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26 Tammuz 5774 - July 24, 2014 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Increase Torah Learning Because Torah Protects and Saves

By Yechiel Sever

At the urging of gedolei Yisrael, the Vaad Hayeshivos in Eretz Yisrael has issued a stirring call directed especially to yeshiva students to "increase and intensify effort in Torah through filling the benches in the beis medrash, since it is Torah which protects and saves." This is in light of the difficult present situation in Eretz Yisrael, where there are dead and wounded from the ranks of our brethren, and the residents of Eretz Yisrael find themselves in mortal danger.

In their fervent appeal to our precious Torah students, they write: "Upon the directive of the heads of the yeshivos, in view of the difficult situation which faces us in the Holy Land, the bnei yeshiva and kollel members are being called upon to reinforce themselves mightily in Torah study, which is our life and the length of our days, through adhering to the set study schedules and to increase study on Fridays and other measures where extra fortification is needed, as Chazal said, "Whatever is more sanctified than its counterpart is more desolate." They are called upon to add and intensify their efforts for Torah by filling the benches of the batei medrash more and more since it is Torah which protects and saves.

"Tana Dvei Eliyahu (Perek Vav) comments on the verse, "The King brought me to his chambers," noting: "Just as Hashem has chambers and inner chambers in His Torah, so do talmidei chachomim individually have access to inner chambers in their Torah. And if you see suffering coming upon you, rush to those inner chambers of Torah, and that suffering will flee from you, as is written, `Go, My people, enter your chambers.'"

The call ends with words of prayer and blessing. "May the merit of Torah protect us and the people living in Zion so that we live to see the consolation in our Redemption and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, speedily."

HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman wrote a special letter in light of the difficult situation in which our country finds itself, in which he pointed out, "Considering the harsh condition in our holy land, I request our fellow brothers to increase their prayers for all of us for we are in need of great mercy. This is a troubled time for Yaakov but it will lead to our salvation.

"We should also reinforce ourselves in the proper observance of Shabbos, shunning forbidden speech, and upholding the safeguards of proper tznius as is written, `May nothing improper be seen in your midst lest He distance Himself from you.' May we merit great compassion."

The Rosh Yeshiva added that regarding tznius, one should act according to the guidelines of the special Beis Din for matters of tznius, the Mishmar HaTorah.

In a talk which HaRav Gershon Eidelstein gave in his home, he dwelled upon the difficult times we are faced with and aroused attention as follows: "... there have been casualties in lives Rch'l. It is our duty to commiserate with the suffering of the general public and be aroused to teshuvoh. One must also share the suffering of individuals and each one must contemplate as to which sins he personally can repent for.

"There are two very simple areas where we can improve ourselves: diligence in Torah study and kavanah in prayer. Toil in prayer is truly difficult but Chazal said (Yoma 38b) that `Whoever comes to be purified is assisted therein.' Whoever makes a small attempt to focus [in prayer] is assisted therein from Heaven. Admittedly, most of our community tries to concentrate in prayer and to acknowledge before Whom they are standing, but there are some who need reinforcement in this area. Even worse than this lack is speaking idle talk in a place of Torah, and since even business matters are forbidden to be discussed in a shul, all the more so stringent is idle chatter there.

"Another area needed reinforcement is diligence and application to study, which are limitless. There are a select few who do not let their thoughts wander away from Torah and forever have a question or insight in Torah in their minds, and upon encountering them, immediately launch into divrei Torah, as if they had been immersed in it all the while. But not all are like that and this point needs chizuk. We can accomplish so much through the power of Torah, as Chazal said, `Torah protects and saves'."


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