Rav Shaul Alter shlit”a, the rosh yeshiva of Ger, delivered divrei chizuk regarding the ongoing war in Eretz Yisroel to more than 1,000 people at the Bais Medrash of Lakewood Commons in Lakewood, New Jersey on Sunday night.
The rosh yeshiva is continuing his visit to the U.S. on Monday with a trip to his followers in Florida. There will be a mass asifah with him on Tuesday in Boro Park, after which he will return to Eretz Yisroel.
The following is a translation of the divrei chizuk:
As a guest from Eretz Yisroel, I want to thank Hashem for the help we get from America. I don’t mean the US Government, not the President and his aircraft carrier, I mean the Torah being learnt in America, this is what is saving us in Eretz Yisroel!
Lakewood is a Torah city! The declaration of Independence wasn’t on July 4th 1776. It was here! This is the greatest declaration of independence, to show that a Ben Torah can immerse himself into learning and totally disassociate from the world around him.
Before my trip to here, I went to receive a Bracha from the Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Dov Lando shlit”a. I asked him what message can be given to our brethren in America about the matzev in Eretz Yisroel. Reb Dov told me “Tell them that ‘Ki Heim Chayeinu Ve’oirech Yameinu!”
The simple meaning of his words is that when we are concerned about the welfare of yidden in Eretz Yisroel, we must remember that Torah is our life, and the greatest shmira.
The Medrash says, based on a possuk in Sefer Shoftim, that a talmid chacham who learns Torah has the zchus to save 40,000 yidden. The Tana Devei Eliyahu adds a point, that this refers to a talmid chacham who is mechadesh chiddushim in learning.
The extra effort a talmid chacham invests to delve into the depths of torah, with ameilus and amkus, this is what saves us from all evil. Talmidei chachamim here in Lakewood, and all over the world, who immerse themselves in Torah be’iyyun, have this great zchus, they are our defensive line.
But in truth, I want to point something out. When we discuss being mechadesh in learning, this doesn’t only mean finding novel chiddushim. There is another option.
There is a famous story of the Holy Kotzker, someone once went into him and told him he learnt the entire shas. The Kotzker asked him, “you learnt shas, but what did shas teach you?”
When learning, we are supposed to take something out of it, find things within what was learned that are relevant to us. Learning Torah isn’t about gaining knowledge, it’s about the Torah making us better people, to grow.
When we take new lessons from what we learn, and apply them to our day to day life, this is called chiddushei Torah!
Every one of us can be mechadesh chiddushim in this manner, by finding lessons to learn and applying them, bettering ourselves from what we learn, and merit the tremendous zchus of saving thousands of Klal Yisroel!
May Hashem help that all the Tefilos and learning should save us from all harm
כן יכבשו רחמיך את כעסך מעלינו ובטובך הגדול ישוב חרון אפך מעמך מעירך מארצך ומנחלתך
כִּי הֵם חַיֵּינוּ וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֵינוּ
חובת השעה בצל המצב הקשה בארץ הקודש
נמסר ע”י ראש הישיבה רבי שאול אלתר מגור שליט”א
דברים חוצבים מאת גאון ישראל הגאון הגדול רבי דוב לנדו שליט”א
נמסר בסיום שיעור בענין התראה בזמן הזה
“תפילה לעני כי יעטוף” – התפילה צריכה לעטוף את כל הווייתו של האדם
דברי רבינו רבי שאול אלתר מגור שליט”א בבית המדרש קהל מאור חיים – לייקווד
יום ב’ כ”ב חשוון תשפ”ד, לאחר תפילת שחרית