New Program
New Programצילום: יח"צ

The milky fork somehow ended up in the meaty sink which was full of dirty cutlery – do I need to kasher the fork and the other cutlery?

If I taste some chicken soup but do not swallow it – do I need to wait the length of time that I normally wait between meat and milk?

I cut the onion with the meaty knife and then cooked it in my cheese omelet – can I eat the omelet and do I need to kasher the frying pan?

These and numerous other questions are impossible to answer unless one has a thorough knowledge of the laws of Issur v’Heter. As the head of a household every ben Torah has a responsibility to know Hilchos Issur v'Heter.

Furthermore, we eat three times a day, thus our encounters with food are very frequent. But what many people don’t realize is that the level of kashrus of the food that we eat directly affects our neshama and thus our ability to learn Torah and connect to Hashem.

It can be helpful to read one of the many books that explain the basic laws, but to really understand the halachos and know how to apply them, it is essential to learn Hilchos Issur v’Heter with the background discussion of the Gemara and commentators. Unlike many other areas of halacha, Issur v’Heter requires simultaneous knowledge of many different sugyos to properly answer almost every halachic question.

What is the challenge we face? It can take several years for a full-time advanced Torah learner to cover the laws of Issur v’Heter in depth. So how can a working ben Torah, or one with less advanced skills, begin this seemingly daunting task?

Now there is a solution. World famous Rosh Yeshiva HaRav HaGaon Yitzchak Berkovits shlit’a used his vast knowledge to arrange all the Gemaras with the commentators on each area of Hilchos Issur v’Heter and present it in the form of source sheets that cover material from the Gemara through the practical halacha. This enables one to cover the main opinions in each topic and gain a deep understanding of the halacha without being overwhelmed with too much information.

This was created for full-time Torah learners who have advanced Hebrew skills and can devote many hours each day to learn. What about busy bnei Torah who have limited time to learn but want to properly master Hilchos Issur v’Heter?

Two of the Rabbi Berkovits’s close talmidim, Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Rabbi Yakov Pesah, with the Rav’s haskama, took on the monumental task of adapting the Hebrew sheets into English. The material is written with care and great clarity, and includes the various opinions in the contemporary halacha, including many relevant practical cases.

All of this started many years ago when Rabbi Gefen first created and taught such a curriculum for Hilchos Shabbos. Meanwhile, independently, Rabbi Yakov Pesah was developing what would ultimately become the ‘Mitzvas Talmud Torah’ Program by Rabbi Berkovits.

Several years ago, they joined forces and together co-founded the ‘Kinyan Hilchos Shabbos’ Program for men and launched it online. It became an instant worldwide success. This was followed by the ‘Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro’ Program for men developed by Rabbi Gefen based on the curriculum of Kollel Linas Hatzedek/Center for Jewish Values a premier international Bein Adam L'Chaveiro resource. Women’s cohorts for both of these programs followed with equal success.

Participants in each online chabura receive source sheets with explanations both in Hebrew and English and have the option to participate in a weekly Zoom shiur and ask questions by phone and email. Many bnei Torah have also successfully gained Smicha through thoroughly learning the material.

Starting now is the newest program, The English curriculum was created by Rabbi Pesah based on Rabbi Berkovits’ sheets. The program, taught by Rabbi Gefen, consists of three parts: Klalei Horaah, Basar b’Cholov and Taaruvos.

It includes a weekly live Zoom shiur which will be recorded for review, tests to enable the individual to evaluate their understanding of the material, and availability by email or phone for questions, clarifications, or further discussions.

This is what participants in the other programs have said:

"I would love to sit in yeshiva half a day, but I have different hours.” Says Dr. Eric Leibowitz, a dentist in Brooklyn. “Learning halacha in Rabbi Gefen's online chabura allowed for the flexibility I needed. I’d always do Daf Yomi for many years, but always off and on. I was looking for something with some structure and with an end goal. This program enabled me to not only learn, but to retain what I learned in a structured way, and the tests were very helpful. I felt like I accomplished something, I made a kinyan on something.”

“Rabbi Gefen ran the halacha program for our kollel in Johannesburg. We achieved tremendous clarity … both in sugyas and in psak, which is what you want when you learn halacha.” Says Rabbi Micha Kaplan, who is an avrech in the Maharsha Community Kollel in Johannesburg and the menahel of the Maharsha Boys High School.

Shlomo Gross, a lawyer in Yerushalayim who is originally from London, shares his experience: “For people like me who are working full-time, this program was ideal. I benchmarked the … course against the syllabus required for the Smicha exams of the Rabbanut and found that it was at least as comprehensive. The … course transported my learning to a completely different level.”

“Over one thousand past and present participants in our online programs come from five continents and range from working bnei Torah to full-time kollel avreichim from Yerushalayim and Lakewood, as well as people who are still developing their Gemara skills,” says Rabbi Yakov Pesah. “Our vision is to enable bnei Torah to learn halacha in a structured way and make it doable for any motivated person.”

The program includes the option of Smicha, which is a wonderful source of pride for the individual’s family. And its greatest benefit is that it will ensure that a person can lead his family to observing the laws of Issur v’Heter with all their details.

The Kinyan Hilchos Issur v’Heter Program is starting on August 30th. For more information, tuition, and to receive an application visit