“I Would Learn with the Steipler…” – From Megilat Esther Breslov

Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a tells about his chavruta with the Steipler zt”l

The connection of Rav Berland shlit”a with the Steipler zt”l is well known.  In a shiur which was given over years ago in honor of Purim, the Rav shlit”a speaks about those days in the home of the Gadol HaDor.

“I would learn with the Steipler every day from one to three.  During the break, I didn’t have what to do, so I would sit with him and mamash learn sugyot (sections of Gemara).  I would ask him questions in Choshen Mishpat, in halachah.  We would learn from the beginning of the sugyah until the Poskim, to bring out the learning to practical halachah.

“I bought his apartment on Rashbam Street, and he wanted me to move into the apartment on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, so that I would manage to prepare for Pesach, and his apartment still wasn’t ready.  He went to live by his daughter, Barzan.  She was a widow.  Also with Rav Barzan, I would learn every Shabbat evening.

“In bein hazmanim (the break periods in yeshivos), you need to learn twice as much as during the year.  All the bein hazmanim is so that a person will learn twice as much as during the year, because in the yeshiva there is a mashgiach (a supervisor).  If the student was awake at night, he would [still] be obligated to come to yeshiva.  He doesn’t go to sleep, so he’s tired all day.  Then he starts to argue with the mashgiach.

“You don’t say to the mashgiach, ‘Who are you?  You won’t tell us what to do!’  This is chutzpah!  This is the worst!  The whole reason that Achashverosh killed Vashti was because she was insolent towards him, that she said that he doesn’t know how to drink.

“You need to learn in depth with Ketzot HaChoshen.  In Purim, we rectify Haman through learning Ketzot HaChoshen.  We will yet open here a Kollel for Choshen Mishpat where they sit and learn in depth.”

From “Megilat Esther Breslov,” which it’s possible to purchase at the book stand of R’ Aharon Shushan outside the Prayer Hall on 14 Ido HaNavi St., as well as in the Eyn Yaakov bookstore.

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