Rosh Chodesh Iyar
Words of Encouragement for the Zman HaKaitz (the resumption of learning after Pesach)
"A man should always be like an ox that accepts a yoke and like a donkey that accepts a burden."
The Sefat Emet once went into a Yeshiva and saw that there was a weakening in the desire of the the students for learning Torah. They told him that it was because the day was very hot. He said to them that it is written by the Sages that a man should always be like an ox that accepts a yoke and like a donkey that accepts a burden. The Sages said that a donkey, even in the season of Tammuz, feels cool. And what the Sages meant was that one should learn from the donkey, that even if he feels hot he works just as he does at a time when it is cool.
"One time with suffering is worth 100 times without suffering."
A great Rosh Yeshiva emphasized this point and said that it is written by the Sages that the country of Bavel is at a very low altitude and that it is very hot there. In former times, there was not the framework of a Yeshiva with all the comforts and conveniences that exist today. But in spite of all that, the Talmud Bavli came out of that place. If that is the case, then when needs to increase one's strength and overcome difficulties also at the time when the heat is increasing its strength, and as the Sages said, "one time (performing a Mitzvah) with suffering is worth 100 times without suffering". In the city of Tiveria the heat is very great, and at one time there were not all the conveniences that we have today, and from there came the Talmud Yerushalmi.
The Chazon Ish learned as usual.
One time there was a big heat wave, and the Chazon Ish learned according to his usual schedule jut like on every other day without any interruptions. He said that also he felt the heat in the beginning, but immediately when he entered the "sea" of the Talmud, he forgot about the heat and didn't feel it at all.
A Parable from the Chafetz Chaim:
The Chafetz Chaim told a parable about someone who stood in the street and sold all kinds of drinks, and people asked him how in a heat like that he could stand and sell his wares. He answered that, on the contrary, today there are many buyers and a lot of profit. And understandably, the Torah is compared to water, and on a day like that which is hot, there is more reward for those who occupy themselves with Torah, and more profit in Heaven, because "the reward is proportionate to the exertion".
Chodesh Tov U'Mevorach
L'ilui Neshamat HaGaon HaTzaddik R' Gershon Avigdor Ben R' Chaim ztz"l, Nilkach L'Bait Olamo Yud Gimmel Tishrei 5772