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
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: email@example.com.
Canada: 416-783-6639. England: 208-802-5050 or 191-477- 8813.
Australia: 6139-5727-3703. Eretz Yisroel: 03-616- 4835 or 03-
The previous two issues of Yated have included an essay of
HaRav Falk on modern sheitels.