Rav Zilberstein: How To Learn Zevochim


Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein of the Degel Hatorah Moetzes relates that an avreich had difficulty learning Zevochim and burst into tears, begging Hashem to help him. A great rebbi told him that because he had wept over Torah, he would never weep over parnossah, shidduchim for his children, or matters of health. As to his problem with Zevochim, because the Gemara (Shabbos 31a) says that the seder of Kodshim corresponds to the word chochmah, he should have special kavonah when he reaches the words in Shemoneh Esrei, “Grant us from You wisdom (chochmah), understanding and knowledge.”

The avreich then came to Rav Zilberstein with a problem. The Ashkenazi text of the brochah, “Grant us from You knowledge, understanding and intellect,” does not include the word “wisdom,” which the rebbi had instructed him to concentrate on.

Rav Zilberstein said this did not matter because the Ba’al Harokeach (Rav Elazar Rokeach, 1176 – 1238) writes that the seventeen words of Atah chonein correspond to the seventeen times the root of the word chochom appears in the Torah. Just concentrate on the whole brochah, he said.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky suggested that instead of altering his nusach, which the Mishnah Berurah forbids, the avreich should recite the Ashknenazi nusach and add the Sefardi one as well.

David Steger – Matzav.com Israel



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