If my friend deeply upsets me, do I have to speak to her about it?
My acquaintance didn’t come to my simcha, so now I don’t feel like coming to hers – is that considered taking revenge?
My cousin just lost er job and is in need for charity but my best friend is in a much more desperate situation – who do I help more?
Is it sheker to write the time of my wedding one hour before it will really start?
When we think of relevant Halachos, our minds generally turn to Shabbos, Brachos, Prayer, Kashrus and so on. Halachos relating to Bein Adam Lechaveiro might be looked upon as being straightforward and easy to understand. Rav Yitzchak Berkovits shlit’a, Rosh Yeshiva of Aish HaTorah, and Rosh Kollel of the Jerusalem Kollel and of Linas Hatzedek says that this is a mistake. The laws of Bein Adam L’chaveiro are just as intricate and involved as those of all areas of Torah, and they are in fact more relevant to our daily lives than anything else especially today when we are surrounded and influenced by a secular society full of discord, dishonesty and disconnect.
Says Rav Berkovits: “The majority of positive mitzvos that are applicable today when there's no Beis HaMikdash, are Bein Adam L'Chaveiro - between man and man… People think … [that] basically means be a good person. Surprise! They're not just using your seichel and deciding what a nice thing to do is. Until you learn the halachos of Bein Adam L’Chaveiro you don't have a clue as how to behave with other people.”
Sensing the urgent need of such a program, his close student, and well-known Educator, Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen, has undertaken the task of teaching Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro in the way that Rav Berkovits envisaged. Rabbi Gefen is already well known for his highly successful Hilchos Shabbos Semicha program, in which he translated the Hebrew Source Sheets of Rav Berkovits into English, adding numerous cases and the opinions of the Poskim.
He has now focused his efforts in teaching Bein Adam L’Chaveiro in a similar fashion (www.HilchosBeinAdamLChaveiroForWomen.com). The program is using the highly successful curriculum of Kollel Linas Hatzedek as a basis for its learning program and this will be part of what students are provided. Kollel Linas Hatzedek is a division of the Center for Jewish Values, a premier international Bein Adam L'Chaveiro resource, whom we thank for giving us permission to use its curriculum.”
During the last two launches of the Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro course for men it became crystal clear that a course especially tailored for Jewish women was necessary. The program received over 100 emails asking for a women’s cohort of this important and highly relevant series. Therefore, Rabbi Gefen, in consultation with Rabbi Berkovits has adapted the original curriculum to be uniquely tailored to Torah observant women, as an an online program in Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro accessible to motivated women worldwide. It empowers women to build long lasting deep relationships, to strengthen Shalom Bayis and to raise their children in a way of Torah by serving as an example of a true Bas Yisrael.
Here is what some of his students had to say about Rabbi Gefen’s other programs attesting to their impact: “The material [that Rabbi Gefen’s programs cover] brings it down to the Halacha l'Maaseh. It's great. I feel like I know what's going on. The kids also see … and it sets the tone for what's important in the family".
“Rabbi Gefen ran his program for [us] in Johannesburg. We achieved tremendous clarity … which is what you want when you learn halacha.”
“For people like me who are working full-time, this program was ideal…”
Over six hundred past and present participants in these programs come from six continents, says Rabbi Dr. Yakov Pesah, co-founder and director of the Hilchos Shabbos and Bein Adam L’Chaveiro programs and also a musmach of Rabbi Berkovits. “Our vision is to enable everyone to master halacha in a structured way and make it doable for any motivated person.”
Topics that are covered in this program include v’ahavta l’recha kemocha (love your fellow as yourself), honesty, onaas dvarim (hurtful words), dan lekaf zcus (judging favorably), lifnei iver, tzedaka, halachos of relating to secular Jews, lashon hara, kibud av v’em, returning lost objects, and many other topics.
The program includes a live Zoom shiur once a week and a forum for community discussion and support. In addition, Rabbi Gefen is available for any questions by phone and email. Anyone who undertakes the course, will receive a Certificate of Completion signed by Rav Berkovits.
Rabbi Berkovits adds: “The only way that one can really mekayem the mitzvas of bein adam l’chaveiro is to learn them first. And the study of them … is absolutely fascinating. Come learn them with us. Come know how to behave… Become like Ribono Shel Olam himself the way he describes Himself in the Torah with all the wonderful middos, keeping the halachos according to the yesodos that the Torah gives us.”
The first shiur for Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro program for women is on February 22nd. For more information, tuition, and to apply go to: