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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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Achieving Unity: A Torah Thought For Pesach

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We posit that this is so because just as the Korban Pesach was the mitzvah that prepared the Jewish nation for the unity of Har Sinai and the receiving of the Torah, so too the final redemption, for which we so deeply yearn and impatiently await, will only come through this message of Korban Pesach, unity, achdus, togetherness.

* * * * *

The Chofetz Chaim said the times in which we live can be called “ikvesa d’meshicha” – the footsteps of Mashiach. We can, as it were, already hear the footsteps. What can we do to finally bring him through the door?

The answer is that we can come together with achdus, but we know how difficult a task that is. Each community is different; each one emphasizes the superficial things that separate us. Thus, coming together seems like a pipe dream – especially today, when the divisiveness between various groups of religious Jews is at an unprecedented level.

I would like to suggest something that can bring us all together in a most profound, meaningful way. It is called Daf HaYomi B’Halacha. The one thing that truly binds us all together is the Torah itself. Daf HaYomi B’Halacha, a program started by Dirshu several years ago, entails learning a page of the sefer Mishnah Berurah daily.

Since its inception tens of thousands have joined, and now the program has already begun the sixth and final volume of Mishnah Berurah and is on the final approach to the historic and worldwide first siyum in the Daf HaYomi B’Halacha cycle.

One of the remarkable things about Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is that it caters to the entire cross-section of Orthodoxy. There are Daf HaYomi B’Halacha learners and shiurim all over the world representing the cornucopia of Jewry – Ashkenazim and Sephardim, Modern Orthodox, yeshivish, chassidish, and everyone in between. Shiurim can be found in shuls in the Five Towns and in Williamsburg; in Lakewood and in Portland, Oregon; in yeshivas from Chevron to Kerem B’Yavneh and from Mitzpeh Rimon to Porat Yosef and hundreds of other locales around the globe.

Learning daily halacha is something that virtually anyone can do with the investment of a half hour, either by attending a shiur, learning with a partner, or dialing the many telephone shiurim. It enables a person to connect with Hashem in a way that is practical as well as inspirational.

That is why there is such excitement building around the first Daf HaYomi B’Halacha siyum. There will be major siyumim scheduled to take place during the first week of April 2015 in Eretz Yisrael, North America and Europe that will unite Jews from all segments of Orthodoxy.

In addition, Dirshu’s new edition of the Mishnah Berurah, which incorporates thousands of halachic rulings on issues that have sprung up in the hundred years since the Mishnah Berurah was originally written, has been receiving rave reviews for the clear, concise manner it highlights rulings on virtually every modern-day question applicable to the laws being learned.

In short, Dirshu’s Daf HaYomi B’Halacha program is a Torah learning vehicle that can and does serve as the ultimate binder of the Jewish people. It is a program that will enhance the spiritual life of every participant. It brings one closer to Hashem because through learning practical halacha a person learns to live with Hashem and be cognizant of His presence, from the moment he awakens in the morning and says Modeh Ani to the time he recites Shema before going to sleep.

Moreover, a unifying learning program like Daf HaYomi B’Halacha is able to bring together all of Klal Yisrael in a spiritual endeavor we can all agree upon. It can help us achieve true achdus – not artificial proclamations of unity but true unity of purpose as tens and perhaps eventually even hundreds of thousands of Jews come together every day to learn the same page of Mishnah Berurah and eventually celebrate together the deep, true joy of a siyum on the entire Mishnah Berurah.

About the Author: Rav Dovid Hofstedter is the author of the “Dorash Dovid” seforim on the Torah and Moadim. He is also the founder and nasi of Dirshu – a worldwide Torah movement dedicated to accountability in Torah learning among all segments of Klal Yisrael that has impacted more than 100,000 participants since its inception fifteen years ago.


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