Shiur for Yeshivat Chochmah V’Daat at Home of Rav Eliezer Berland Shlit”a

Examination and shiur for bachurim (young men) of Yeshivat “Chochmah V’Daat” on Tractate Kiddushin at home of Moreinu HaRav Eliezer Berland shlit”a

Tenth-grade bachurim at “Yeshivat Breslov – Chochmah V’Daat,” who toiled and dedicated themselves to learning and knowing thoroughly Tractate Kiddushin during the month of Elul and the beginning of winter, merited to come to Rav Berland’s holy home to be tested in the presence of the Rav shlit”a, and received a shiur of holy fire from his holy lips last Tuesday, 22 Kislev, Parshat Vayeshev.

Upon the Rav’s entrance, dean Rav Itmar Rafael shlit”a and principal Rav Avraham Mordechai Ahlag shlit”a tested the bachurim on the material they had learned.  The students responded eloquently to all questions and even added insights of their own that were not directly asked in the debates in the holy Gemara.

After the examination, Moreinu HaRav shlit”a gave a shiur to the bachurim.  At the beginning of his words, he discussed Tractate Yoma, primarily Daf 29 which discusses the question of why the miracle of Esther was written in a Megilah (scroll), but the events of Hanukah were not.  Afterwards, he spoke about David’s desire to conquer Rome in order to prevent the destruction of the Temple.  Within his discourse, the Rav shlit”a encouraged the students in a number of subjects, amongst them to read Tehilim during breaks, and to learn the weekly parasha with Rashi.

Afterwards he spoke about how when Eliezer went to make the match with Rivka, he saw “V’kada Al Shichmah – and a jug on her shoulder,” the initial letters of which are “ESaV,” and didn’t understand how this could be [that the wicked Esav would descend from the righteous Rivka].  The Rav brought the words of the “Imrei Noam” that in the merit of his being silent, Eliezer merited to see that Esav was just a husk of Yaakov, because “Machrish – to be silent” is the numerical value of “Esav Yaakov.”

The Rav encouraged learning Likutey Moharan, but said that without Gemara it’s impossible to understand anything in Likutey Moharan.  Also the Rav encouraged immersing in a mikveh with alacrity and not to rise later than six in the morning.  He also said that a bachur needs to start looking for a match early and to marry immediately at the age of eighteen.

After these words, he discussed stories of the Hanukkah miracle and spoke about Shimon and Levi’s killing of the people of Shechem, bringing the question of the Ramban – why didn’t Yaakov himself immediately free Dinah from the hands of Shechem.

Towards the end of the shiur, he returned to the question of why the miracles of Hanukah were not written and said that with Megilat Esther, every letter was written with Divine inspiration; however, with Hanukah, there already was no Divine inspiration, because it disappeared during the days of Zechariah the prophet.  Towards the end of the shiur, the Rav once again encouraged the bachurim to devote themselves to Gemara learning, and to make the most of their time as youth to learn as much Gemara as possible.

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