Gedolei Yisroel to Lead Siyum on Seder Nashim, Tefillos at Kever of Chasam Sofer and Dirshu International European Convention

Some locations are so historic that they defy the imagination. One such place is the historic Sofiensäle Hall in Vienna, a concert hall where, during the month of Elul one-hundred years ago the groundbreaking, world-changing concept of the Daf HaYomi was proposed by the young Rav of the Polish town of Sonik. This year on motzoei Shabbos Bereishis, history will once again be made in that very hall in Vienna. That same hall will be filled to capacity once more, graced and led by leading Gedolei Yisrael and leading Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbanim, and maggidei shiur, as they celebrate a siyum on Seder Nashim and half of the present Daf HaYomi cycle.

Nothing in life is an accident. In Parshas VaEschanan, we read about the Arei Miklat, the Cities of Refuge for those who unintentionally killed (D’varim 4:41-49). This parshah usually falls out immediately following Tish’ah B’Av, and, consequently, shortly before Elul. At face value, the Arei Miklat, Tish’ah B’Av, and Elul do not seem to share a thematic connection. The Ir Miklat is a City of Refuge – a safe haven – for one who unwittingly murders. Tish’ah B’Av is a day of sadness and destruction, as klal Yisrael mourns the loss of the Beis HaMikdash and the tragedies that have occurred throughout Jewish History. Elul is the month of t’shuvah (repentance). What links these three topics together? In order to understand their deep, underlying connection, let us delve into each of these three topics.

In our previous article, we began exploring the deep and inspiring ideas relating the importance of the Jewish People’s journey through the Midbar. After all, the Torah doesn’t waste a single word; every word has infinite meaning. Thus, if the Torah went out of its way to mention every single place that klal Yisrael encamped along their long journey through the Midbar, there must be a fundamental message that the Torah is trying to teach us. We began our discussion by emphasizing the importance of each step in any journey. Every single step creates ripples throughout every aspect of our lives; every thought, word, action, and decision has infinite, cosmic reverberations and repercussions. We will now take our discussion to the next level, starting with developing an understanding of the fundamental purpose and importance of a goal.

In our previous article, we began exploring the deeper reason behind our desire to waste time and words. Chazal connect this strange desire to an important historical transition in history: the transition away from avodah zarah (idolatry), and our loss of n’vuah (prophecy). In the modern age, avodah zarah seems foolish, senseless, and pointless. We are no longer enticed by it, and we cannot even grasp how one could be. However, this inability to grasp the appeal of avodah zarah is not incidental. The world has changed, the very inner workings of the human consciousness have shifted, and we no longer crave idolatry. However, we no longer crave n’vuah and transcendence either, at least not to the same degree. Why is this? What changed?

No one knew what to do. The homeless man had charged straight through the lobby of a major office building in New York City, immune to the protests and questions of the well-dressed staff and security guards. “Excuse me, you can’t go in there,” protested the secretary, but to no avail. He stomped right past her, entered the elevator, and rode straight up to the penthouse, where he met the CEO’s private secretary. “Do you have an appointment? You can’t just barge in here like that,” she said with a distinct edge of alarm. But before she could finish her sentence, he stomped past her, as well. Bursting into the CEO’s office, the homeless man sat down opposite the CEO, put his feet up on the desk, and smiled. “Hi, Dad,” he said. “How are you doing?”

Rabbi Amnon Itzhak Shlita will again be arriving in North America this week. After the huge success of the last two tours in the area it was decided to create a third tour. So far, a total of eight lectures have been scheduled for the region spanning from Toronto to Miami and from New York to Las Vegas. According to the planners, additional lectures are usually added during the visit of three weeks.