September 17, 2006

Yahrtzeit of the Holy Chafetz Chaim

Reb Yisrael Meir HaKohain Kagan of Radin, author of Chafetz Chaim, Mishnah Berurah and Shmiras HaLashon, (1838-1933)

As a 9-year-old boy, he entered the yeshiva in Vilna. After marrying at 17 years of age, he continued his Torah studies, in spite of extreme poverty, spending every waking moment engrossed in the holy books. The Chofetz Chaim who refused to accept a post as rabbi, opened a general store. His wife, insisting that he continue his Torah studies, managed the store. In 1869 he founded the Yeshivah of Radin. When he was 35 (1873) he published his first book, "Chafetz Chaim" - "Shmiras Haloshon", a compilation of the laws concerning loshon hara - forbidding gossip and slander, lessons in using ones speech constructively . He ultimately published over 20 books. Some important ones are Ahavas Chessed (Love of Kindness) on the mitzvah of lending money, Machaneh Yisroel (The Jewish Camp) for Jews serving in non-Jewish armies, and Nidchei Yisroel (The Scattered of Israel) for Jews who moved to places where there were few religious Jews, particularly America. Probably the most important book he wrote was the Mishna Berurah, a six volume commentary on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, which deals with the general laws of daily conduct, such as prayers, tefillin, blessings, Shabbat, and Festivals. It consists of 6 volumes and took 25 years to complete. (from

The Prohibition of Communicating Lashon Hara


And finally, I once again add these words...

Excerpts of a letter by the Chafetz Chaim:

…Presently it is difficult to find Kohanim who know the laws and practices of the Temple Service fully. How disheartening and embarrassing. It sadly indicates that our prayers for the Temple and the Service are merely lip service, not real or heartfelt. For if we really desired it to come, we would prepare and make ready for it.

Therefore my brothers, it is incumbent upon us to…further the knowledge of the Temple and its Service. Particularly the Kohanim and the Levites, who are most directly involved in this Torah Mitzvah, for they will be the first to be asked, “why didn’t you prepare for the Temple Service?”

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