Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

29 Sivan 5761 - June 20, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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











The Crucible of Halochoh
by A. Yosefson

There is no beis hamedrash without its chiddush. The National Halochoh Project (Mifal HaHalochoh Ha'artzi - - Kur Hahalochoh) is well known for having developed a novel and refreshing system of weekly tests on halochoh.

Distinguished rabbonim and poskim agreed to help by drawing up the tests, working for the project's success, examining those who completed the program of study and giving out certificates which confirm the examinee's mastery of halochoh lema'aseh.

Thousands of bochurim, avreichim and bnei Torah owe their extensive knowledge of Shulchan Oruch to the project, which operates modestly without much fanfare.

The Kur Hahalochoh is a crucible from which its participants come out with a different level of knowledge. The material is analyzed and dissected until it becomes crystal-clear halochoh. Not only the examiners say this but, especially, the examinees. Many letters of thanks and appreciation from graduates of the Mifal are to be found in its offices. They talk about their satisfaction at having accumulated a vast amount of knowledge as a result of the methodical system of study, chazoroh and regular tests.

"I didn't know that there were so many practical everyday halochos in the Mishna Berurah, Sha'ar Hatziyun and Biyur Halocho," writes one grateful avreich. Another says: "I never knew how to approach the Mishna Berurah on Sukkos, Arba Minim and other topics, until a rov advised me to learn halocho with the sefer Kur Halocho. I took his advice, and it made a tremendous difference."

A thankful father wrote as follows: "My son did not manage to learn the halochos of tefillin before his Bar Mitzva. For some reason he could not grasp the material. I was told to learn the sefer Kur Halocho with him, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. The question and answer format aroused his interest and he eagerly went through the whole sefer. When he went back to learn the Mishna Berurah it was a pleasure for him, the material suddenly having become clear. Every halocho reminded him of a question and answer in the sefer."

The Zichron Moshe Umiriam Institute incorporates several important projects. The man running these projects is Rabbi Yehoshua Buk. They include a kollel whose avreichim write kollel Shas tests, a Friday- Shabbos kollel, a masmidim yeshiva in Har-Nof, publication of the Kur Halocho books and pamphlets, and the Mifal Hahalochoh tests which take place in many locations throughout Eretz Yisroel.

The Mifal offers various courses, all of which aim to instill the study of halochoh into every Jewish home. The secret of its success is its system of constant study, chazoroh and weekly and monthly tests.

This year, in addition to the regular courses, a Kur Halocho sefer on hilchos Shevi'is was published, which consists of questions and answers based on Mishpetei Ho'oretz. Further courses are offered on the halochos of loshon hora, the 39 melochos, Mishna Berurah, Orach Chaim, cheilek alef, hilchos Shabbos, hilchos taharoh the Chayei Odom, as well as other topics.

The idea is to have a book on a certain topic in a question and answer format and use it in conjunction with the halochoh book itself. This may be the Mishna Berurah on Orach Chaim and Shabbos, or another specialized sefer on hilchos taharoh and shevi'is written in a clear style and easy and pleasant to use, for the purpose of learning and reviewing these halochos.

The questions and answers are drawn up by eminent rabbonim and poskim, and the examiners are also talmidei chachomim of capacity. After thirteen years of tests, some of the first graduate examinees are the examiners of today.

Every yeshiva and kollel has a Mifal representative, and many thousands are tested every month, a large proportion also receiving a stipend if they are successful in their tests.

Preparing the Kur Halocho seforim is a very complicated and arduous task. The questions and answers have to be carefully edited and reedited many times before they are ready for print.

Some places around the globe receive copies of the tests on a weekly basis, by mail or by fax. Mifal workers have many moving stories to relate, including the one about the answers to a test written by Dovid Kartoza Hy"d received in the mail after he had already been murdered.

Amongst those benefitting from the seforim are rabbonim who are not ashamed to say that they use them before Yomim Tovim in order to make a quick chazoroh of all the hilchos hachag. In a time of emergency, they can study for three hours instead of thirty days before Yom Tov. Occasional and regular users of the seforim are full of praise for the hard work that has made them such a valuable addition to halachic literature. The gedolim have also given enthusiastic haskomos to the Mifal.

Thousands of shekels worth of stipends are paid out by the Mifal every month. Pure knowledge of halochoh supports many households, but who supports the Mifal?

Chazal say that the second luchos which were given in secret were preserved. In the merit of the modesty of its founders, the Mifal has managed to remain active, despite its financial difficulties every month. To take part in the tests, by learning or being tested or to make a contribution, write to P.O. Box 43154, Jerusalem or send a fax to 02- 6514098.


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