ‫קריאת שמע‬: 9:13 am
Hashem’s relationship with Bnei Noach and His relationship with His chosen peo- ‫ שבת‬Ends: 6:54 pm
ple, Am Yisroel. He uses a mishna in Pirkei Avos (5:19) to illustrate his point. The
Mishna says, ‫כל אהבה שהיא תלויה בדבר בטל דבר בטלה אהבה ושאינה תלויה בדבר אינה בטלה‬
‫לעולם‬, “Any love that is dependant upon something, when the thing is gone so is
the love but if the love is not dependant upon anything, the love will never be nulli-
fied.” This is the difference between Hasem’s relationship with Noach and His re-
lationship with Avraham. To sponsor an issue of
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Hashem certainly loved Noach; enough so to save his entire family from email us at
the Mabul. But, because he was not a member of Am Yisrael, it was a love that was DvarimHayotzim@gmail.com
(Continued on page 2)

Divine Intentions
By Yechiel Auman, Associate Editor, 12th Grade

In this week’s Parsha, there is a monumental conflict. The four kingdoms of Shinar, Ellasar, Elam, and
Goyim defeat the five kingdoms of Sodom, Amorrah, Admah, Tzevoyim, and Bela in battle. In the war, Lot, who
was living in Sodom, is taken captive. When Avraham hears about his nephew's fate, he attacks the plundering
forces of the four kingdoms and saves Lot and everyone else conquered in the war. Then, the Torah records the
following conversation:
‫ קֹנֵה ָשׁ ַמיִם‬,‫ ֲהרִמֹתִי יָדִי אֶל ה‘ קל ֶעלְיוֹן‬:‫ ֶמ ֶל ְך סְדֹם‬-‫ אֶל‬,‫ וַיֹּאמֶר אַ ְברָם‬.‫ ָל ְך‬-‫ וְ ָה ְרכֻשׁ קַח‬,‫לִי ַהנֶּפֶשׁ‬-‫ תֶּן‬:‫אַ ְברָם‬-‫ אֶל‬,‫סְדֹם‬-‫וַיֹּאמֶר ֶמ ֶל ְך‬
.‫אַ ְברָם‬-‫ֱשׁ ְרתִּי אֶת‬
ַ ‫ ֲאנִי ֶהע‬,‫ ָל ְך; וְלֹא תֹאמַר‬-‫ֲשׁר‬ֶ ‫א‬-‫ ֶאקַּח ִמכָּל‬-‫ וְאִם‬,‫נַעַל‬-‫מִחוּט וְעַד ְשׂרוֹ ְך‬-‫ אִם‬.‫וָאָרֶץ‬
‫כג‬-‫כא‬:‫בראשית יד‬
(Continued on page 5)
2 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Torah Teasers
By Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum
‫פרשת לך לך‬
Questions
1. What are the 9 sets of ‫ פרשיות‬of the Torah that share the same
Seeing Isn’t Believing
‫שרש‬, root, in their name?
2. Where else in ‫ ספר בראשית‬is ‫ לֹט‬mentioned (without a ‫ )ואו‬and it By David Beer, 11th Grade
does not refer to the person by that name?
3. Where is ‫ אברם‬called an “‫ ”? ִע ְברִי‬b) Who is the only other
person in the Torah called an “‫”? ִע ְברִי‬
4. Where are bread and wine mentioned in the same ‫ ?פסוק‬b)
Where is the first time in the Torah where bread is men- “Her mistress was lowered in her esteem”
tioned?
5. Who is told by Hashem not to be afraid? b)Where else in ‫ספר‬ In this week’s Parsha, Hagar causes Sarah to
‫ בראשית‬is someone told by Hashem not be afraid? (2 places) be “lowered in esteem”. How did Hagar do this?
6. Aside from ‫ אברם‬and ‫ שרי‬who else in ‫ ספר בראשית‬is given a new What happened? Hagar’s lack of emunah in
name? (3 people) b) Who else in the Torah is given a new Hashem’s plans coupled with her insensitivity,
name? caused her to belittle Sarah, her own master, because
Hagar had successfully had a child as opposed to
Answers Sarah. Despite being with Avraham for such a long
1. The following nine sets of ‫ פרשיות‬share the same ‫שרש‬: a) ‫לך לך‬ time, Sarah was still unable to conceive. From Ha-
and ‫ וילך‬b) ‫ וארא‬,‫ וירא‬and ‫ ראה‬c) ‫ חיי שרה‬and ‫ ויחי‬d) ‫וישלח‬ gar’s perspective, she was more righteous than Sarah,
‫שלח‬and ‫ בשלח‬e) ‫ כי תצא‬and ‫ ויצא‬f) ‫ בא‬and ‫ כי תבא‬g) ‫ תשא כי‬and since she was able to bear a child. Hagar’s first reac-
‫ נשא‬h) ‫ שופטים‬and ‫ משפטים‬i) ‫ בחקתי‬and ‫חקת‬
tion was to claim superiority. She never thought for a
2. In ‫פרשת וישב‬, when Yosef is sold to a caravan of Arabs, the
second that there was a reason for Sarah’s barren-
Arabs were carrying ‫נְכֹאת וּ ְצרִי וָלֹט‬, spices, balsam and lotus.
ness.
3. a) When the "‫“ ” ָפּלִיט‬the refugee” informs ‫ אברם‬of the capture
of ‫ לוט‬he’s referred to as ‫אַ ְברָם ָה ִע ְברִי‬. It is the only place where
he is called this way. b) The only other person who is called A similar episode occurred by Chana, the
an ‫ ִע ְברִי‬is ‫יוסף‬. He is called an ‫ ִע ְברִי‬by the wife of ‫ פוטיפר‬after mother of Shmuel. Eli the Kohen Gadol observed
he refuses to lie with her, and by the ‫ שר המשקים‬when he Chana’s strange manner of tefilah and immediately
informs ‫ פרעה‬of the ability of ‫ יוסף‬to interpret dreams suspected her of being drunk. He then criticized her
4. ‫ ַמ ְלכִּי־ ֶצדֶק‬brought out to ‫ אברם‬some bread and wine b) In ‫פרשת‬ for her behavior. Chana responded that she was pray-
‫בראשית‬, Hashem curses “‫ " ְבּזֵעַת אַפֶּי ָך תֹּאכַל ֶלחֶם אדם‬- “With the ing for a son. Immediately, Eli blessed her and
sweat of your brow you will eat bread” wished her well.
5. ‫ אברם‬is told not to be afraid right after he defeats the five kings HaRav Asher Kalman Baron, the Rosh Ye-
and saves ‫ לוט‬b) ‫ יצחק‬is told not to be afraid after the incidents shiva in Ponevezh before World War II asks a deep
with the wells. ‫ יעקב‬is also told not to be afraid before he went question. Imagine if we witnessed this episode be-
down to ‫ מצרים‬to see ‫יוסף‬ tween Eli and Chana. Eli thought Chana was drunk
6. In ‫ פרשת וישלח‬the name of ‫ יעקב‬is changed to ‫ישראל‬both by the when in reality Chana had the purest tefilah, which
‫ מלאך‬he fought and by Hashem In ‫ פרשת מקץ‬the name of ‫יוסף‬ penetrated the Heavens and caused a favorable re-
was changed by ‫ פרעה‬to be ‫ ָצ ְפנַת ַפּ ְענֵ ַח‬. ‫ בנימין‬the son of ‫ יעקב‬and sponse. Despite having all the Ruach HaKodesh, he
‫ רחל‬had his named changed as well. Upon his birth in ‫פרשת‬ still was wrong with his criticism. Chana should have
‫ וישלח‬his mother named him ‫ יעקב‬.‫ בֶּן־אוֹנִי‬then called him ‫בנימן‬ renounced Eli as Kohen Gadol! What kind of Kohen
In ‫ פרשת שלח‬, ‫ משה‬changed the name of ‫ הושע בן נון‬to ‫יהושע‬. (Continued on page 4)

(Rabbi Storch- Continued from page 1)


contingent on something. It was only because Noah was a tzadik and because he was an honest, upright person, he earned
Hashem’s love. In contrast, Avraham, who was a member of the Chosen nation, did not need to do anything in order to earn
Hashem’s love. This was a love that was not contingent on anything; this was a love that surpassed adjectives and explana-
tions, a love that would have existed whether or not Avraham was a tzadik.
Regardless of how Klal Yisroel acts, we know that Hashem will always love us. How lucky we are!
Have a great Shabbos!
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 3

We sometimes come across a Rashi that appears so remained Avram, then it would have been necessary to change
simple that we wonder what Rashi is trying to say. We find Ya’akov to Yisrael in order to have the right amount of letters.
such an example in parshas Lech L’cha, where Hashem prom- With this as background, let’s review our posuk and
ises to make Avraham’s name great. Rashi offers two expla- our Rashi. Our posuk states:
nations as to what this means. First, Rashi tells us that “And I will make you a great nation; I will bless you,
Hashem will add a letter to Avram so that it becomes Avra- and I will make your name great, and you will be a bless-
ham. Alternatively, Rashi suggests that this refers to the G-d ing” (Bereishis 12:2)
of Ya’akov. At first glance, Rashi’s first explanation sounds
like a children’s riddle, while the second explanation appears Rashi’s comments are:
to have nothing to do with the comment in the posuk. With And this is the meaning of “and I will make your name
some background information, however, we will soon appre- great” – I will add a letter on to your name (literally ‘make
ciate how amazing this Rashi really is. your name bigger’ - from Avram to Avraham) for up to now
Masechet Brachos (13a) tells us that anyone who calls your name has been Avram, but from now on it is Avraham.
Avraham by the name Avram transgresses a positive com- An alternative explanation for “and I will make your
mandment. Concerning Ya’akov, however, even though name great” - this is a reference to that which they say in the
Hashem changed his name to Yisroel, it is still permissible to Shemoneh Esrei, “G-d of Ya’akov.”
call him Ya’akov. Why is this so?
Rebbe Shimshon of Ostropoli, zt’l, an early Chasidic In other words, we refer to Ya’akov by that name, not
rebbe, offers the following novel explanation. The names by the name Yisroel, only since Avram became Avraham.
Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov all together contain 13 let- However, if Avram had remained by that name, it would be
ters. Thirteen is the gematria of the word Echad - one, which necessary to call Yisroel by that name, and not Ya’akov.
indicates that all three Avos declared the Oneness of Hashem There is a reason Rashi is considered the father of all
in the world. Similarly, the names Sarah, Rivka, Rochel, and commentators. On one level, Rashi is the first peirush taught
Leah also contain thirteen letters. Together, 13 + 13 = 26, to young Jewish children when they begin to learn chumash.
which is equivalent to the gematria of the Shem HaMeforesh, On another level, Rashi’s commentary is considered indispen-
Y-K-V-K. sable by Talmidei Chachamin. So the next time you come
Now, if we were required to call Ya’akov by his new across a Rashi that seems simple, remember one thing - Rashi
name Yisroel, it would add one letter to the whole calculation may certainly be profound, thoughtful, or insightful … but he
and all the names would no longer equal Echad or Y-K-V-K. is definitely not simple!
Therefore, Ya’akov’s name had to stay as it originally was.
All this is true only because a letter was added to the name Have a wonderful Shabbos.
Avram which became Avraham. However, if the name had

(Stories of Greatness — Continued from page 12)


become of his wife and children? The wind and rain were pounding on the roof and the walls. He put his head
in his hands and wept.
Suddenly the front door rattled and thundered; someone was pounding and shouting outside. "Help!
Help! Let me in!" Little Shmuel ran to the door and opened it as Fievel looked on from his room. It was the
poritz, drenched to the bone, shivering and blue with cold. It seems that he had been on his way home and the
storm caught him unexpectedly. He had been wandering in the cold, lost in the forest for hours, and was on the
verge of death. He fell to the floor from exhaustion.
Shmuel helped him to the fireside, brought him a change of clothes (his Shabbat garments, the only
change of clothes he had), some warm blankets and hot soup, and in no time the poritz was sitting bundled up
(Continued on page 4)
4 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
Avos: (David Beer— Continued from page 2)

Keeping Gadol is he if his Ruach HaKodesh couldn’t give him a


clear picture and understanding of Chana’s prayer? Yet
The Torah Chana overlooked his huge error in judgment and ac-
To The cepted his blessing with so much faith!

Fullest Rav Baron derives a very important concept


from here. Even though we may question a Torah
By Eli Lonner, leader’s judgment, it doesn’t give us any license to re-
11th Grade nounce him. He doesn’t lose his credibility because of a
single lapse in judgment. Unfortunately, this is not the
At the end of Parshas Lech L’cha the Torah tells case with most people. As soon as a gadol does some-
us that Avraham circumcised himself at the age of thing out of character, people immediately pounce on
ninety-nine. We all know that the Avos kept all the him and criticize.
mitzvos before the Torah was given. If so, why did This disgusting behavior was expected of Ha-
Avraham wait for Hashem's command to give himself a gar. She wasn’t a Bas Yisrael. As soon as she saw that
Bris Milah? He should have given himself a Bris Milah she had conceived when her master had not yet been
much earlier, when he took upon himself the other mitz- blessed, she immediately felt that Sarah no longer had
vos. credibility.
HaRav Noson Wachtfogel notes that people of-
ten prejudge a person’s character and religiosity by his
The Brisker Rav offers the following explana-
external appearance and behavior. Rarely do we delve
tion. Only when Hashem tells one to do a mitzvah is it into the individual’s true character. What we see is what
possible for a halachic status to take hold. In order to we believe. We have to see beyond what “appears”, to
fulfill the mitzvah of Bris Milah, it is necessary to re- observe what actually is true, before determining the
move the halachic status of being an ‫ערל‬, a man who is nature of a person.
uncircumcised. Therefore, prior to Hashem’s command Have a Great Shabbos!
to Avraham to perform the Bris, Avraham could not
have the halachic status of an ‫ערל‬. Thus, Avraham
waited until the age of ninety nine for Hashem’s com- (Stories Of Greatness — Continued from page 3)
mand, which halachically made him a ‫ ערל‬and gave him near the stove and showering old Shmuel with
the ability to fulfill the mitzvah to its fullest. praises and promises. "You saved my life! I owe you
my life!" He exclaimed. "Tell me how to repay you"
We also find a halacha which states that it is for- "Listen," Shmuel answered. "If you truly
bidden for a man to marry sisters. If Yaakov Avinu kept wish to reward me then you can do me a big favor."
the Torah, how was he able to marry Rachel and Leah "Anything! I swear! I owe you my very life! Just
who were sisters? The answer is that this prohibition ask!" exclaimed the poritz. "Well" Shmuel gave a
only set in after the halachic status of “ishus shel yis- glance at Fievel peeking from behind his door, "A
roel” (halachic marriage) was established at Har Sinai. few days ago you told my good friend Fievel that he
However in the time of Yaakov there was only the con- has to vacate his inn. I want you to let him stay." "So
cept of “ishus shel b’nei noach”, which allowed mar- it shall be!" shouted the poritz. "It just so happens
riage to two sisters. Even though Yaakov kept the Torah that Fievel is here in the other room” continued Lit-
it was still one hundred percent permissible to marry tle Shmuel. "Will you put it in writing?" Fievel came
sisters. out of his room and the poritz immediately shook his
hand warmly, asked for pen and paper and wrote out
We see from the Brisker Rav’s explanation that a contract giving him and his offspring sole rights on
the Avos did in fact keep the Torah to it’s fullest. When the inn for all generations, and for good measure he
they did not do certain mitzvos it was only because cer- gave him the next three years' rent free.
tain mitzvos had to be initiated by Hashem so that they "One thing is bothering me," said Fievel, af-
would be considered mitzvos. ter he thanked the Poritz and tucked the cherished
Have an awesome Shabbos! (Continued on page 5)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 5
(Yechiel Auman- Continued from page 1) Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that the difference
The King of Sodom said to Avraham: “Give me wasn't in the gifts, it was in the intentions of the bene-
the people and take the possessions for yourself.” Avra- factors. Pharaoh and Avimelech were giving Avraham
ham said to the King of Sodom: “I lift up my hand to gifts to proclaim the miracles that Hashem performed on
Hashem, God, the Most High, Maker of heaven and his behalf when Sarah was kidnapped. Thus, as disso-
earth; if so much as a thread to a shoestrap; or if I shall lute as they were, Avimelech and Pharaoh were giving
take from anything of yours! You shall not say, ‘It is I Avraham gifts with the intention of spreading the honor
who made Avraham rich’ ” (Genesis 14: 21-23) of Hashem. Nobody would claim that the wealth was
caused by them. Meanwhile, the King of Sodom wasn't
Avraham declares to the gratuitous King of acknowledging Hashem, he was merely repaying Avra-
Sodom that he won't partake in sharing the spoils of the ham for saving Sodom. He was just celebrating Avra-
war he won. Avraham explains that if he accepts even a ham's military strengths. Avraham knew that Hashem
thread or a shoelace, some may falsely credit Avraham's promised him great wealth, and that it was only being
wealth to the King of Sodom, not Hashem. provided through the King of Sodom. However, he re-
fused to accept the gifts, lest others mistake his source
However, we know that after Sarah was seized of wealth.
in Egypt and Gerar, Avraham was sent away with huge
amounts of livestock and money, Pharaoh gave Avra- We can learn a great lesson from Avraham.
ham sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, slaves, silver, and Many times we tell ourselves that we don't have to stop
gold (12:16, 13:2) and Avimelech gave Avraham flocks, others from viewing us in a negative light. We rational-
cattle, servants, and a thousand pieces of silver (20:14- ize that they have a mitzvah to be 'dan l'kaf z’chus', or to
16) Why then, asks Rav Moshe Feinstein, does Avra- judge us favorably. However, we learn from Avraham
ham draw a distinction between the gifts of the Pharaoh that as Jews, we must always conduct ourselves in a
and the gifts of the king of Sodom? Why does he readily way that will remove all doubt that we are doing some-
accept the gifts that Pharaoh and Avimelech offer him thing wrong.
while refusing even the smallest gifts from the King of
Sodom? Good Shabbos.

(Stories of Greatness- Continued from page 4)


contract securely in his pocket. "Why did you evict me in the first place? After all, I always paid rent and never
gave you any trouble. What made you do it?" "You're right," answered the poritz. "You were the perfect tenant and I
would never have even thought of throwing you out. But someone came to me and demanded that I rent the inn to
his son-in-law. He promised to pay more rent and even threatened that if I refused he would use his influence with
my business partners to make trouble for me. It was none other than 'Big Shmuel'! I don't know what got into him
and made him so hard-hearted. I even asked him how he could do it to his own fellow Jew and he said he didn't mix
business with friendship. But I'll take care of him. I'll tell him to go find another establishment for his son-in-law!
Just one thing that I would like to ask though," he continued. "How did you happen to be here exactly on this
night?"

DH is on

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6 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ
Why learn Gemarah?
By Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
Preamble. As a high school ‫ גמרא‬teacher for the Sometimes when one asks “why” they have already
past nine years, one of my greatest challenges has been accepted the conclusion but seek a logical reason for it. For
expressing to my students why we place such a premium instance, one may ask why the rainbow appears after the
on the ability to learn ‫גמרא‬. Just a few years ago I came rain, knowing full well that regardless of the answer given,
across an essay written by the revered Rosh HaYeshiva, the rainbow will continue to appear after rain. Similarly,
Harav Ahron Lichtenstien shlit”a, which addressed this one may ask “Why learn ‫ ”?גמרא‬with the realization that
very topic. In reading and studying the essay I was com- Jews have decided to follow this educational formula for
pletely taken by the combination of Rav Lichtenstein’s over a thousand years, and will continue to do so regard-
ability to understand the plight of the modern student, his less of our ability to satisfactorily address the question.
ability to classify and organize thoughts, and his total mas-
tery of the English language in expressing that which is On other occasions, though, one asks “why” with
often felt but rarely articulated. During my second reading the intent to challenge any previously accepted conclu-
of the essay I found myself jotting down notes of addi- sions. For instance a mother may ask her teenage child
tional ideas and sources which, when studied properly, “Why is your room such a mess?” suggesting that if there
would enhance my understanding of this topic. The result is no reasonable explanation for it, the reality must change.
of these notes is the essay I present here. Many of the Similarly, some students ask “why learn ”‫ גמרא‬with the
ideas, examples, and overall organization were taken di- intention of changing the status quo. The current curricu-
rectly from Rav Lichtenstein. I am fully aware that one lum, if indefensible, should not remain.
who attempts to add to the words of the Rosh Yeshiva is
Formulating the question. In this essay while we will at-
likely in the category of ‫ כל המוסיף גורע‬and for that reason I
urge the reader to read Rav Lichtenstein’s essay, and I tempt to provide approaches that satisfy those who ask
hope that some value is found in the additional ideas ex- “why learn ‫ ”?גמרא‬from both perspectives, it should be
plored and sources cited in this essay. clear that regardless of how satisfied a given individual
may be with the answers provided, wholesale educational
Introduction. Although, the study of ‫ תורה‬is a changes should never be made without the guidance of rab-
multidisciplinary endeavor, including study of bible, phi- binic and educational leaders.
losophy, ethics, law, and analytical reasoning, the tradi-
tional ‫ ישיבה‬schedule focuses the large bulk of the learning Establishing the Importance of ‫ תלמוד תורה‬in general.
day on the study of ‫גמרא‬. Many students have grown Before we can address the question of why we learn so
frustrated with the disproportionate amount of time spent much ‫גמרא‬, it is first important to review why the study of
in Talmud study, and have suggested that ‫ ישיבות‬focus ‫ תורה‬in general is so central to Jewish life and practice.
more on those disciplines that are more readily appreciated Once we have explained the necessity of ‫ תורה‬study, we
by the masses, such as ‫ נ"ך‬and Jewish philosophy. In this will be better equipped to explain the specific focus on the
essay, we will attempt to address the simple question: Why study of ‫גמרא‬.
must we dedicate so much of our time and energy on spe-
cifically the study of ‫ ?גמרא‬Before attempting to answer Although ‫ חז"ל‬have made countless statements in
this question it is important to point out that the question an aggadic context to underscore the relative value of ‫תלמוד‬
“why learn ‫ ”?גמרא‬may mean different things to different ‫תורה‬, we will focus more narrowly on halachic sources that
people. Rav Ahron Lichtenstien ‫ שליט"א‬points out that stress the importance of ‫תלמוד תורה‬.
there are two ways to understand the question of “why”: (Continued on page 7)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 7

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ Continued

The ‫ שולחן ערוך‬is normally a book that is reserved mouths – ‫לא ימוש את ספר התורה הזה מפיך והגית בו יומם ולילה‬.
for practical halachic rulings. Indeed, unlike the ‫רמב"ם‬, the This verse is understood, not only as a reminder for ‫יהושע‬,
‫ שולחן ערוך‬does not address those ‫ הלכות‬that will only but as a requirement binding on Jews of all generations. In
become relevant again in the times of ‫משיח‬. Similarly, as a other words, the requirement to learn ‫ תורה‬is binding in
halachic work, the ‫ שולחן ערוך‬does not address the reasons every free moment that a person has.
for or attitude toward ‫מצוות‬, but very narrowly focuses on
the rules of Judaism. It is therefore most curious that the The ‫ גמרא מגילה דף כז‬states that one may even
‫ שולחן ערוך‬in ‫ הלכות תלמוד תורה‬cites two seemingly aggadic destroy a shul, if the space is needed to build a ‫בית המדרש‬.
statements relating to the importance of torah study. First This ruling is codified in ‫שולחן ערוך‬. Again, the
in ‫ יורה דעה סימן רמ"ו סעיף יח‬he writes that the value of requirement of Torah study is apparently so critical, that
Torah study equals that of all other ‫ מצוות‬combined. Then, the ‫ הלכה‬grants precedence to a place that will house
in the very next line, he writes that when a person arrives learning over a place to accommodate prayer.
in the heavenly court, the first order of business will be to
pass judgment on his commitment to Torah study. Appar- The primacy of Torah study and a location to ac-
ently, the notion that Torah study is more important than commodate the study of Torah do not only appear in the
all other ‫ מצוות‬is critical to ensure the proper performance theoretical realm of ‫הלכה‬, but are expressed in an actual
of this ‫מצוה‬. The ‫’שולחן ערוך‬s stress on this ‫ מצוה‬may case recorded in the (:‫ גמרא )גיטין דף נו‬where a decision had
indicate that one will only dedicate himself to the extent to be made. The ‫ גמרא‬tells us that after ‫רבן יוחנן בן זכאי‬
necessary to fulfill the ‫ מצוה‬of Torah study fully if he has referred to General Vespian as emperor only a few minutes
an appreciation of the relative value of Torah study. prior to him being named emperor, Vespian offered to
grant a single request that ‫ רבן יוחנן בן זכאי‬would make on
Another halachic anomaly that seems to point to behalf of the Jewish people. Of all of the things he could
the elevated stature of Torah study relates to the require- have asked for at that point in history, ‫ רבן יוחנן בן זכאי‬chose
ment of a father to teach his children Torah. A father is to formulate the immortal request: ‫תן לי יבנה וחכמיה‬. When
required to educate and train his child in all ‫מצוות‬, but the faced with the decision of the single most important re-
requirement is only rabbinic in nature. The obligation of a quest the Jewish people had to make, he chose the opportu-
father to teach his child Torah, on the other hand, is a bibli- nity to continue the study of ‫תורה‬, on its highest level.
cal one. The simple and clear difference in the level of ob-
ligation to train the child is another indication of the rela- Explaining why it is important. Once we have firmly estab-
tive value and status of ‫תלמוד תורה‬. lished the importance of ‫ תלמוד תורה‬from a halachic
perspective, it is instructive to understand why it is so im-
Some ‫ מצוות‬are incumbent upon us to do in a given portant to learn ‫תורה‬.
situation, some at a given time, and others are constant ob-
ligations. For example, one is obligated to send the mother In his introduction to his commentary on the ‫תורה‬,
bird away when he happens upon a nest, one is obligated to ‫ רמב"ן‬writes that we have a tradition that all of the ‫ תורה‬is
celebrate the holidays on a given calendar day, and one is composed of the names of God. The letters of the ‫ תורה‬may
obligated to love and fear God at all times. The common be rearranged to form different names of God. A name is
denominator between all commandments that are constant something that represents the essence of the bearer of that
is that they are all ‫ מצוות‬of feeling and attitude - none of name. Thus, in the view of the ‫רמב"ן‬, the ‫ תורה‬is a
them require action. The requirement to learn ‫ תורה‬though, description of God’s essence. If the goal of our lives is to
while it involves active participation, is not limited to any come closer to God, it stands to reason that the best way to
given time or circumstance. Indeed, the ('‫ נביא )יהושה פרק א‬achieve this goal is through careful study of God’s autobi-
tells us that we may never remove words of ‫ תורה‬from our (Continued on page 8)
8 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ Continued

ography (the Torah). Perhaps this is what the ‫ גמרא‬means relates to the requirement to be an observant Jew. Without
when it states that as long as one continues to study ‫ תורה‬he knowledge of ‫הלכה‬, one is simply not equipped to observe
will always discover something new ( ‫ – דברי‬.‫עירובין דף נד‬ ‫תורה‬. This idea is expressed very clearly in the ‫משנה )אבות‬
‫)תורה כל זמן שאדם הוגה בהן מוצא בה טעם‬. Just as God is ('‫ פרק ב‬which states that an ignoramus cannot fear sin and
infinite, so is the ‫ תורה‬that describes Him. When God gave an uneducated person cannot be pious.
us the ‫תורה‬, He gave us a piece of himself. This is
expressed by the .‫ גמרא שבת דף קה‬that states that when God There is a deeper understanding to the value of
utters the term "‫ ”אנכי‬He means to say ‫אנא נפשי כתיבת יהבית‬ studying ‫הלכה‬, which would apply even to ‫ הלכות‬that are
” - “I have given Myself in writing in the Torah”. When not relevant to the person learning them. The ‫בעל התניא‬
one internalizes his learning, he has made God a part of explains how halacha, even if it never comes up, gives us a
himself. This is the ultimate level of closeness to God. glimpse into the logic of God. In order to gain knowledge
of God, it helps to know what God would think in a given
The (‫ זוהר )פרשת תרומה‬states that God looked at the situation. By creating countless theoretical situations (e.g.
Torah before creating the world. The implication of this ox goring a cow…) that may never arise, the ‫ תורה‬gives us
comment is that the Torah is the basis for the entire world. a glimpse of God’s sense of justice. When one knows what
Indeed, the gemara tells us that without the Torah the God thinks is correct in many cases he has gained insight
world could not exist ‫ אלמלא תורה לא‬- :‫גמרא פסחים דף סח‬ into the workings of God’s mind, and by extension, has
‫נתקיימו שמים וארץ‬. The continued presence of God keeps the come closer to God. Rav Herschel Schachter explains that
world going and this presence is expressed in Torah. this is why the text of ‫ ברכת התורה‬includes a phrase relating
to knowledge of God "...‫”כולנו יודעי שמך ולומדי תורתך לשמה‬
The importance of the two components of ‫גמרא‬: Now that The most effective way to arrive at an understanding of the
we have established the importance of ‫ תורה‬study in Almighty is by learning His ‫תורה‬. Based on this
general, we will turn our attention to the unique emphasis consideration it is not only important to study those areas
placed on the study of ‫גמרא‬. The ‫ גמרא‬is made up of two of ‫ הלכה‬that are relevant, but even to study those areas of
basic components, ‫הלכה‬, and ‫אגדה‬. The large majority of ‫ הלכה‬that have no practical relevance.
Talmudic discourse involves ‫ הלכה‬while a significant
minority of the discussion revolves around ‫אגדה‬. For instance, the (.‫ גמרא )סנהדרין דף עא‬tells us that
there were opinions who maintained that the cases of
The Importance of Halacha. Although, for the most part, ‫ בן סורר ומורה‬,‫עיר הנדחת‬, and ‫ בית המנוגע‬never occurred. Even
the ‫ תורה‬does not begin to have any halachic discussion so, we must learn them to receive reward for the learning.
until the middle of ‫ ספר שמות‬the very first ‫ רש"י‬on the ‫תורה‬ Rav Schachter, citing the ‫בעל התניא‬, points out that there
notes that it would have been more appropriate for the ‫תורה‬ are plenty of areas of ‫ תורה‬with which we would be able to
to start with the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫קידוש החודש‬, as it is the first ‫מצוה‬ occupy our time even if we didn’t have these three subjects
given to the Jews as a nation. It is only because of external to study. Why then was it so important for God to give us
factors and concerns (i.e. the claim of foreign nations to these areas of study to earn reward? Rav Schachter points
‫ )ארץ ישראל‬that the ‫ תורה‬starts with the account of creation. out that these subjects serve as an example of the value of
The clear implication of ‫ רש"י‬is that the most important the rest of ‫תורה‬. Just as there is great value in studying
element of ‫ תורה‬is ‫הלכה‬. Learning to fulfill ‫ מצוות‬takes practically irrelevant ‫ הלכות‬in that they bring us closer to
precedence over learning about the foundations of Jewish God, this same goal can be achieved when studying the
belief and history. The reason for the primacy of ‫ הלכה‬can practically relevant sections of the ‫תורה‬.
be understood in two ways:
The importance of ‫אגדה‬. While the halachic component of
On the simplest level, the requirement to learn ‫הלכה‬ (Continued on page 9)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 9

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ Continued

‫ גמרא‬makes up the majority of ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬there is also a explains that in order to learn ‫ גמרא‬properly one has to “kill
significant amount of space dedicated to ‫אגדה‬. The himself to get the ‫ הלכות‬right and resolve questions”.
importance of ‫ אגדה‬is best understood in a supporting role
to ‫הלכה‬. The following sources, cited by Rav Ahron If the ancient student of Talmud had difficulties
Lichtenstien, will indicate that ‫אגדה‬is not meant to serve as with the concepts and analysis, the contemporary student
a person’s primary area of study, but serves to balance and faces stronger difficulties with the mastery of a new and
compliment a rigorous halachic curriculum: strange language, all without the benefit of punctuation.
One Jewish educator described what the contemporary stu-
The (‫ ספרי )עקב יב‬states that one should not say that dent sees when he first opens a ‫ גמרא‬as “little bugs
he has learned ‫ הלכה‬and therefore does not need to study crawling around on the page”. No structure is evident and
‫אגדה‬. Instead, one has to supplement his learning of ‫הלכה‬ no flow is recognizable. It is for these reasons that the ‫רא"ה‬
with some study of ‫אגדה‬. The Medrash compares ‫ אגדה‬to observed that the gates of the Talmud have been closed to
the spread that one places on the bread of ‫הלכה‬. While the most who have attempted to enter.
primary sustenance is derived from the bread (‫)הלכה‬, it will
be most tasty when enhanced by a delicious spread (‫)אגדה‬. Four answers of Rav Lichtenstien: In order to address these
questions, Rav Ahron Lichtenstien formulated four distinct
The Medrash explains that the ‫ אגדה‬serves to explanations of the emphasis that ‫ ישיבות‬traditionally place
inspire greater adherence to the ‫הלכה‬. One who is interested on ‫תלמוד בבלי‬:
in connecting with God and developing a greater under-
standing of Him should have a healthy dose of ‫אגדה‬ The most obvious reason for the study of Talmud is
together with his ‫הלכה‬. that one cannot compare the knowledge one gains on a par-
ticular topic when he studies it in depth from the original
Why specifically Gemara? While we have established the sources to knowledge picked up by reading a digest of sim-
importance of studying the elements that comprise the ple conclusions. A small change in the case may cause a
‫תלמוד בבלי‬, one may still ask why must we specifically major shift in the halachic response to the case, but would
learn the ‫תלמוד בבלי‬. Couldn’t a person fill his daily dose of go unnoticed by the person who is not familiar with the
‫ הלכה‬through the study of ‫ משנה ברורה‬and satisfy his desire underlying considerations and factors that lead to the origi-
for the flavor of ‫ אגדה‬with some study of ‫ ?עין יעקב‬Why is it nal halachic conclusion. Just as a reading of the Cliff’s
also necessary to study ‫ הלכה‬and ‫ אגדה‬specifically in the Notes does not make a person an expert in Shakespeare,
context of ‫?תלמוד בבלי‬ study of ‫ הלכה‬without the benefit of the primary text of
‫ תורה שבעל פה‬will leave the student with only a superficial
Strengthening the question. Many who have asked why we understanding of the ‫הלכה‬.
choose to study ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬do not merely suggest that other
areas of study would be equally beneficial to the study of Talmud study not only exposes us to the intellec-
‫תלמוד בבלי‬, but may even be more beneficial for the tual backbone of ‫הלכה‬, but also serves to connect us to the
majority of students than the ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬is for the following original masters of ‫תורה שבעל פה‬. Through the ‫’תלמוד בבלי‬s
reasons: style of providing anecdotal insight into the way that the
‫ תנאים ואמוראים‬lived and thought, we are able to develop a
The (:‫ גמרא )בבא בתרא דף קמה‬itself acknowledges greater sense of our forefathers. Our role as links in an il-
the difficulty of Talmud study. ‫ רבי זירא‬compares the lustrious ‫ מסורה‬becomes much more clear to us when we
student of Talmud to the poor person whose days are all are able to relate to those who were entrusted with bearing
bad, and the student of ‫ משנה‬to a man who is able to the ‫מסורה‬. That the relationship with masters of ‫ תורה‬is a
constantly feast. In his commentary to this passage, ‫רשב"ם‬, (Continued on page 10)
10 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ Continued

critical part of ‫ תורה‬study is evident in a number of sources: corpus of ‫ משנה‬which must be mastered, and the experience
of ‫תלמוד‬. In (‫יא‬:‫ הלכות תלמוד תורה )א‬the ‫ רמב"ם‬writes that the
The (:‫ גמרא סוטה )דף כב‬teaches that if one were to definition of ‫ תלמוד‬is: “ ‫יבין וישכיל אחרית דבר מראשיתו ויוציא‬
study ‫ תורה‬but failed to serve Torah scholars, he is ‫דבר מדבר וידמה דבר לדבר ויבין במדות שהתורה נדרשת בהן עד שידע‬
considered to be an ignoramus. The reason seems to be that ‫היאך הוא עיקר המדות והיאך יוציא האסור והמותר וכיוצא בהן מדברים‬
one who is able to pick up the cold facts of torah but is un- ...‫ ” שלמד מפי השמועה‬- “to analyze and compare different
able to internalize the tremor and feeling of torah is not a elements, derive matters from each other, and arrive at ha-
true torah scholar. If we learn but are not ‫ משמש תלמידי חכמים‬lachic conclusion using the classic methodology of
we are considered ‫עמי הארץ‬. Gemara provides us with the deriving ‫ תורה שבעל פה‬from ‫תורה שבכתב‬.” This study
opportunity to understand and be impacted by the way of involves the student as the ideas are formed, and the hala-
life of the Talmudic masters. cha takes shape. This type of learning involves the student
in the learning experience. When the ‫ תלמוד תורה‬is made
The (.‫ גמרא )ברכות דף סב‬relates stories of great personal, it is a much more captivating and gripping ex-
rabbis who followed their rebbeim into their bedrooms and perience. Indeed, the technical ‫ מצוה‬of ‫ תלמוד תורה‬is best
bathrooms. When ‫ בן עזאי‬was asked how he could have the fulfilled through in depth study for two reasons:
audacity to enter such inappropriate places to be near his
rebbe, his unapologetic response was: ‫תורה היא וללמוד אני‬ The (.‫ גמרא קידושין )דף ל‬tells us that the
‫צריך‬,” “It is Torah and I need to learn”. He defines the requirement of ‫ תלמוד תורה‬is not only to spend time
experience of witnessing the lives of ‫ תלמידי חכמים‬as ‫ תורה‬learning but to become fluent in the ‫תורה‬. One must be
itself. This highlights the point made in the ‫ גמרא )סוכה דף‬fluent enough in ‫ תורה‬that if somebody were to ask him a
(:‫ כא‬that even the mundane conversation of ‫ תלמידי חכמים‬question about something that he learned, he should not
require study. In its unique style the ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬not only stumble, but should be able to respond immediately with
offers us insight into the public statements made in the the correct answer. ‫ רש"י‬offers two suggestions to achieve
Babylonian ‫בתי מדרש‬, but to the lessons the sages were able this level of familiarity with the ‫תורה‬. First, and most
to transmit through their daily actions. fundamentally, ‫ רש"י‬writes that one must review his
learning in order to remember it. Second, and perhaps not
The (:‫ גמרא )כתובות דף קיא‬questions how the ‫ תורה‬as obvious, ‫ רש"י‬says to look at the ‫ תורה‬with greater depth
can require us to attach ourselves to God, if after all, God and analysis. The more intellectually invested one becomes
is an all-consuming fire. The ‫ גמרא‬explains that through in a particular area of learning, the greater his chances of
interaction and connection to ‫ תלמידי חכמים‬one will achieve remembering it.
a connection to God. It stands to reason that the greater the
‫ תלמיד חכם‬one attaches himself to, the greater his Rav Chaim Volozhiner ('‫ )נפש החיים שער ד‬develops
connection with God. The ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬offers a unique the notion of qualitative ‫ביטול תורה‬. One can spend an entire
opportunity to relate to the lives of great ‫תנאים ואמוראים‬, to day learning and simultaneously spend the entire day in
be present in their ‫ בתי מדרש‬and homes, and ultimately to ‫ביטול תורה‬. The requirement to study ‫ תורה‬does not only
connect to the otherwise consuming ‫שכינה‬. demand that we use all of our free time to study, but we
must also channel our maximum intellectual capacity to-
Not only does ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬provide us with a deeper ward ‫תורה‬. If one is capable of pushing himself to a deep
understanding of the ‫ הלכה‬and connect us to our ‫ חכמי‬analysis of a complicated ‫סוגיא‬, but instead has chosen to
‫המסורה‬, but the learning experience is on an entirely spend his day reading lighter ‫ספרים‬, he is guilty of ‫ביטול‬
different plane than other areas of study. ‫תורה שבכתב‬, by ‫תורה‬. This is why the text of ‫ ברכת התורה‬includes the phrase
definition, is finite. ‫ תורה שבעל פה‬is infinite. Yet, even "‫ ”לעסוק בדברי תורה‬to be involved with words of torah and
within ‫תורה שבעל פה‬, the ‫ רמב"ם‬distinguishes between the (Continued on page 11)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 11

HALACHA
VÉÜÇxÜ Continued

not merely "‫ ”ללמוד תורה‬to learn torah. Learning isn’t One need not go as far as the ‫ רבינו תם‬to justify our
enough. The learner must totally immerse himself in the educational system’s emphasis on Talmud study. The ‫רמב"ם‬
subject matter to maximize his fulfillment of the obligation (‫יב‬:‫)הלכות תלמוד תורה א‬writes that the requirement to divide
to study ‫תורה‬. In short, the study of ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬lends itself to
one’s learning day between ‫ תנ"ך‬,‫תלמוד‬, and ‫ משנה‬only
an enhanced fulfillment of the ‫ מצוה‬of ‫תלמוד תורה‬, as the applies to the beginner. Once one has already learned ‫תנ"ך‬
learning is qualitatively more intense, and as a result the and ‫ משנה‬he should spend all of his time engrossed in
learner has an easier time remembering it. While this in Talmud, with the exception of very occasional review.
depth and analytical style of learning is adaptable to parts Thus, even if one is not swayed by the biblical and mish-
of ‫ תורה‬other than the ‫תלמוד בבלי‬, the study of ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬is naic content of ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬the simple fact that it takes longer
the most readily adaptable part of Torah study to learning to master ‫ תלמוד‬demands that it be given more time. Indeed,
in depth. the (‫ בדפי הרי"ף‬:‫ ר"ן )עבודה זרה דף ה‬writes that the day should
not be divided into three even parts. Rather, one should
As we noted earlier, the obligation to study ‫ תורה‬spend a short amount of time each day learning ‫תנ"ך‬, a little
connects us to God. It stands to reason therefore, that the longer learning ‫משנה‬, and reserve the bulk of his time for
more intensive the learning experience and the more the learning ‫גמרא‬.
‫ תורה‬becomes a part of the person, the more he has allowed
God to become a part of him. Thus, in addition to the prac- Conclusion. Many students have voiced complaints about
tical benefit of an enhanced intellectual experience and ‫ קיום‬the difficulty they encounter in learning ‫ גמרא‬and therefore
‫מצוות תלמוד תורה‬, one can connect to the ‫ שכינה‬in the most express a preference for increased focus on other areas of
vibrant way when studying ‫גמרא בעיון‬. ‫תורה‬. The ‫ מדרש‬tells us that before God created this world
he was ‫( בורא עולמות ומחריבן‬created worlds and destroyed
Further answers: In addition to these most illuminating an- them). The apparent message is that even if we feel that our
swers offered by Rav Lichtenstien, we may suggest two work is not working out the way we would have wanted it
other explanations for the emphasis on ‫תלמוד בבלי‬. to, we still must go forward and build anew. Rabbi Yisroel
Reisman, though, added a deeper insight. In the construc-
The (.‫ גמרא )קידושין דף ל‬states that one should split tion of most vessels something must be destroyed (metal
up his learning schedule into three parts: one third of the must be melted to be molded and wood must be chopped to
day should be spent studying ‫תנ"ך‬, one third ‫משנה‬, and one be used). Only when producing ‫ כלי חרס‬is the raw material
third ‫תלמוד‬. The ‫ ראשונים‬note that the common practice of not destroyed, but only built. Yet, when a metal or wood
most Jews is not to follow this schedule. Instead, most fo- utensil become ‫ טמא‬they can be purified. Only the ‫כלי חרס‬
cus only on the study of ‫תלמוד‬. In an attempt to defend this must be destroyed when they become ‫טמא‬. The message is
prevalent practice, (‫ רבינו תם )בתוספות שם‬points to a ‫ גמרא‬that those endeavors where we have to break ourselves a
(‫ )סנהדרין דף כד‬that analyzes the etymology of the word ‫בבל‬. little bit to develop a skill and build ourselves up, while we
The ‫ גמרא‬relates the word ‫ בבל‬with the similar sounding may have some ups and downs, will always remain produc-
word ‫( בלול‬mixed), and comments that the style of learning tive for us. Those endeavors that do not involve a great deal
in ‫ בבל‬involved a mixture (albeit uneven) of ‫ משנה‬,‫ תנ"ך‬and of effort, and one is not humbled in their development, tend
‫תלמוד‬. Thus, argues ‫רבינו תם‬, one who studies ‫ תלמוד בבלי‬is to be very fragile and may easily be lost. While the study of
actually fulfilling the obligation to learn all three elements ‫ גמרא‬may bring with it many setbacks, and other areas of
of ‫ תורה‬that we must learn each day. In the view of ‫ תורה רבינו תם‬may seem to come to us more easily, the struggle
the perfectly balanced curriculum for daily learning is pre- involved in the study will ultimately pay dividends as the
sented to us on the pages of the ‫תלמוד בבלי‬. Clearly the ‫ רבינו‬knowledge will be firmly rooted in our minds and souls for
‫ תם‬was aware of the trend to spend a disproportionate years to come.
amount of time on Talmud study, and defended the prac-
tice.
12 ‫דברים היוצאים מן הל“ב‬
PUBLICATION
STAFF
STORIES OF GREATNESS Editors in Chief
David Freilich
TOLD OVER BY: YEHUDA ISAACS Yaakov Feldstein

Associate Editors
A Jew -- let's call him Fievel -- came to - a simple old Jew who used to be a woodcut-
Judah Abittan
seek the help of the famed "Tzemach Tzed- ter and still lived with his wife in his small hut Dani Scheinman
dek" (Rabbi Menachem Mendel, 1789-1866, in the woods. The Rebbe must have intended Yitzie Scheinman
layout editors
the 3rd Rebbe of Chabad). Fievel was almost to write to the big rich guy. Little Shmuel was
weeping as he entered the Rebbe's room. He a virtual nobody! Yechiel Auman
was unexplicably being evicted from the inn But Fievel was stuck. To enter the rabbinic articles
he'd been running for over twenty years. He Rebbe's study again was out of the question; Adam Goldstein
couldn't understand it; the poritz (landowner) people waited for days for a minute of the Avrumi Blisko
student articles
liked him, he always paid his rent on time, and Rebbe's time. Then he had an idea: the Rebbe
Andrew Mermelstein
he never made any trouble. But a week ago the had seven sons -- he would go to one of them director of production
poritz suddenly came and gave him one and ask for advice. But the Rebbe's son only
Production Staff
month's notice. All his pleas and reasoning did- assured him of what he already knew -- the Nison Basalilov
n't help, and now with nine mouths to feed and Rebbe never makes mistakes. Normal people Jeremy Bienenfeld
no other way of earning a living, he had no make mistakes, but not the Rebbe! Ben Kantowitz
Aharon Rubel
other recourse than to travel to the Rebbe for So with a heavy heart, Fievel made his Avrumi Schonbrunn
help. way to Little Shmuel's house in the middle of Benjamin Watman
When Fievel finished his story, the the forest and knocked on the door. The old ‫סופרים‬/Authors
Rebbe took out a piece of paper and a pen, man invited Fievel in and asked him what he Yonatan Aivazi
Ariel Bagley
wrote a short letter, put it in an envelope, and wanted. When he heard the reason for the visit Dan Bamshad
addressed it. He then blessed Fievel with suc- and saw the Rebbe's letter asking him to help David Beer
cess, and instructed him to deliver the letter as Fievel in his predicament, he admitted that he Marc Eichenbaum
Jonathan Eidelstein
swiftly as possible. He thanked the Rebbe pro- had no idea what the Rebbe meant. He sug- Eli Gattman
fusely and backed out of the room. Once out- gested that Fievel be his guest for a few days Yered Elisha Ginsberg
Yitzchak Ginzberg
side, he glanced at the envelope and his heart and see what would happen. Shmuli Gutenmacher
sank: the Rebbe seemed to have mistakenly A week passed. Fievel began to be- Ian Hawk
addressed it to the wrong man! In Fievel's vil- come depressed. What would become of him? Elisha Ishaal
Aaron Joseph
lage there were two men by the name of In another two weeks he would have to forfeit Yoni Kadish
Shmuel. The first, nicknamed Shmuel Hagadol his livelihood and vacate his home. Winter was Barak Klammer
Eli Lonner
("Big Shmuel"), was a rich, influential Jew approaching; the weather outside was cold and Yonatan Mehlman
who had close connections with all the land- miserable, adding to his melancholy. Where Gavi Nelson
owners and nobles and some said even with would he go? What would he do? What would Adi Pasternak
Jonny Perlman
the Czar himself! If anyone could help Fievel, Ilan Portnoy
it would be him. But the Rebbe had addressed Shalom Rosenbaum
his note to Shmuel Hakatan ("Little Shmuel") - (Continued on page 3) Yigal Saperstein
David Silber
Alex Selesny
Daniel Stroh
Jesse Steinmetz
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