By Chaim Gold
“Daily learning of Mishnah Berurah has the power to bring the Geulah.” Entering the kedushah-permeated home of HaGaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, is always a z’chus. Hearing him say that what you are doing has the power to bring the Geulah to the world raises the experience to a different level.
Recently, the senior members of the Dirshu hanhalah, led by Dirshu’s nasi, Rav Dovid Hofstedter, visited the revered gaon Rav Chaim in his home. They came to receive his berachah and apprise him of the continued success of Dirshu’s popular daf hayomi b’halacha daily Mishnah Berurah program. They informed him that in just a matter of months, on 4 Nissan, the historic siyum on the machzor rishon of the daf hayomi b’halacha will iy’H be held at the Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Eretz Yisrael and in other venues worldwide. Rav Chaim was gratified to hear about the success of the program and that new learners were joining every day. “Wonderful. Wonderful,” he exclaimed, saying it was a “mitzvah gedolah,” a great mitzvah to engage in daily learning of Mishnah Berurah.
In his understated way, Rav Chaim also acknowledged that daily learning of Mishnah Berurah has the power to bring the Geulah!
After being apprised of how the program works, including the additional learning of the biurim and musafim, Rav Chaim asked if the rulings of the Chazon Ish, his uncle, were part of the program. He was extremely pleased to hear that all of the Chazon Ish’s rulings related to the subject matter learned were incorporated in the daf hayomi b’halacha material.
Rav Chaim’s approbation and warm berachah depicts the importance that this venerated gadol attaches to the daily learning of Mishnah Berurah and, by extension, to the daf hayomi b’halacha program.
Gedolim representing every sector of observant Jewry have expressed their admiration for the program and have encouraged their constituents to join. HaGaon Rav Shimon Badani, a senior member of Shas’s Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah V’Chaim, was also visited by the hanhalah of Dirshu to receive his blessing and to apprise him of the progress of the daf hayomi b’halacha program. “There is something special about learning daf hayomi b’halacha,” Rav Badani said. “One comes home with tremendous practical to’eles that he can apply in his day-to-day life.”
Rav Badani then gave a moving explanation that was particularly significant in light of the fact that not long after he said these words, his beloved grandson, Shalom Aharon Badani, Hy’d, was killed by an Arab terrorist who drove his car into the bus stop where Shalom Aharon was standing.
He cited the well-known Gemara (Megillah 28), “We learned in the beis midrash of Eliyahu that one who learns halacha every day is assured a place in Olam HaBa, as it says, ‘Halichos olam lo [the ways of the world are His]’–do not read the word halichos, but rather halachos.”
Rav Badani explained that the pasuk “Halichos olam lo” is found in Sefer Chabakuk, where the Navi discusses terrible punishments. The preceding words are “Everlasting mountains were smashed, eternal hills were laid low, for the ways of the world are His.” “How,” Rav Badani asked, “do the words of ‘halichos olam lo’ come into this description of Hashem’s judgment?” He answered, “Perhaps we can say that Chazal derived from this pasuk that one who learns halacha every day is assured a place in Olam HaBa to teach us that even when we are plagued by great tzaros, great travail and suffering, maybe the antidote is to learn halacha every day.”
Another inspiring visit made by the hanhalah of Dirshu was to the Alexander Rebbe, shlita. The Rebbe, who is familiar with Dirshu’s myriad programs, related that one of his own grandsons was taking Dirshu’s monthly tests. The Alexander Rebbe hailed Dirshu’s ideal of giving tests to increase chazarah and accountability. “After the war, all was gone! There were plenty of reasons to think that the Torah would be forgotten, but look what we have today. People are being tested on the entire Shas, on the entire Mishnah Berurah!”
The Alexander Rebbe praised current participants in the daf hayomi b’halacha program and encouraged those who have not yet joined, by explaining the above-mentioned Chazal. He commented, “The Mishnah states, ‘Every Jew has a ‘share’ in the World to Come.’ Why,” asked the Rebbe, “is one who learns halacha every day ‘assured’ a place, while every Jew has a ‘share’? The Chida in the name of the Rama M’Pano, says that whereas a ‘share’ is akin to one who visits occasionally, ‘assured’ means that one is always in Olam HaBa because that is where he lives.” The Rebbe concluded, “One who learns halacha every day without respite, merits to be in Olam HaBa every day! That is the power of being part of daf hayomi b’halacha.”
The daf hayomi b’halacha program features daily halacha learning as well as daily mussar learning from the voluminous mussar sefarim written by the Chofetz Chaim, thus providing a combined daily dose of halacha and mussar.
One longtime member of the daf hayomi b’halacha program related, “I cannot begin to describe the impression and inspiration I derive from learning the sefarim of the Chofetz Chaim. Those few minutes of learning remain with me throughout the day, strengthening my emunah and yiras Shamayim.”