A Selection of Writings
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Dirshu: The Chofetz Chaim Connection
On the 82nd yahrtzeit of the Chofetz Chaim, a mission of prominent rabbanim and community leaders, led by Rav Dovid Hofstedter shlita, Nasi of Dirshu, traveled together to the burial place of one of Klal Yisrael’s most venerable leaders. Their aim: to daven for the hatzlachha of the nation at this time of great peril. They had been sent to daven for the entire nation, with special emphasis on those who study the halachic and mussar works of Chofetz Chaim on a daily basis.
This was Dirshu’s third time visiting Radin. A previous visit had taken place months earlier, in preparation for the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halachah siyum on Mishnah Berurah. The trip had proven a resounding success, with some 20,000 names submitted to the Dirshu office to be mentioned at the Chofetz Chaim’s kever.
After the initial success of the earlier Dirshu trips to the Chofetz Chaim’s burial place, it was obvious to everyone involved that they would return yet again. The only question was when.
Dirshu: A Worldwide Achdus Phenomenon
This is the story of a concept that touched and changed countless people everywhere. It is a story of a nation closing ranks in times of danger with astonishing alacrity and focus. It is the story of the power of a good idea. It is the story of the recent “Yom Limud and Tefillah.”
It is very much a story of our time.
The “Yom Limud and Tefillah,” (presented also as a Day of Jewish Unity to our unaffiliated brethren) touched over 500,000 people! Participation continued even after the day was officially over, with more and more people signing on to be involved. By nighttime, when they were finally able to take stock on what had been one of the most amazing days ever, the organizers were able to recognize that their initiative had been supported by Jews literally ALL OVER THE WORLD!!
When I told my friends I was being sent to Paris to cover the Dirshu Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, Mishnah Berurah siyum – I saw a certain look crossing every face. How should I put this delicately? They were afraid.
“Are you sure it’s safe,” they wanted to know.
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m going from the airport to the convention center and back to the airport.”
“Okay,” they said, somewhat mollified. “As long as it’s safe.”
rtainly I had a chavrusah for an hour but it was just learning without heart. Then I discovered Dirshu. Now I am learning an average of 6 hours a day Gemara and I am planning on adding Daf HaYomi B’Halacha.” Rav Yissocher Frand, inimitably and succinctly exclaimed, “Dirshu has taught us not only that you have to learn, but that you have to know!”
The rows of light-blue seats were filled to capacity on Monday night in Heichal Nokia (Nokia Stadium, also known as Yad Eliyahu Stadium), Tel Aviv’s premier sports arena. But instead of the usual rowdy crowd of sports fans clad in the team colors and singing their team’s theme song, I found myself staring at a huge, diverse group of Israel’s foremost Torah scholars, here to celebrate what many consider to be the Torah Jew’s dream-come-true: the Siyum HaShas. This event takes place only once in seven-and-a-half years, celebrating the completion of the Talmud, and tens of thousands of Jews, young and old, look forward to it.
“Thoughts” by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer: About a Man In Prison
I have a friend who while learning in Lakewood many years ago, found himself stranded in BoroPark on erev Sukkos. He had been supposed to go to Montreal for Yom Tov, but had left his passport in the dorm, not knowing that he needed it to cross the Canadian border. Miserably disappointed at having his plans fall through, the bochur began walking up and down the avenue searching for a miracle. He tried asking a few people for directions to a local yeshiva, hoping that they would pick up on his desperation, but nobody did.
“Thoughts” by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer: – WAR
“Thoughts” by Rabbi Nachman Seltzer: Conversation With A Five Year Old (My Son) About Hamas Rockets
It happened last night during Maariv. Suddenly after a few days quiet in RBS, a siren went off. Everyone in the shul waited anxiously to see what was going to happen and in fact about fifteen seconds later, we heard the sound of a thunderclap and the entire building shook. Literally shook. It left everyone in the building feeling just a little shaken up. Okay, a lot shook up. I got home from shul a few minutes later.
My five year old son was sitting on the coach feeling very upset.
“Why does Hashem let the Goyim send rockets at us,” he wanted to know.
Before I could even begin to reply, (maybe touching on the concept on doing teshuva etc…) he came up with another question.
“Why did Hashem even create Arabs in the first place?”