Rabbi Eliezer Krohn, a well-known mohel, speaker, and teacher, wrote a newly published beautiful sefer titled, A Woman’s Guide to Practical Halachah Throughout the Year and Throughout Life. This sefer, which was reviewed by Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum shlita and was published by ArtScroll, is a must-have for practical guidance in so many daily areas of life. The Hebrew title was taken from a line in Eishes Chayil, Chok L’Naaroseha, and it means Laws of Women. The book is divided into many sections, including: Daily Routine, Brachos, Shabbos, Yamim Tovim, Life Cycle, Matters of Modesty, and General Halachos such as: Chinuch, Torah Study, Kibud Av VaEim, Forbidden Images, Sheimos, Ribbis, Maaser, T’vilas Keilim, And Bal Tashchis.
This writer had the honor of speaking to Rabbi Krohn about his new sefer. He shared that it took around five years to write it and years before that of learning halachos. The idea came about to write a clear and practical to-the-point sefer of halachos for women. It was a natural outgrowth of his years of teaching girls in high school and seminary, as well as married women. He teaches in the Bais Yaakov of Passaic High School and in Reenas Bais Yaakov of Edison, as well as the New York Seminary in Borough Park, and classes for married women in Passaic. His students commented to him that “I can hear you talking,” when they read his sefer.
Rabbi Krohn shared that he credits his parents for this accomplishment. They taught, and continue to teach, how important it is to spread Torah and to help people grow. He noted that just that evening when we spoke, a student called with a sh’eilah about t’vilas keilim. He shared that answering sh’eilos is his chesed for people. He helps them to keep halachah.
When asked how he chose halachah as the area to write about, he explained that he and his wife moved to Passaic, New Jersey, because there was a need in the community for a mohel. The kollel there was a halachah kollel, and once he began learning there, he found himself drawn to this area of Torah study. “I like coming out with the practical, clear halachah to teach my students.”
He shared that his favorite part of the sefer is the section on t’filah because this is so relevant to girls and women. They are so connected to Hashem through t’filah. In this section, he detailed women’s obligations in prayer in a concise way. He also feels a strong connection to the section on challah and candle lighting, as these are also such important mitzvos for women. He shared that he provided his email address in the sefer, and he has already received many emailed questions.
I asked him about his writing process, and he shared that he is busy teaching and working as a mohel and he travels a lot. “Any free time I had, I was working on this sefer, which meant late at night, at lunch break, or early in the morning.” In addition to all of these responsibilities, Rabbi Krohn is a rabbinic advisor for PUAH, and so he receives calls regarding fertility questions, as well. Hashem should give him continued good health and strength for his incredible avodah!
His vision for the book is that as many people as possible will learn from it. “I have a portion in that learning, and that’s the greatest thing in the world.” He expressed his gratitude to TorahAnytime for spreading his over 1,000 shiurim throughout the world. “The way they are sharing Torah everywhere really inspires me.”
He shared that many people are asking him to start a volume 2. He said that he would love to write a volume 2. Readers have told him that “Now I know what to do.” Of course, sh’eilos will come up, but the basics are all there in the sefer.
Reading this sefer, this writer learned so many fascinating things I didn’t know. I never knew that you should recite Modeh Ani before you get out of bed. I also never knew that, according to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, that if a woman arrives late to shul, she should not skip parts of P’sukei D’Zimrah to catch up and begin Sh’moneh Esrei. She should daven Shacharis in correct order despite the fact that she will miss t’filah b’tzibur. Also, there is a pasuk in Amos that states, “Prepare to get toward your G-d, Oh, Yisrael.” We learn from this that a certain mode of dress is necessary when standing before Hashem. Practical guidance is that you shouldn’t daven wearing pajamas, an apron, or a bathrobe. An elegant Shabbos robe is different. Also, don’t daven barefoot. Also, reciting Adon Olam, a song of praise, with proper concentration guarantees our prayers will be heard without the Satan interfering. Women are certainly advised to recite this. These are just a few samples of the amazing practical guidance in this sefer.
By Susie Garber