By Chaim Gold
Dirshu’s pre-Pesach shiurim in the United States, Eretz Yisrael, and Europe are an integral component in the mission of Dirshu’s daf hayomi b’halacha program, which is all about bringing awareness of halacha into the daily lives of all Jews, wherever they may be. “This is why Dirshu has once again been providing timely shiurim on hilchos Pesach to enhance the halachic observance and the enjoyment of yom tov that come with knowledge of the pertinent halachos,” explained Rav Aharon Gobioff, Dirshu’s American director.
Shiurim have been given in several communities in the United States by such halachic luminaries as Rav Reuven Feinstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Staten Island; Rav Yechiel Michel Steinmetz, shlita, Skverer Dayan of Boro Park; and Rav Zev Smith, shlita, dynamic daf hayomi b’halacha maggid shiur and maggid shiur for Irgun Shiurei Torah.
At Bais Hamedrash Birkas Avrohom on 50th Street in Boro Park, the shiur was given on Monday by Rav Steinmetz, who always attracts a tremendous following. His wide-ranging depth and knowledge of the entire corpus of halacha, combined with his ability to break down the most complex she’eilos into easy-to-understand, practical halacha, are legendary. This year, Rav Steinmetz chose to intertwine many of the common halachos of Pesach with various riveting contemporary halachic scenarios.
In Lakewood, home to one of the largest, most popular daf hayomi b’halacha daily shiurim, the pre-Pesach shiur was given at Beth Medrash Govoha’s Ateres Bracha Beis Medrash on Monday by Rav Zev Smith. Rav Smith’s shiur, which always attracts a huge following, discusses areas of halacha that are very pertinent but often not discussed as frequently in the run-up to Pesach. For example, is electronic writing permitted on chol ha’moed? May one “write” on a computer or ATM, or take pictures with a digital camera on chol ha’moed? What about using hot tap water on yom tov? Can you buy chametz from a store or company that sold its chametz but continued to sell chametz on Pesach?
Among the luminaries in Eretz Yisrael giving pre-Pesach shiurim in strategic locations across the country are Rav Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Kiryas Melech; Rav Moshe Shaul Klein, shlita, a rav in Bnei Brak, a talmid muvhak of venerated senior posek Rav Shmuel Wosner, shlita, and a senior member of Rav Wosner’s Bais Din; and Rav Chaim Tzvi Shapira, shlita, rosh yeshiva of the Belzer Yeshiva in Tel Aviv and dayan of the Belzer community in Bnei Brak.
Dirshu is also sponsoring a European shiur held in London. Rav Shraga Kallus, shlita, an exceptionally popular maggid shiur, is delivering a series of three shiurim on areas of Pesach and hilchos yom tov. The first shiur focuses on the halachos of kashrus: what needs a hechsher and what does not? The second is an extremely important shiur outlining the foundations of the little understood halachos of yom tov. And the third will highlight the halachos of the Seder. The shiurim are taking place in Beis Medrash Bais Shmuel, the central Bais Medrash in the Golders Green section of London.
Pesach And Tishah B’Av: The Connection
Although the Dirshu daf hayomi b’halacha program is now in chelek vav, the final chelek of Mishnah Berurah, and presently learning the halachos of Tishah B’Av, Dirshu continues to focus on adding new enhancements for its participants and the wider body of Klal Yisrael.
Thus, having shiurim by prominent poskim preceding a yom tov and featuring so many different, complex halachic scenarios is a natural outgrowth of Dirshu’s mission. In the daily e-mail that Dirshu sends to tens of thousands of participants that outlines that day’s learning and gives a quick chazarah on the previous day’s along with a brief preview of the next day’s, Dirshu has been adding a special section of pertinent halachos of Pesach. In that way, important highlights of hilchos Pesach complement the regular learning schedule of hilchos Tishah B’Av. A special section on hilchos Pesach has also been incorporated into Dirshu’s daf hayomi b’halacha’s captivating, glossy monthly bulletin distributed the world over that highlights interesting halachos that arose from the daf hayomi b’halacha daily learning program. This truly enables the daf hayomi b’halacha learner to focus on the timely, relevant halachos of Pesach as well as the halachos of Tishah B’Av.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that Dirshu’s daf hayomi b’halacha is currently learning the laws of Tishah B’Av simultaneous with bringing worldwide shiurim to the public on hilchos Pesach. The sefarim teach us a fascinating connection between Tishah B’Av and Pesach: The Seder night and the night of Tishah B’Av of that year always come out on the same night of the week. That is one of reasons the Mishnah Berurah writes that the minhag is to eat an egg on the Seder night, to remind ourselves—even on the most joyous night of geulah—that the Beis HaMikdash has not yet been built and to inject within us a deep longing for the geulah sheleimah. In this way, despite the length of the galus, we will be imbued with the hope that this year will be the year when Mashiach will finally arrive and Tishah B’Av will become a yom tov. Certainly, the zechus of learning daily halacha, the zechus of learning both hilchos Pesach and hilchos Tishah B’Av in the daf hayomi b’halacha program, will add to that moment of hisorerus so that this year we will merit to eat from the Korban Pesach together with Mashiach. Amein ken yehi ratzon! v