Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits
Rabbi Yitzchak BerkovitsCourtesy

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Numerous Shabbos questions are impossible to answer without thorough knowledge of its laws. Shabbos comes once a week, so if a person is not well-versed in its intricacies, then it is inevitable that transgressions will take place.

The many books of basic laws are wonderful, but to really understand the "halachos" and to apply them, it is essential to learn and remember hilchos Shabbos with the background discussion. What is the challenge we face? It takes several years for a full-time advanced Torah learner to cover the laws of Shabbos in depth. Kinyan Hilchos Shabbos for men offered a solution. World famous Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel, HaRav Hagaon Yitzchak Berkovits shlit'a, used his vast knowledge to arrange all the Gemaras with the commentators on each area of hilchos Shabbos and presented it in the form of source sheets that cover material from the Gemara until 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 a lot of information.

Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen, a close talmid of Rav Berkovits who spent eight years as a "Rosh Chaburah" in Rav Berkovits's famous Jerusalem Kollel, with the Rav's endorsement, took on the monumental task of adapting the Hebrew sheets into English to make the program available for busy professionals.

After successfully running the Hilchos Shabbos program for several years, Rabbi Gefen joined forces with Rabbi Dr. Yakov Pesah, also a "musmach" of Rabbi Berkovits, and together they co-founded ‘Kinyan Hilchos Shabbos’ program for men and launched it online. It became an instant success worldwide.

During the launches of the Hilchos Shabbos course for men, it became crystal clear that a course especially tailored for Jewish women was necessary. The program received many emails asking for a women’s cohort of this important and highly relevant series. Women, just as much as men, require practical knowledge on how to keep the myriad halachos of Shabbos. Indeed, they may even be faced with more scenarios than men. Therefore, Rabbi Gefen, in consultation with Rabbi Berkovits has adapted the original curriculum to be uniquely tailored to Torah observant women, as an online program in Hilchos Shabbos (www.HilchosShabbosforWomen.com), accessible to motivated women worldwide. It empowers women to know the laws of Shabbos that are so relevant to their lives.

Participants in each online chabura receive source sheets with explanations in English. In addition to the weekly online Zoom shiur with Rabbi Gefen, he is available for questions. There are tests in each section, and the option of a signed certificate of completion from Rav Berkovits.

Several months ago, Rabbi Gefen also launched another online program for women in "Hilchos Bein Adam L’Chaveiro". This program is based on a curriculum of Kollel Linas Hatzedek/Center for Jewish Values, a premier international Bein Adam L'Chaveiro resource, whom we thank for their permission. The Bein Adam L’Chaveiro online program for women taught by Rabbi Gefen became very successful already in its first launch.

“As women, we are required to learn halacha in order to fulfill it properly,” says Dr. Shoshana Snyder from Los Angeles. “Rabbi Gefen's course … provides women with a level of knowledge and understanding of the halacha from the primary sources to the halacha l'maasei. The depth of the learning is gratifying. Participating in this program has raised my awareness of the need to apply the halacha in situations that would have escaped my notice in the past. The shiurim are clear and there is plenty of opportunity for questions. Rabbi Gefen is available for questions via email in between shiurim as well. I am not aware of any other opportunity available for women to learn halacha at this level. I look forward to receiving the sources and hearing the shiur every week!”

“It's been a real pleasure to be part of the … program. I look forward to the source sheets and shiur every week. I have an increased appreciation of the halachos and how to apply them in daily life. The material has abundant sources with varying opinions and a halacha lmaaseh section…I highly recommend the program!” says Basya Gutmann from Clifton, New Jersey.

Over one thousand of our past and present participants in our programs come from six continents and range in skill level from beginner to advanced," adds Rabbi Dr. Pesah. "Our vision is to enable everyone to learn halacha in a structured way and make it doable for every motivated person."

Mrs. Batya Eshel from Safed in Israel shares her experience: “The shiur is well focused in general, and of course the more prepared I am the more I get out of it. Questions from the participants are handled well, and we all get a lot out of the shiur. Using Zoom allows us access to a shiur that we wouldn't be able to access in person.”

Says Rabbi Berkovits: “Imagine never getting stuck again on Shabbos not knowing what to do!”

The first shiur is on Wednesday, December 20th.

For more information, tuition, and to apply visit: www.HilchosShabbosforWomen.com