Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a Completes Mesechet Berachot in His Sleep


Kikar reports that last Wednesday, on the 3rd of Av, in the middle of the 9 days, when Rav Kanievsky Shlit"a awoke from his short afternoon nap, he asked his grandson Rav Gedalia Honigsberg Shlit"a to get him some wine.

Rav Honigsberg was surprised at this request since it was in the middle of the 9 days.  He didn't think that there would be a Siyum so soon since Rav Kanievsky makes a Siyum on Yevamot only on Erev Tish'a Be'av, which is 5 days later.  Confused, he asked his grandfather what the occasion was.

To Rav Honigsberg's astonishment, Rav Kanievsky told him that he completed Mesechet Berachot in a dream he had while sleeping.  When Rav Honigsberg asked how long it took, Rav Kanievsky replied in Yiddish, "Freg nisht tzu fil" (don't ask so much).


When the story was told over to Rav Shteinman Shlit"a, in the room overhearing was Rav Dov Landau Shlit"a, the Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka, who noted that the Hazon Ish ZT"L never made a Siyum on Mesechtot.  Rav Shteinman agreed and added that once Rav Berman ZT"L told the Hazon Ish that he was about to make a Siyum on Ketubot, whereby the Hazon Ish asked him if he was able to recite all the many details of סוגיא דמומין by heart because if not, it is not considered a Siyum.  It would only be considered a Siyum if he knew all the Sugyot in the Mesechet with great Iyun, he added.

Rav Shteinman explained that for those who cannot learn with great Iyun, learning gemara and Rashi alone is considered a Siyum.  However, for Talmidei Hachamim who are able to go deeper into the gemara and learn with Iyun, it's not a Siyum until they actually learn it with Iyun.

Rav Shteinman added that there's no doubt that regarding Rav Kanievsky, everything is in the palm of his hand, and when he completed Berachot in his dream, one could be sure that it was a true Siyum for someone of his caliber, and one can be happy at this event.


Update: I just noticed another version of the story, posted on Ladaat:

In that version, he didn't ask for wine. Rather, the grandson asked him later if he could even use wine for such a siyum, and he replied that Lichora, it's Muttar, but nevertheless, Rav Chaim Kanievsky decided to use a שתייה ממותקת (sweet drink???) for the Siyum.


At Fri Jul 19, 09:59:00 AM 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time is not a limitation during dreams. An entire Meschta can be learned in a minute.


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