Jan 10, 2013
Woman Learns Shulchan Aruch

A Chabad girl of Bal Harbour, Florida, has completed all 4 volumes of the Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Aruch this week.

By COLlive reporter

Esther Rochel Elkaim, from Bal Harbour FL, finished all 8 volumes of the translated Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Aruch this past Motzoei Shabbos in honor of the Alter Rebbe's 200th yartzeit.

She started daily learning of the Shulchon Aruch on 2 Kislev 5771, her maternal grandfather's yartzeit, studying every night after Maariv, both the Hebrew and English translations together with all notes.

Miss Elkaim told COLlive she never missed a day throughout that whole year. During the second year, she studied on every Shabbos and Yom Tov and on some evenings.

She even finished the volume on Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur on the night of Yom Kippur 5772.

"I had planned my learning so as to finish the last volume on 24 Teves 5773, but the fact that I finished the whole set in honor of the occasion was truly Hashgocho Protis," she said.

Elkaim, who davens at The Shul of Rabbi Sholom Ber Lipskar, added that she hadn't originally intended for her learning to be publicized.

"I'm doing so that it might encourage others to learn more, which is what the Alter Rebbe would want as a Hachloto on this very special milestone in Hafotzas HaMaayonos," she said.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
Mazel Tov to my good friend! Proud of your achievement...
(1/9/2013 12:08:45 AM)
wow! hatzlacha rabba
kol hakavod
(1/9/2013 12:29:52 AM)
Secret spilled...
Now I know why you always seem to know every Halacha... ;)
(1/9/2013 12:30:54 AM)
Kiddush Lubavitch
An even greater impact when a girl from such a prominent family does this...
(1/9/2013 12:32:43 AM)
Hachlata Tovah
WOW!!! I will,IYH, do the same. I did not know that the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch is completely translated in English. Mazal Tov on your achievment, that's AMAZING!!!
(1/9/2013 12:44:01 AM)
wish us boys to do so!
(1/9/2013 1:29:48 AM)
Round 2?
(1/9/2013 1:32:52 AM)
Do you think Rabbi Yerusavski can test her now?
(1/9/2013 1:36:55 AM)
I dont want to take away from the accomlishment,but
I do not think the 8 volumes in English cover all four volumes in Hebrew ,so please clarify.
(1/9/2013 3:04:02 AM)
Mazel Tov Esther Rochel!
So proud of you the most Chassidishe girl in Miami! :)
(1/9/2013 8:37:16 AM)
Rabbi Yeheskel and Pearl Lebovic
Great work! May many emulate you! May you be zocheh to a wonderful shiduch!
(1/9/2013 9:37:31 AM)
Gutte Meidel
A groissen kopf + a warme hartz = an aidel und sheine meidel
(1/9/2013 10:20:56 AM)
Mazal Tov!
Proud of my Shlucha/teacher! You have really made a difference in my life. The best Halacha/Tanya teacher in town!
(1/9/2013 10:56:43 AM)
Great Job!
The English volumes cover a good bit of Vol. 1 in Hebrew [Davening, Tefillin, Tzitzis], most of Vol. 4 [Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Succah, Lulav], part of Vol. 6 on Choshen Mishpat, and Hilchos Talmud Torah. Sadly, many of them are currently out of print.

Either way, it is a wonderful accomplishment to learn through it all! The notes in Hebrew and English are very good. We should all be so inspired.
(1/9/2013 11:48:46 AM)
From Esther Rochel
Thank you to all who have posted really supportive comments! I really appreciate it all and applaud all those who are also learning.
(1/9/2013 11:51:38 AM)
a CH mother
Kol haKavod! May you continue to grow in your learning and teaching. You inspire me!
(1/9/2013 12:49:03 PM)
(1/9/2013 2:48:35 PM)
Mazel Tov!!!
Wow Esther! You give me Koach to strive for more...
(1/9/2013 3:57:02 PM)
She sounds like a really great girl.
I'm actualy inspired by her example & I'd love to do the same. I didnt know that it was translated into English. She seems like such a nice girl!!

It's just sad to think of how intimidated guys are these days by accomplishments like this. Like a girl that is too knoewledgable, educated or accomplished in their eyes, has a much much harder time on the Shidduch scene. (Of course I'm not talking abt this girl- I wish her the absolute very best- just generaly speaking.)

You got to be young, fun and more simple to be appealing to most Lubavitch guys these days. I'm sure any girl that's a tad older, and is slightly more on the intelligent or accomplished side can tell you all abt what I mean.

This is really special though.
(1/9/2013 4:08:54 PM)
Wow E.R!
Yes, you know it's me because I'm writing E.R as I always do. Anyway, quite an accomplishment, my friend!
B from A...
(1/9/2013 4:55:26 PM)
To her parents
What is your secret recipe for raising such a fine daughter in today's day & age? You're invited as speakers anytime...
(1/9/2013 6:42:29 PM)
thats amazing and so inspiring!!!
(1/9/2013 7:46:32 PM)
She's great.
Really a doll. and such a great friend.
(1/9/2013 7:53:11 PM)
Esther Rochel!
Mazel Tov! Wow! So impressed but not the least bit surprised! You're an inspiration and an amazing girl! I wish you alle brochos beharchava and may you be a Kallah soon to a Chosson as special as you...
(1/9/2013 8:49:33 PM)
Such talent!
You are such a special young lady! I hope girls out there reading this article get inspired to go, learn, and achieve. All the dedication you put into everything you, how you act, talk, teach and model the derech a Chassidishe girl should follow, all with class and a warm smile, always besimcha and with a can-do attitude. You will one day be a great Shlucha. I just feel it...
(1/9/2013 9:07:50 PM)
Go Miami!
We are the Yerushalayim of Chutz LaAretz!
(1/9/2013 9:09:30 PM)
JEM Supporters?
Is she Count & Countess Elkaim's daughter? If she is, her parents were the original JEM supporters who sponsored the Rebbe's Farbrengens live broadcasts in the 80s and JEM's biggest supporters.
(1/9/2013 9:12:23 PM)
(1/9/2013 9:34:01 PM)
A Shlucha Mother
Mazel Tov! Wish my daughter should emulate your good example...
(1/9/2013 9:34:55 PM)
A Rosh Yeshiva in Lubavitch
Halevai we should have more bochurim who learn with her passion and dedication.
(1/9/2013 9:49:41 PM)
Congratulation's for such accomplishment!!
I always knew you're special, now I know even more!
Wishing you great Hatzluchah in your future endeavors..
Sury M. (From brooklyn)
(1/9/2013 9:49:54 PM)
(1/9/2013 9:51:59 PM)
To #27
Yes, that's her parents. I know them. She was born from the Rebbe's brocho on Chof Cheshvan, the Rebbe Rashab's birthday. The family is very Chassidish (I think her mother is Gerer and her father is a descendant of the Or HaChayim HaKodosh) and her father is a big businessman in finance and real estate.
(1/9/2013 9:55:12 PM)
Good to see Halacha coming back to its rightful place of utmost importance also in Chabad and for the young generation to acknowledge it.
(1/9/2013 10:03:44 PM)
Why a secret?!
Why did you not tell your friends?! Of course, we know how much you love learning and always learn as much as possible but this is truly and incredible feat! A BIG Yasher Koach!!!
(1/9/2013 10:05:44 PM)
Ladies' Shiurim
Now I know why you think ladies' Shiurim are not of a high enough level... ;)
(1/9/2013 10:09:08 PM)
Thank You
Thank You COL for always bringing us the best info!
(1/9/2013 10:12:00 PM)
True Dedication
To be able to do this day in and day out is amazing!
(1/9/2013 10:40:44 PM)
More volumes to come?
Are there more Alter Rebbe's Shulchon Oruch left to be translated or is that it?
(1/9/2013 10:41:49 PM)
Dear Count
May you and your wife always have much naches from your special daughter!
(1/9/2013 10:53:00 PM)
Women learning
Wow I would love if my daughter would do this!!! I think we should open Smicha programs for post seminary girls. It's a shame to see girls wither away after so many year of being so koched in yiddishe and chassidishe things.

I think you should focus your energy on opening up a program in the Shul and can bring down leading lecturers to teach the girls. I would start with Rebbetzin Lipsker or Rebbetzin Schapiro.
(1/9/2013 11:04:32 PM)
(1/10/2013 12:20:54 AM)
meichayil e-l choyil...

Upon reading this I found myself thinking ... "are you single?".
It then occurred to me, were I only deserving, only to recall the Rebbe's advice that it is normal for a woman to be on a higher level than her counterpart, her neshomoh coming from a higher source.

Thank you for sharing your accomplishment.
It only adds to it when you inspire others.

Besuros Tovos.
(1/10/2013 2:29:30 AM)
A great accomplishment
Her parents should be proud!
(1/10/2013 8:57:20 AM)
May all be inspired by this to learn and do more!
(1/10/2013 9:03:53 AM)
yasher kochachech!
what an inspiration, thank you for allowing this to be posted!
(1/10/2013 11:36:05 AM)
Mazel Tov!
May this great accomplishment bring you an abundance of Brochos and the right Chosson bekorov Mamosh!
(1/10/2013 12:18:42 PM)
Mamosh an inspiration!
Takkeh an inspiration! Mazel tov to the Maidel and the Hoirim! May you be zoichech to a gutteh shidduch! Amein!
(1/10/2013 3:17:13 PM)
Thank you to someone from the young generation to continue with the energy and passion of youth as the Frierdiker Rebbe used to encourage...
(1/10/2013 4:28:14 PM)
Esther! Esther! Esther!
All your friends from around the world are sooo proud of you! Thanks for always being the leader and Dugma Chaya!!!
(1/10/2013 4:29:44 PM)
Really proud!
I finally got around to reading this after everyone told me about it...

To the Elkaims: A sach naches!

From your friends in CH
(1/10/2013 4:32:20 PM)
What a Kiddush HASHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YASHER KOYACH! What an inspiration! Mazel tov :D
(1/10/2013 5:03:58 PM)
I think it is important to LEARN the halachot that apply to women.
(1/10/2013 7:13:45 PM)
From an ex-ex-Lubvitcher
I will never thank you enough. You know who I am and how you and your dear Parents were the Light who not only brought me back home, but stronger than ever. Thank you for being there for me, your support in every way, and your brilliant arguments (now I realize how learned you are!!), to which I finally had nothing to answer! Your knowledge of Chassidus is also amazing... May you be blessed for all the good you bring to everyone you touch & may your Parents always have an abundance of naches and bring you to the Chuppah soon!
(1/10/2013 7:49:19 PM)
Good example
Mazel Tov to this special young lady and I'm especially amazed at all the wonderful supportive comments! I'm sure many other parents feel as happy to have such an example to our children...
(1/10/2013 8:20:13 PM)
Best Hosts
I was invited by the Elkaim's for many Shabbos & Yom Tov meals. I remember the beautiful Divrei Torah and stories of the Lubavitcher Rebbe shared by all and have many fond memories of the regal decor and delicious food. Most striking was the Count walking me every time much farther than the door, how someone of such caliber can emulate the Rebbe in everything and see off guests with such kovod and varemkeit. I remember the last minute when the Elkaim's graciously hosted 8 people including 6 small children just after Pesach with last-minute notice. We will never forget you all, your advice & always being there for us at any time and in any way as if we were the most important people in the world. May Esther Rochel be a kallah soon and you should have many eineklach by your Shabbos table, the most beautiful one by far I've seen in my life and many travels...
(1/10/2013 8:56:00 PM)
From ERE
Thank you to all those who have wrote incredible comments and those who have sent my Parents and me private messages. We thank you all & appreciate your support/Mazel Tovs. I didn't want this to be a kovod for myself as I really learnt leShem Shomayim, but I am so happy that my achievement seems to have given chizuk to so many people. This was my goal in publicizing my learning and b"H the response is so much better than I had expected! Yasher Koach to you all. Zei gebensht & together we should do what the Rebbe expects from us and bring Moshiach NOW!
(1/10/2013 9:01:19 PM)
Yaakov Yochanan

Well Done Esther----!
A Major Milestone In Your Illustrious Life.

While This Great Achievement Is Applauded By All.

I Wish To Make It Known That Esther Rochel Is Truly A Righteous Eyshet Chayil.

In All The World, She More Than Any Person Helped In Every Way Possible Throughout The Arduous & Terrible Journey Through The Most Aggressive & Least Treatable Cruel Disease That Afflicted My Beloved Late Wife, Over A Period Of Almost 4 Years.
Esther Did This Selflessly.
May HASHEM Bless Her For A Good Long Life.

With Much Love
(1/10/2013 11:58:31 PM)
I remember...
When you spoke as Member of the Year for the Tzivos Hashem dinner in Manhattan as a little girl with so much confidence and poise. You touched my heart and my husband's... And then you went on to become a General I heard!
(1/11/2013 12:32:11 AM)
Well Done!
Tznius Queen! Davening Star! Mitzvah Maven! Tanya Teacher! Shulchon Oruch Specialist! What's next?! Mechayil el choyil mit simcha uvtuv levav!
(1/11/2013 12:35:06 AM)
mazel tov
we are proud of this nice family that we met a few years ago in florida lots of hatzluche in your future
(1/11/2013 8:53:07 AM)
מזל טוב!
מזל טוב מכל החברים בירושלים!

הרבה נחת און ברכות פון הרב״י!
(1/11/2013 10:23:21 AM)
Mazal Tov!
De Brunoy, Sarcelles et Paris!

Très fières! Vous nous donnez plein de courage!!!

Chabbat Chalom et Hodech Tov! À bientôt!
(1/11/2013 10:25:43 AM)
נחת! נחת! נחת!

מחיל אל חיל!

מתי אתם באים לבקר אותנו בכפר חב״ד??
(1/11/2013 10:33:13 AM)
The Shul
We featured the article in The Shul of Bal Harbour's weekly Bulletin on p. 15. The Shabbos on which Governor Rick Scott is coming to speak, I'm sure even many people than usual will read it... Go Esther Rochel!!! You are the Shul's example of a REAL Chassidishe girl...
(1/11/2013 12:40:20 PM)
Mazel Tov! We're soooo very proud of you!!!
(1/12/2013 11:24:45 PM)
As a busy Mom, I can't really do what you did so beautifully, but I did start saying Mincha every day. I wish we had learnt as much in sem... MT!
(1/12/2013 11:27:13 PM)
I just wanted to pint out that her parents are Count and Countess Elkaim. I think the article should have noted that and although it was her idea, her parents should also get credit for raising such a wonderful girl. I see her daven in Shul and am always uplifted and encouraged...
(1/12/2013 11:41:57 PM)
Mazel Tov!!!
So impressive! And Wow, your achievement made it to both the Most Read & Most Comments!!! May you always be a good example to all and may many people follow in learning, teaching & actually doing!
(1/13/2013 10:20:39 AM)
So Nice
So nice to see a YOUNG person actually DOING what we've always imbued the next generation with and also LEARNING and TEACHING our heilige Torah! This is what assures us we'll for sure have MOSHIACH NOW!!!
(1/13/2013 10:26:31 AM)
tears in my eyes
I got tears in my eyes reading this. What a magnificent accomplishment. This young woman is a true role model, may she go mechayil el chayil.
(1/13/2013 2:56:44 PM)
I am so proud. You are a true Bas Chabad...
(1/13/2013 4:26:07 PM)
You make the Rebbe proud!
Best regards from Australia...
(1/13/2013 4:29:03 PM)
The Shul
I came to the Shul of Bal Harbour a few years ago and I remember how your father greeted me warmly... As a loving Mashpia, he gently told me not to talk during davening, that I was missing my crown, and that my shirt was untucked. He not remember me but I remember his name as the "Rebbe's Count". I hope he reads this but I am now married with 2 boys, wear my hat/kapote (with my shirt tucked in) and am a Shliach in CA. I will never forget the way he told me and how he was such a good example of what he preached, the epitome of class, elegance, wealth, and chassidishkeit all in one man... Didn't know he had a daughter...
(1/13/2013 4:34:10 PM)
Mazel Tov!
Sorry I only got to check COL now and saw your article in the most read column... What a great feat! I remember when you were a little girl who came to CH with her parents to see the Rebbe... What a great accomplishment. You should be so proud! Mazel Tov from CH and hope to be able to wish you Mazel Tov on your engagement soon! Hope shadchanim out there took note of your article... :)
(1/13/2013 4:36:50 PM)
Esther Rochel Wow!
Mazel Tov! Mechayil el choyil! I am impressed but not surprised from you... ;)
(1/13/2013 5:03:46 PM)
Dear Esther Rochel
i don t know you, but my parents know your parents from Paris.
You don t even understand the impact you have done on myself today.
I m so inspired and i wish one day i will start to open a shulchan aruch and learn the Halachos like you.
I always felt there is a lack in Halacha classes in chabad seminaries...
And today, it s hard for me not to have this knowledge bc yiras shamaim also comes from doing mitsvos miticulously.
How old are you?
I wish i can find for you a good shidduch.
May Hashem send you your zivug agun begashmiyut and ruchnius.

(1/13/2013 5:16:51 PM)
If I end up being comment #77-0, just wanted to wish you and your dear parents ale brochos fun Rebbe'n, tamid beharchava!

Much love to you all from 770! Moshiach NOW!
(1/13/2013 5:59:06 PM)
Mazel Tov! I'm just so happy that thanks to this young lady, the importance of knowledge of Halacha bichlal and for ladies biprat is highlighted. Too many post-seminary girls don't learn on a regular basis, and when they do they learn Sichos which are of course very important but Halacha especially leMaase like in the Shulchan Oruch is crucial especially in our times. Mazel Tov for your personal achievement and for your extraordinary example!
(1/13/2013 10:00:52 PM)
So proud of you!
As my Shlucha, I'm so proud of you! I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your regular Fridau afternoon calls, your words of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration that shows a maturity way beyond your age, and your frequent invitations. I love you and your mother and thank you both so much for everything! I look forward to your calls every Friday...
(1/13/2013 10:04:11 PM)
I read this in the Shul bulletin and wanted to check this out! What a wonderful site! And when I thought ultra-orthodox women didn't learn and that this group shunned the Internet, here are two preconceptions turned right on their faces! Congratulations! Great accomplishment! Knowledge is power!
(1/13/2013 10:06:49 PM)
what an inspiration for us all
thank you for sharing!
(1/13/2013 10:17:11 PM)
She was my student...
Esther Rochel, I am proud and honored to have taught you. The special, bright girl you were then turned into a special, brilliant young lady. It was my pleasure to have been a part of this and wish you only hatzlacha and brochos always!
(1/14/2013 12:11:32 AM)
Mazel Tov from your friends in Texas!
Mazel Tov from the Lone Star State! May your light shine forever stronger and may you light many many lamps and brighten many lives by bringing Yidden to increase in Torah and Mitzvos with joy!
(1/14/2013 12:16:14 AM)
Mazel Tov Miss Elkaim!
We are very proud!!!
(1/14/2013 12:16:58 AM)
Mazel Tov!
MT to the 3 Musketeers! The Elkaim Clan is fighting the good fight. Light will prevail & Moshiach NOW!
(1/14/2013 12:19:05 AM)
Saw you Shabbos
I didn't get to talk to you because I was with the kids, but a BIG Mazel Tov! I am amazed! Such focus, consistency & dedication! Many brochos...
(1/14/2013 12:32:13 AM)
Someone is popular!
Wow, Esther Rochel you are soooo popular! (Yeah, we all knew you were.) I'm glad I'm homeschooling my kids thanks to your wider full advice. I'm so less stressed, they're so happy, never sick, and learn soooo much! Now I know the secret sauce recipe... :) To my best friend!!! ;)
(1/14/2013 12:35:30 AM)
Very inspired
Mazel Tov to you and your wonderful parents from both of us!
(1/14/2013 10:04:58 AM)
Thank you COL
Thank you for always inspiring us with a variety of incredible articles! Go COL! And Go Esther Rochel!
(1/14/2013 10:12:47 AM)
I admire you even if I never met you for your consistence, determination and focus to get this done. Not easy at all and yet you did it...
(1/14/2013 10:14:38 AM)
Halacha Rules!
No pun intended...
(1/14/2013 10:43:16 AM)
From Esther Rochel
Thank you so much for all of your encouraging comments! I wish I knew who you all are. (I know some of you, can guess some others, but many I don't know/am not sure.) Anyway, thank you so very much! I'm very happy that I could inspire so many people, that was the intent of the article! B"H! May we all together go mechayil el choyil and bring the Geula Sheleima Mamosh right NOW!
(1/14/2013 10:47:58 AM)
MAZEL TOV!!!!!!!!
(1/14/2013 9:18:47 PM)
Great heights
So you've finished the Kitzur, the Chumash, the Nach, the Megillos, Pirkei Avos, Tanya, numerous Maamorim, and now this?! May you go to greater and greater heights always in joy and good health together with your special parents...

With admiration.
(1/14/2013 10:34:04 PM)
I love all the comments...
Go Esther Rochel!!! A sach naches to the Rebbe, your parents & all of us...
(1/14/2013 11:56:49 PM)
Mazel Tov!
This is amazing! May you be a kallah soon!
(1/15/2013 10:56:49 AM)
Halacha Shiurim
I live in CH and there are many shiurim for post-seminary girls, but I think they should have more shiurim in Halacha. Most are just Sichos... Mazel Tov!
(1/15/2013 6:30:22 PM)
Mazel Tov!!!
I just saw this now. MAZEL TOV!!! Your parents must be so proud!!!
(1/16/2013 6:59:29 PM)
(1/16/2013 6:59:50 PM)
A Sach Naches Elkaims!
(1/16/2013 7:00:24 PM)
Please copy her...
Mazle Tov! Ale brocos & a BIG Yasher Koach! This takes a lot of hard work, many hours, and true dedication...
(1/16/2013 7:01:39 PM)
For the Rebbe...
Esther Rochel, I know you must have done this truly LeSheim Shomayim and for the Rebbe as a great deal of all this learning is very technical and not readily applicable in your day to day life (i.e. Tefillin, Mezuzos, Choshen Mishpot)... The Rebbe IS proud! Mazel Tov & Moshiach NOW! Torah learning brings Moshiach closer!
(1/16/2013 7:07:48 PM)
I've started saying Chitas now thanks to your inspiration.
May you be blessed! Over the top!
(1/16/2013 7:53:58 PM)
100+ Comments!!!
And you're still on the Most Read/Most Comments after 1 week!!! So proud of you Esther Rochel! We all love you and your dear Parents!!!
(1/16/2013 11:47:29 PM)
9th Volume
I just finished the 9th volume yesterday evening in honor of the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yisroel Arye Leib zt"l, the Rebbe's brother. It has been almost 3 months of learning every evening after Maariv without missing even one day (besides on Shabbos and Yom Tov when I learnt on the afternoons instead of on the evenings). I did it even when I was extremely busy and it was very late...

Just wanted to share the Naches with you all.

May all of our learning Torah and doing Mitzvos bring Moshiach NOW!
(5/13/2014 8:16:35 PM)
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