Monthly Archives: March 2009

Rav Aharon Feldman Shlita on Mesiras Nefesh

Monday night I had the honor of hearing the Rosh Yeshiva of Ner Israel, Rav Aharon Feldman speak in Chicago on behalf of Toldos Yeshurun.  The Rosh Yeshiva said over the following ideas regarding Mesiras Nefesh (self sacrifice):
 Mesiras Nefesh is the key to the Geulah. Shemos is full of Mesiras Nefesh. Being Mosair Nefesh means going against the grain of society. To be great you have to be Mosair Nefesh for Torah.

We build Torah institutions by being Mosair Nefesh. The Chofetz Chaim asked the question, “Why did we fast on Purim, but go to battle for Chanukah?”

His answer is that Purim was an attack on our physical beings, our Gatchmeus, so we had to counter it by fasting. Chanukah was an attack on Ruchnius, on Torah, so we had no choice but to go to battle. Mesiras Nefesh is the key to aquiring Torah. All Torah in America was built on Mesiras Nefesh.

When I was growing up in Baltimore, a very popular Conservative Rabbi said that in 40 years Orthodox Judaism won’t exist. Well, Orthodoxy is still alive and well.

We learned last week that you can only take Trumah from anyone who will donate money from their heart. For the Mishkan you can’t force someone to give, the Shechinah will only be in a place where B’nai Yisrael gives from their hearts.

The success of Jewish life is based on us going against the grain. We have to know that we can grow, elevate, and rise above all of our circumstances. The key is Mesiras Nefesh.

And the winner is…

Baruch Pelta

Baruch was chosen by me closing my eyes and scrolling up and down then stopping my mouse and seeing where it stopped.  Baruch will be contact by email with information about his prize.  Thanks for playing and remember, if you’re in the New York area you can visit Oh Nuts! at their many locations or online at

Yashar Koach to On Nuts! for this great contest!

Hisbodedus-Novardok style

A Simple Jew posted today about a new website by R Dovid Sears called “Solitude-Hisbodedus”.   It has great reading material, including a very interesting profile of Novardok and it’s derech in Mussar.  Here’s a sample

Just as he spent days and nights in hisbodedus (solitude and contemplation) in a room, or deep in the forest, so did he demand that his talmidim do the same. Thus, a room designated as the beis hamussar was installed in every Mussar-oriented yeshivah, where one could search his inner-self and study Mussar in privacy, whenever the need was felt.

The entire entry is available here .

On Nuts! Purim Basket give away…

Oh Nuts! has asked me to help promote them by offering a free Purim Basket (up to $30) to give away to one of my readers (that’s you).
This is how it works…

Just go to Oh Nuts! and post a comment on this blog about which Purim Basket you like the best.  I’ll randomly pick a winner on Thursday at 12:00 PM (CST).  Please keep in mind that I will have to contact you via email.