I've read in an article that the Steipler Gaon, Rav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky zt"l wrote:

I’ve seen many who were thought in their youth to be incapable of succeeding, yet over time they grew to have a solid knowledge of most of Shas and a luminous understanding of halachah.

This first quote seems to be taken from one of his seforim, Karyana D’Igarta 1:21.

The second quote, this time taken from his sefer Chayei Olam 2:12 reads:

he tells the story of a 17-year-old who presented himself before the Chasam Sofer, never before having learned Torah. But the young fellow had a strong desire to do so, and the Chasam Sofer paired him up with several of his talmidim. At first, he failed miserably, incapable of grasping a mishnah, even after learning it a hundred times in a row — failing to retain even briefly whatever he did manage to understand. But he held the Torah tight and learned on and on, and eventually grew to become a great talmid chacham and tzaddik

On both Hebrewbooks.org and Otzar Hachochmah, I saw that Chayei Olam only has the volume 1 edition. Karyana D'Igarta, I was not able to find.

Does anyone know where (and if....) these two sources (Chayei Olam 2:12 and Karyana D'Igarta 1:12) can be found online?

2 Answers 2


They are both on Otzar HaChochma:

Chayei Olam

Karyana D'Igarta

older edition

newer edition

  • Could you help me find the correct pages, somehow I get lost :)
    – Shmuel
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:04
  • Great find! Thx!
    – Shmuel
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:45

The first source in the Karyana D'Igarta 1:21 can be found here:

תלמידים צעירים טועים הרבה בדמיונם, בחשבם שאינם מצליחים ואינם עולים, כי ההצלחה לעלי' האמיתית אינה ניכרת לעין התלמיד, כל דף גמרא שלומד ומבינו היא הצלחה, כל תוספות שהבינו היא הצלחה , ולאט לאט קובץ על יד ירבה, ובמשך הזמן נעשה לגדול בישראל, מבלי הבטה בכל יום ההצלחה או לא

Young students make a lot of mistakes in their imagination; in their opinion they are not successful and do not rise, because true heightened success is not recognisable to the eye of the student. Every page of Gemara he learns and understands is a success, every Tosafos he learns and understands is a success, and yet slowly slowly he accomplishes more and over time he will become a Gadol b'yisroel, without looking every day for success or not.

מה שיראה לפעמים שחברו עולה יותר בכשרונו ובתפיסתו וכיו"ב, אינה ראי' כלל על העתיד, ראיתי רבים שחשבום בצעירותם לבלתי מצליחים וכיו"ב, ובמשך הזמן ונתעלו בידיעה יסודית ברוב ש"ס, ובהכרה והבנה מאירה בדרכי ההלכה וההוראה

Sometimes he will see that his friend rises more in his talent and perception etc., he is not able to see the future at all. I have seen many who in their youth were considered unsuccessful and so on, and in the course of time, they ascended with a thorough/fundamental knowledge of the majority of Shas, and in the recognition and understanding that illuminates the ways of Halacha and teaching.

  • Wonderful Dov, also many thanks to @EraserX. Wonderful piece of thought from the Steipler. Do you know if Chayei Olam also has my cited piece online? I could not find it, using the search option.
    – Shmuel
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:35
  • The Otxar site, whilst having both volumes in one - the second volume is beyond the free page allowance and so you have to pay for the privilege unfortunately....
    – Dov
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:36
  • Unfortunately :(. Thank you very much! hatzlachah
    – Shmuel
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:44
  • 1
    re: "free page allowance" - many libraries have free in-library access to "Otzar" these days in case you happen to be near one - eg. libraries in Israel, libraries of Jewish educational institutions all over the world - even some large secular public libraries near Jewish population centers - some people affiliated with some of those libraries (such as alumni) also have free remote access.
    – EraserX
    Sep 22, 2022 at 17:57

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