Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Iyar 5762 - May 2, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Crowning the World With Glory

The ad in Yated piqued my interest. I peered more closely at it. It said that it was a free home-study program on the work Oz V'Hadar Levusha -- Modesty, An Adornment for Life and that two short assignments would be given monthly, followed by a quiz. A gift would be awarded to one lucky winner every month.

I knew the sefer. Dubbed, the "Mishneh Brurah for Women", it is a groundbreaking, monumental work on tzniyus that has gained an honored place in thousands of religious homes around the world. I had even leafed through it and read parts of it. One day, I promised myself, I would study it from cover to cover. But that day somehow never came. Between work and myriad other obligations, the thought had just found itself a place to hide under layers of other ideas floating around in the nethermost part of my mind. Until I joined the program. Some weeks later, with a group of seven in hand, I was systematically on the road to learning the sefer.

Oz V'Hadar Levusha was published by Feldheim in 1998 and became an instant bestseller. It is endorsed by a kaleidscope of renowned Rabbonim throughout the world.

Authored by Rabbi Pesach Eliyahu Falk shlita of Gateshead, a world renowned posek and the author of numerous seforim including Machze Eliyahu plus works on the proper examination of food for infestation and on the laws of Shabbos, this is a comprehensive, pioneering work on the laws and concepts of modesty. In his preface, Rav Falk provides several illuminating explanations of why our generation so sorely needs such an extensive, detailed work on the subject.

The weakening of transmitted tradition, the growing moral decay in society around us and the grave spiritual pollution in the air have all served to weaken our sensitivities and have made frightening inroads into this fundamental area of Yiddishkeit. This work was, therefore, written to fill an urgent need for instruction and reinforcement.

Mrs. L. from Lakewood describes the intense satisfaction she derives from the program. With a large family to care for, she steals time from her busy schedule to coordinate a group of her own and is an active participant herself. Some nights she may find herself pacing the floor, baby in one hand and Oz V'Hadar in the other, as she carefully reviews material for the upcoming quiz. The deep sense of fulfillment she gains from the program keeps her going.

Another woman, a giyores, recounts how a breathtaking new world opened for her when she began learning this work. Each short section, followed by a quiz, allows her to slowly absorb the inspiring lessons of kedusho and hashkofo. She relates how she used to picture the modest attire of religious Jews as dull and stifling. She was amazed to discover in this work a totally new dimension of this fundamental expression of the Jewish woman. This work has literally transformed her way of thinking through its profound concepts and wonderful elucidations.

The story behind the Kiryat Sefer group is an incredible lesson in transforming hardships and limitations into phenomenal spiritual growth. A woman in the community who was bedridden for several months decided to use the time on her hands to earn some priceless merit. She proceeded to call every English- speaking woman in Kiryat Sefer about the program, which resulted in a record-breaking eighty signups!

How does this pioneering home-study project translate a woman's desire to learn this remarkable work into actuality? The carefully designed program breaks it down into manageable sections, sends twice monthly quiz- reviews by mail or fax, and offers a simple but highly structured method of navigating through the book. A score of 85% or higher on a quiz entitles a woman to a coupon which is then entered into a monthly raffle for a lovely gift.

Rabbi Katz, an educator who lives in Passaic, N.J., is the founder and director of the home-study program. It all started when Ov V'Hadar came into his hands one day. He read through some sections and was immediately inspired. The beauty and eloquence of the work touched his heart. He was so moved and uplifted that he knew he wanted to start a learning group for women.

One day, Rabbi Katz came home to find his wife engrossed in one of her bi-weekly home study tests based on Guard Your Tongue. Something in his brain clicked. Why not take this and do the same?

With great determination, thought, perseverance and much heavenly assist, the project was launched. His wife said that she would compose the tests. His sister- in-law volunteered to type them. His brother-in-law donated a copy machine.

Rabbi Katz received a very warm letter of recommendation from HaRav Mattisyahu Salamon shlita, mashgiach of Lakewood Yeshiva. Rabbi Falk was very much involved in the program from the start and still continues to infuse it with encouragement. The project which began over two years ago with less than ten women in Lakewood has mushroomed into a world wide movement where women of all ages and backgrounds are discovering the hidden glory of modesty. It includes women's groups across the U.S., England, Canada and Eretz Yisroel, in: Brooklyn, Cleveland, Monsey, Lakewood, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Manchester, Gateshead, Yerusholayim, Ashdod, Beitar, Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak, Kiryat Sefer and even Melbourne, Australia.

By polishing our crown of glory, we will elevate ourselves and the world around us and increase the manifestation of Hashem's glory to bring Moshiach.

For information about joining a group or sponsoring a monthly raffle (for a speedy recovery or in memory of a loved one, etc.), please call:

U.S.: 973-472-8324; 1-877-769-8343; 718-871-8827 or write to Passaic Torah Institutes Home Study Program, 41 Park Ave., Passaic, N.J. 07055. E-mail:

Canada: 416-783-6639. England: 208-802-5050 or 191-477- 8813. Australia: 6139-5727-3703. Eretz Yisroel: 03-616- 4835 or 03- 570-8992.

The previous two issues of Yated have included an essay of HaRav Falk on modern sheitels.


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