Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Daf Yomi: A Pictorial History - David Avraham Mandelbaum

From Feldheim's website:

One of the most significant events in the Torah world in the past one hundred years was the adoption and implementation of the Daf Yomi learning program. This pictorial album lays out before the reader its entire history - how it began on Rosh Hashana of 1923 and its expansion throughout the Jewish world until the present day. This volume contains hundreds of pictures and rare documents that will bring the reader in touch with the Daf Yomi learners of yesteryear.

The story begins in pre-war Europe, continues through the Holocaust, documents the aftermath of that horrific period, following the trail of the Daf in the decades that have passed since then. It is possible to see a glimpse of the Hashgacha Pratis that guides the fate of our nation - for, even in the very worst of times for Klal Yisroel, there were thousands, even tens of thousands, of pages of Gemora that served as the rafts of salvation for the Jewish People in the midst of the raging tempest. Finally, in this album, the reader can absorb the words and the ideas put forth by the Gedolei Torah of the past few generations as they related to the Daf Yomi concept, and will become familiar, as well, with subsequent initiatives that are the offspring of the Daf Yomi.

I was very impressed with this beautiful work, which documents the trajectory of Daf Yomi since it's inception up until our day.

This book is very heavy on Rav Meir Shapiro, as R. David Avraham Mandelbaum has written many books that portray Rav Meir Shapiro and his famous Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin.

One thing I found puzzling is on page 110 RADM makes the claim that Kad Yasvin was composed by Rav Meir Shapiro in honor of the first Siyum Hashas. Complete in this book are the music sheets of Kad Yasvin. Hmm. I once asked Mississippi Fred to investigate the origins of the song, as there is much dispute. Perhaps this post will be the impetus for him to tackle this issue.

I still remember the first DY Siyum that I attended in the Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in 1982. Less that 10,000 were in attendance. It is hard to imagine that merely 30 years later the venue is MetLife Stadium, with 90,000 plus.

Kein Yirbu!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chailifeline Cancer Camp Concludes

Tuesday night, ChaiLifeline's Camp for pediatric Chronic illnesses came to Citifield and performed for an outside Crowd.

Chailifeline is one of the Charities that sincerely deserves our Contributions.

Imagine dealing with a Child who is sick Constantly. Not just a Common Cold.

Camp Simcha has four sessions every summer. Two weeks of girls, two weeks of boys, then 2 weeks of special (severely) sick girls and two weeks of (severely) sick boys.

Can one imagine the respite that parents of these Children receive yearly? Instead of dealing 365 days a year with pain, they are able to get a vacation themselves. Yet apparently, the most recent session was Curtailed 5 days early due to a few Campers Coming down with the flu.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Kings Keep Krias-shema Kosher

Berachos 9B

מאימתי קורין את שמע בשחרית משיכיר בין תכלת ללבן ר' אליעזר אומר בין תכלת לכרתי (וגומרה) עד הנץ החמה ר' יהושע אומר עד שלש שעות שכן דרך מלכים לעמוד בשלש שעות

In these dog days of summer, when many are away at camp and need not follow the rigorous schedule of Yeshiva, it is somewhat difficult to complete the Krias-Shma before three hours into the day.

In truth, it is somewhat difficult to get up after a late Thursday night Mishmor, or a long night of blogging, even during the year.

Which brings to mind the question as to why our Krias-Shema time-limits should be governed by Kingly waking habits? Yes, all Jewish people are regal, but can't a king wake when he wishes?

A recent blackout solved this mystery for me. When the lights go out, there is not much to do in the dark. Before the light bulb was invented, people probably went to bed at 6, 7, 8 or 9PM, depending on the time of year. People rose when the rooster crowed, at 5 or 6 or 7 AM.

Aside from kings, who could afford an abundance of tallow fat candles, everyone went to bed early and rose early in the morning. As soon as it was light outside, people tended to their work, which was limited to sun-shine hours. Only kings could afford the luxury of lazing around in their beds for three full hours after sunrise.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Help Hatzolah Homerun Heroes


What is being billed as the Event of the Summer, is a Benefit Base Ball Bonanza between Hatzolah and the NYPD.

The game takes place this coming Wednesday night at 6PM at MCU Park at Coney Island.

MCU Park overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and the cool summer breeze, watching the sun slowly set over the horizon, along with the NYPD helicopter flyover are some of the added perks one receives when attending the game.

There are no assigned seats, as seats are secured on a first-come, first-served basis.

The proceeds go to support the ChevraGemach, and the NYPD Lieutenants Benevolent Association.

There will be Kosher food available. There are not that many Kosher events, that one can take the entire family locally in Brooklyn.

Additionally, the price is unbeatable. Tickets are normally 10$, which is quite cheap. Yet to fill the stadium, they are now running a special, where you get two seats for 10$. They even went further and are now offering for campers and their families 3 seats for ten dollars!

Based on previous years, the game should be a great one!
Finally, the Cyclones (local baseball team) will be offering a buy one, get one free sale for all ticket holders of the Hatzolah/NYPD game. Unbeatable deal. Call 917.538.0084 for more information.

Brooklyn's Best Build Bridges
Chevra Gemach

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Generation Gap Grows Geometrically

Growing up, I thought that I had seen it all.

The automobile had been invented, the radio, television, rail and air travel - Man had even walked the Moon - and after the invention of the computer and the Internet, I thought that there were no more mountains to conquer. Nothing left to invent with the exception perhaps of Man flying. No Generation Gap in my lifetime.

Yet the past Generation has seen so many scientific advances, it boggles the mind. Primary among them is perhaps the availability of the Mobile/Cell phone. Add to that the Geometric Proliferation of the Internet; Facebook, Twitter etc. Put that Internet access in everyone's pocket and you have a new Generation that is nothing like the old.

Interestingly enough, Rav Matisyahu Salomon in his Internet Asifa Speech was almost willing to write off an entire Generation - the 20-35 year olds. A real Generation Gap! Gasp!

Yet somehow we must adapt to the new reality. We must channel the technology to do our bidding, not be ruled by it. E-learning is just around the corner, Seforim may yet become extinct. If not for Shabbos, perhaps some day there really would be no more physical Ketzos's sold in America!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mirrer Medical Miracle Marveled - (Rabbi Rafoel Shmuelevitz Shlita)

Modern Medicine has been making fantastic strides in curing disease with use of Stem Cells.

Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz ZTL served for many years as a Rosh Yeshiva in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, and is famous for his intricate Shiurim.

His ethical discourses have been pubished as Sichos Musar, which was subsequently translated by Mesorah Artscroll publishers.

The apple does not fall far from the tree, and his son today serves in his stead in the Mirrer Yeshiva. Yet in recent years, his health has been failing due to ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Rabbi Rafoel Shmuelevitz has been in the news recently for having this new treatment reverse the sickness.

Others have received the treatment, yet their progress has not been as complete. Perhaps the real cure has something to do with all the Tefilos/Tehillim offered on the Rosh Yeshiva's behalf.

Boruch Mechayeh Hameisim!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

'Entebbe' Evokes Ecstatic Euphoria (July 4 1976)

There are moments in a person's life where one is filled with feelings of Ecstacy and Euphoria. I list below several of these (not all were experienced first-hand), hoping my readers can add their own in the comments section.

1947-48. First and foremost is the UN's vote to give a piece of Eretz Yisroel to the Jewish People, which resulted in the creation of the State of Israel. I can imagine the feelings of those who were involved in the process, especially those who were Holocaust survivors and fought in the fledgling militias that eventually forced the British troops off the holy soil.

1967. The Six Day War. Enemies from all sides threatened to annihilate the Jewish State. In less than a week, the Israeli Army decimated their Air Forces and resolve. Yerushalayim was reunited and the Kotel was Biyadeinu once again after thousands of years of absence.

1969. USA Man on the Moon. Mankind was able to project some of their own through outer space and place their footprints on the Moon. A superior technology achievement, one which was all the more euphoric, as the USSR was poised to accomplish this feat first. The USA was able to get their feet there first.

1976. Israeli commandos commandeered huge planes to streak across the sky, land in the deserted desert country of Uganda, and spirit away their citizens who were hijacked to Entebbe by the PFLP. A supreme blow to terrorists everywhere, and a Euphoric birthday present to America, champion of Freedom, on their bicentennial.

1977. Menachem Begin wrested control from the Labor Party and became Prime Minister of Israel.

1981. Israeli bombing of Osirak, the Nuclear devolpment site of the Iraqi's. Not appreciated fully by the West until the Gulf War, a decade later. Although the UN cried about the "agression", many Western leaders (and secretly many Eastern ones) silently applauded the action. "Boys will be boys", is what then President Ronald Reagan is alleged to have said when learning of the attack.

1993. Rudy Guiliani winning the Mayorship of New York over David Dinkins. NYC was getting more and more decadent, as David Dinkins allowed the rioters in Crown Heights to "let of a little steam". RG brought pride back to NYC, implementing his sucessful "Quality of Life" program which removed petty lawbreakers from the streets before they became major lawbreakers.

Marriage. Birth of children. Celebrating milestones with family.

First blog. First blog post. First blog comment (Thanks Bray!).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

(Rabbi Yosef) Viener Vanquishes Virtual Viaduct

As readers of this blog know, my blogroll changes from time to time, with LH venemous vitriolic violators vanquished while others take their place.

I recently heard a Shiur on internet usage from Rabbi Yosef Viener from Monsey which makes very cogent arguments for a proper Internet policy.

He seems very down to earth, speaks a perfect English, and impressed me greatly with his speech which can be found on the newly blogrolled Reb Yaakov Astor blog.

I was going to highlight several clips, but it would be too lenghty for my normally short and to the point posts. Please visit the site and read the entire article. Or better yet, listen to the Shiur.
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