Practicing Tolerance

For over 40 years, Rabbi Leib Tropper has performed as a congregational rabbi and teacher of the Torah. A leading authority on Talmud, morality, and tolerance, Rabbi Leib Tropper offers his wisdom both to individuals and organizations. He is also a supporter of Character First.

At some point in life, most individuals encounter those whose personalities simply do not mesh with their own. A 2005 book recommended by Character First titled Sandpaper People: Dealing with the Ones Who Rub You the Wrong Way addresses this topic and offers these tips in building tolerance:

Self-Reflection: Ultimately, the only person’s behavior one can control is one’s own. Treating all people with dignity and respect allows one to avoid being guilty of the sort abrasive behavior performed by “sandpaper people.”

Planned Responses: It is often difficult to find the right words and behavior during tense situations. By planning responses to these situations ahead of time, one is more likely to be happier with the way the situation is handled.

Concentrate on Respect: People are destined to encounter those with polar opposite views at some point. By focusing on respecting opposite opinions rather than agreeing with everyone, both parties benefit.

Timing Conflict: Many contentious behaviors can simply be ignored, while others need to be faced. Always approach confrontations with a level head and choose these battles calmly and carefully.

Posted in Leib Tropper, Religious Study | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Learning to Read from the Torah

Leib Tropper is a rabbi who founded the Kol Yaakov Torah Center, a yeshiva in Monsey, New York. Leib Tropper has studied and taught all over the world, including several years in Israel.

Considering that glossophobia, more commonly known as the fear of public speaking, affects more people than the fear of death, it is no wonder that the prospect of reading from an ancient text in front of friends, family, and a general religious congregation might intimidate a young Jewish boy or girl preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. There are a few techniques that can make the process of reading from the Torah more comfortable. Learning the fundamentals of Torah reading is essential, including a number of grammar issues that may present difficulties. For instance, vowels are incorporated into the Hebrew language in a different manner than many children are accustomed to; many words consist primarily of consonants, while the vowels appear as small symbols above or below the words. Learning this new method of reading is vital if a child expects to fluently read from the Torah during his or her ceremony. Additional grammar that must be learned includes how to interpret musical cues, known as Cantillation notes.

Becoming familiar with the text is an equally important step in preparing to read from the Torah. Reading through each section in English and conferring with parents, fellow students, and a rabbi is a good place to begin. After the context and mechanics are fully understood, all that is left to do is practice until the reading is perfect. The first sentence in each section should be especially stressed until the reader can recite each sentence fluently, providing the reader with a comfortable introduction into each segment of the ceremony.

Posted in Leib Tropper, Religious Study | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daas Torah: Maran Harav Wolbe, זצ”ל: a perspective

A. It is said that when Harav Shlomo Wolbe זצ”ל,  was in his salad years, serving as the Mashgiach Ruchani in Yeshivas באר יעקב, the חזון איש זצ”ל bestowed upon him the title the מחנך הדור.

The Mashgiach זצ”ל was bold. He shared ideas that were not always conventional.

He wrote in his most popular Sefer “עלי שור” that hitting a child for any reason is not acceptable. It sends the child/student a lesson that should never be learned.

Maran Harav Chaim Kanyevsky שליט”א in his Sefer אורחות יושר disagrees. Harav Dessler זצ”ל also disagrees.

Undoubtedly, beating a child is against Torah ideals and Halacha. Even for educational benefit for the student/child. The prohibition of beating a child Is pronounced when the parent/teacher are angry. The hitting that is supported by some , is more like a soft tap on the palm of the child’s hand.

B. What is a yeshiva for? Who is a yeshiva for?

Maran Harav Wolbe זצ”ל, once came with his partner, Maran Harav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro זצ”ל to the חזון איש זצ”ל to seek advice. The Yeshiva באר יעקב was in it’s embryonic stages and they were making an effort to attract and enrol very bright students. They requested from the חזון איש זצ”ל that if he came upon parents of very bright young men who are looking for a yeshiva, perhaps he can suggest באר יעקב?

The חזון איש זצ”ל immediately responded saying that very bright boys can manage on their own … an does not need the help of a yeshiva. It is the weak to average student that needs the help of a yeshiva. The חזון איש זצ”ל then added “a yeshiva is like a hospital, the student enters weak and leaves healthy and strong”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daas Torah: Between Jew and anotherJew – from the great RabbIs

( points from Rav Leib Tropper’s lecture written by David Gold)

1- The Chazon Ish,zt’l writes in his letters that ” Man is full of mistakes”

2-מרן Rav Shach,זצ״ל once told a choson that a man should enter his home
With a smile and leave with a smile ….for guaranteed Sholom Bayis( פניני רב שך)

3-one should avoid making many requests from people (Chazon Ish)

4-one should avoid borrowing Money from people (Chazon Ish)

5-The great “Pnei Yehoshua” on meseches Kesubos pg112 a writes that when
The gemora ibid writes that he who lives in Eretz Yisroel lives without sin, that is
Referring to one who lives in EY in order to fulfill the mitzva of Yishuv EY, but if
One’ choice of living in EY is based on the beauty of EY or the climate of EY or
Any other motive is not included in the blessing of the Gemora in Kesubos.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daas Torah: words of the Chazon Ish, Chofetz Chaim and others

Moshiach:-The Talmud says that Moshiach will arrive in a generation who are totally innocent Of sin or a generation who are guilty of sin (Sanhedrin 98)

Hagaon Harav Chaim Brim,zt’l in his Sefer ‘Marbe Chaim’ quotes the Chazon ish,zt’l  as introducing a novel interpretation of this painful Gemora mentioned above. After all, can we Really expect a total innocent generation? That thought is emotionally debilitating even to The righteous.

The Chazon Ish offers his sensibly composed view that the innocent refers also to the sinners of today as they are all “innocent” sinners which is termed in Talmudic language as תינוק שנשבה.

Marriage- The Chofetz Chaim maintained that choson and Kalah visiting each other excessively, Is one of the main causes for the absence of “shalom bayis” in homes. This is quoted by the Son in law of the Chofetz Chaim , Maran Harav M Zaks, zt’l. See Sefer טיפה מן הים.

Chumra- of R’ Chaim Brisker,zt’l- in a recent Sefer printed, mostly memoirs of Maran Harav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlita it is quoted that if a chair was removed from its original place, Rav Chaim zt’l Would not return the chair to its place because of the חשש of עשיית אהל on Shabbos .

Causing others to be happy- in the recently published Sefer כתרה של תורה page 86 Maran Harav Shmuel Berenbaum,zt’l is quoted as saying ” The greatest good deed a Jew can do, is to make Another Jew happy and to help another Jew ”

Non Jews-in the above mentioned Sefer ,it is quoted that Rosh Yeshivas Mir , Maran Harav Berenbaum, zt’l would get quite annoyed when hearing Yeshiva Bochurim  using nasty adjectives when discussing non jews. He would ask rhetorically how can one speak  so nasty about a  person who is a צלם אלוקים? ( an image of G’D)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stoicism and Serving god with passion – Rabbi Leib Tropper -Written by David Gold

Lecture delivered in Pennsylvania during the summer . Recorded  and written by
David Gold
Marcus Aurelius praises his stoic tutor Sextus of Chaeronea for being free
From passion yet full of love AKA natural affection. (Meditations, 1.9)
Because the Stoics appear to have used the guidance of reason to pursue
Virtue it was easier for them to love the ordinary person. Reason offered them
A vision of some virtue in everyone. Emotion is often not fair and can be
Very discriminating.
The founder of Stoicism , Zeno of Citium which survived as a way of life for
Some for close to 500 years had a ‘ way of of life ‘ to offer. Modern day
Philosophers are not certain how to understand and apply the principles of
Stoicism today. A passionless life of virtue is a complex idea.
The Torah perspective is quite different. The performance of acts of virtue
Require passion , warmth or in Hungarian ‘patima’.
In the book of Psalms King David says “all my bones speak your praises”.
When a Jew is able to serve consistently with enthusiasm, warmth and
Passion he/she have reached the capstone of spiritual achievement.
In some houses of service, silence during prayers is the way of the seriously
Penitent communicate.. And carries a palliative component for the common
We will soon see that the Jews in Egypt constantly raised their vocal
Protest to Hashem regarding their suffering. They CALLED out to G’D
Etc..far from a silent protest…
When Jews join in answering ‘yehay shamay raba’ in a gallant and vociferous
Manner , we are taught in the Talmud that the gates of heaven are opened
Even if they were closed.
The passion spreads to the physical as the body oscillates and the hands
Implore G’D for his intervention during what is called the silent shmone
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Daas Torah: the words of the Chazon Ish,zt’l – Rav Leib Tropper-recorded by David Gold

A very confusing word to say the least. Daas Torah as a concept has been uncontested for the most part until relatively recently. Daas Torah which is the
Word used to express the view of the Torah in an authoritative sense, highlights
Those views that are not treated as if they are in the “domain״ of Torah  although
They ought to.

One is not considered to have “Daas Torah” unless they have earned the title
“Talmid Chochom”. This statement would probably be contested,as it is quite
Difficult to achieve the status of a Talmid Chochom. In the maelstrom of our
Turbulent times there isn’t an abundance of people who are considered to be talmeidei chachomim.  It is our diluted perspective that allows us to believe
That one can be involved in prime rib ‘loshon  hora’ , learn Torah and be called a
Talmid Chochom. It is our “small mindedness” that allows us to merge a full time scientist and a part time learner who uses a computer search for Torah information,
To be categorized as a Torah Scholar.

That is by all standards an illusion. It is actually a dangerous illusion. Professional
Stand up comedians who learn for 3 hours per day are not Daas Torah though
They may act as if………

Sitting and studying everything but the depths of Talmud cannot qualify as a
Torah Scholar in the traditional sense of the word.

Rabbonim who tell tear jerking stories to their congregants may have the gift of
Articulation and power of inspiration . That has no influence on being a Torah
Scholar. (To be continued)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment