At a Time that Klal Yisrael is in Need of Great Rachamim, Amud HaYomi Poised to Begin Masechta Shabbos
“Shall I tell you that the sun shines?” was the response of the senior posek, HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, shlita, when asked what he thinks of the idea of Klal Yisrael coming together to learn Masechta Shabbos and hilchos Shabbos together in Dirshu’s upcoming Amud HaYomi and Daf Hayomi B’Halacha programs. The Gemara teaches us that if Klal Yisrael would keep two shabbosos, they would merit the geulah immediately. Perhaps two shabbosos can refer to the concurrent learning of Masechta Shabbos and hilchos Shabbos!
“We all know that Shabbos, limud haTorah and shemiras Shabbos are the ultimate shemirah, the ultimate protection from our enemies,” Rav Zilberstein emphasized. “How much more so is learning Torah and learning about Shabbos, a protection in these times when Klal Yisrael needs so much shemirah. Thus, it is important to tap into that shemirah and invoke rachmei shomayim on behalf of Klal Yisrael and enhance our limud haTorah, especially in areas of Shabbos, which is the mekor habracha, the source of all blessing.”
These words were said in advance of the upcoming siyum on Masechta Brachos and the commencement of the learning of Masechta Shabbos in Dirshu’s new Amud HaYomi program that has, in the short months since its inception on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, taken Klal Yisrael by storm.
Beginning in Vienna … and Circling the World
Siyumim will take place throughout the world, starting this coming 10 Adar 1 with a massive siyum being held at the Sofiensäle Hall in Vienna, the city where the original Daf HaYomi was inaugurated by Rav Meir Shapiro at the first Knessiah Gedolah. How fitting it is that this first siyum on Masechta Brachos, the first Masechta in Shas learned in this new “Yomi” program, the Amud HaYomi that has so successfully penetrated, becoming an integral limud of Klal Yisrael towards completing Shas, should be celebrated in Vienna and graced by Gedolei Yisrael from Eretz Yisrael, Europe and America!
There will also be a massive siyum in America at the upcoming Dirshu convention in Stamford, Connecticut, graced by Gedolei Yisrael and more than one thousand lomdei Dirshu. In addition, there will be large siyumim across Eretz Yisrael, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. All the siyumim in these varied global locales are a testament to the worldwide impact that the new Amud HaYomi is having on Yidden the world over as they connect with the unique geshmak of being able to comprehensively learn an amud every day while deriving a taste of the depth of the Gemara that they are learning.
Neutralizing Eisav’s [and Yishmael’s] Koach of War Through the Milchamta Shel Torah
The fact that the Amud HaYomi providentially began almost simultaneously with the difficult war that broke out in Eretz Yisrael is certainly no coincidence. As Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein pointed out, “The war situation demands something of us. We are on the frontlines in fighting this war. The more Torah we learn, the more dedicated we are to truly deepening our connection with Torah, the more Heavenly mercy rests on Klal Yisrael and its efforts.”
A fascinating Chasam Sofer (Drashos Volume I, page 183) explains that Hashem put everything into the world for a purpose. If we use it for its intended purpose, it is a great boon for Klal Yisrael and if we don’t… the opposite is the case. For example, he says that Hashem put the concept of machlokes, of fighting, into the world. When that fighting is used properly, then it will not be used in battles of war or other dangerous areas. What is the right way to use the concept of fighting? The Chasam Sofer answers that machlokes is beautiful and proper when it is a machlokes over Torah. When talmidei chachamim spar over a fine nuance in Torah with each talmid chacham holding strongly to his opinion, just like the machlokes between Hillel and Shammai, this prevents other aspects of machlokes, of war and battle in the world. That is what Chazal mean when they say that talmidei chachamim increase peace in the world. When talmidei chachamim fight over Torah, they ensure that the concept of “fighting” exists in the world the way it is supposed to exist thereby preventing other fighting, war and bloodshed.
The passuk says, “Hakol kol Yaakov v’hayadayim yedei Eisav – the voice is the voice of Yaakov but the hands are the hands of Eisav.” The Chasam Sofer then expounds on the famous words of Chazal on that passuk that, “At the time that the voice of Yaakov is found in the shuls, the hands of Eisav have no control over them, but if not, the hands of Eisav do control them…”
The Chasam Sofer says that when the voice of Yaakov, the talmidei chachamim are engaged in fighting and debating nuances of Torah and halacha in the beis medrash, the fighting and violence on the war front will be stilled and Eisav will have no control over Klal Yisrael.
The message is clear. The way Klal Yisrael will prevail in this terrible war against Hamas and the entire world that seeks to maim, kill and uproot Klal Yisrael is through our “warring” in the beis medrash over a sugya. This is the antidote of the Amud HaYomi. The pilpul in Torah that tens of thousands of Yidden the world over are engaging in, is the ultimate way to neutralize Hamas, Iran, the Houthis and all the many Jew haters who have come out of the woodwork since Simchas Torah. As a result of the milchamta shel Torah, we will merit to prevail in the other milchamos.
Invoking the Zechus of the Chasam Sofer on Behalf of Amud HaYomi Learners
The words of the Chasam Sofer take on extra urgency in our time. After all, it is the Chasam Sofer who teaches us that our milchama shel Torah is what neutralizes Eisav’s [and Yishmael’s] power of milchama.
That is why a Dirshu delegation led by Gedolei Yisrael will be going to the kever of the Chasam Sofer in Pressburg on the day of the first siyum in the Amud HaYomi on Mesechta Brachos, to daven on behalf of Klal Yisrael during these trying time. In addition, the delegation will place a special, “Sefer Gibborim” at the kever of the Chasam Sofer to serve as an ongoing source of rachmei shomayim and siyatta d’shmaya for lomdei Amud HaYomi and their families.
What exactly is the Sefer Gibborim? The idea is based on the Gemara (Bava Metziah 85) which teaches that one of the Amoraim, who was ill, prostrated himself at the kever of his rebbi and said, “I learn your Torah!” In that merit, he was healed.
Acting on that lesson, Dirshu’s hanhala came up with the concept of compiling a sefer containing the names of all current Amud HaYomi learners and their families, as well as the names and family names of any person who accepts upon himself to learn the Amud HaYomi.
The Sefer Hagibborim will be placed in a special, weather-sealed, locked receptacle next to the Chasam Sofer’s kever, to remain there as an eternal merit for those inscribed in it.
Now is the time to join Amud HaYomi! Now is the time to join the war to protect Klal Yisrael. Now is the time to tap into the unique koach of the Chasam Sofer.
To join Amud HaYomi please contact Dirshu at email@example.com or at 1-888-5Dirshu.