Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Iyar 5764 - May 5, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
In the Tents of the Shepherds

Between Holy and Profane

When I was young, I witnessed true kovod haTorah. I was in Brod by HaRav Efraim Zalman Margulies zt'l and saw how he studied. He would don a special overgarment which was reserved just for Torah study, and whenever he was forced to say something not connected to Torah, something mundane, he would immediately cast off the outer garment so that he could speak.

He considered his study garment utterly holy, similar to the Torah itself, and not to be profaned.

(R' Yirmiyo Lau, author of Shaar Torah)

His `Honor-Wealth' Will Not Descend with Him

A certain wealthy man ordered that upon his death, all of his valuables be buried together with him.

When he died, the question was posed to HaRav Shmuel Salant ztvk'l, chief rabbi of Yerushalayim whether this was a valid will and testimony, to be carried out as per the deceased's request. R' Shmuel asked about the value of the man's possessions.

"Oh, a huge sum!" was the reply.

"Fine!" ruled R' Shmuel. "Just write out a check for that amount and place it in the grave."

The Wisdom of the Heart

A Jew once complained to HaRav Shmuel Salant that his neighbor owed him a large sum of money but kept on evading him and postponing the payment. "Give me another week or two," he would say time and again.

R' Shmuel summoned the man and asked, "Is it true that you owe this man money?"

"Yes," was the reply.

"Very well. Pay him back immediately!"

"Now? I can't. I'll pay him back in a few days time."

The Rov insisted, "Pay him back your debt immediately!"

Having no choice, he paid him back. On the morrow, he left the country.

R' Shmuel was asked, "Why were you so insistent? How did you know he intended to leave?"

"I noticed that he asked for an aliya without having any valid obligation for it. I simply concluded that he intended to leave the country."

(Toras R' Shmuel)

You Are Fortified Through Love for It

My grandfather, author of Anfei Zayis, once had to undergo surgery. He waived any anesthesia and studied Torah with joy throughout the procedure and did not even feel the incision.

Upon that occasion, he innovated many chiddushei Torah, which he recorded in a special notebook. His own hand inscribed the following words:

"Whatever I innovated, praised be Hashem, was in the five minutes prior to the incision of the surgeon." Afterwards, he wrote, "And this is what I innovated during the very time of the incision of the surgery."

These chiddushim are truly Divinely inspired and marvelous to read.

(R' Silberberg from Pittsburgh)

Only Thus

They tell that Rabbenu HaRav Chaim of Brisk ztvk'l used to say, "Any terutz which is worded as a possibility, such as, `One might say this or one can say that,' is not a valid response.

"A true terutz must be bound and necessary by virtue of hard and fast logic, according to the depth of the subject, to such a degree that there is no other solution and the question simply dissolves by itself."

(R' Eliyohu Birk -- Nachalas Yosef)

This Might Apply Also to Divrei Torah

HaRav Efraim Borodiansky zt'l once said that the Chazon Ish ztvk'l once visited Vilna and went to pay his respects to HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky ztvk'l. HaRav Elchonon Wasserman ztvk'l, Hy'd asked him to say a dvar Torah but the Chazon Ish remained silent.

Thereupon, R' Elchonon said, "It is written in Shaarei Tshuva by Rabbenu Yonah that if someone asks a favor of his friend which the latter is hard put to comply with but is ashamed to refuse, it is as if the asker is transgressing the negative commandment of, `You shall not tyrannize him through force.'

"However," R' Elchonon continued, "this does not hold true with divrei Torah. A person is permitted to ask another to tell him a good vort even though the other may find it difficult."

When the Chazon Ish told this over, he said that he didn't know where R' Elchonon was able to derive and substantiate that that particular commandment did not apply to divrei Torah. R' Efraim related that some time later he did find it written to that effect: his source was Sefer Yereim.

(R' Yehoshua Melrich, Shiurim Be'Orayso)

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.