Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Shevat 5761 - January 31, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Thousands at Bnei Brak Prayer Rally
by A. Cohen

Thousands of Bnei Brak residents participated in a tefilloh rally on erev rosh chodesh Shevat in the center of the city. At the rally, held at the request of maranan verabonon, HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner delivered stirring words of chizuk and his'orerus.

HaRav Wosner spoke about the difficult period Klal Yisroel is going through, noting, "The enemies surrounding us seek to destroy us, and those who despise Hashem lift up their heads." In the future, say Chazal, the non-Jews will come to Jerusalem in order to observe avodas Hashem, as it is written "amim har yikro'u shom yizbechu zivchei tzedek." But due to our many sins, Eretz Hakodesh is filled with millions of non-Jews who have joined so many Jews who have forsaken Hashem. Defiling Eretz Hakodesh, they have one aim: "Let us wipe you out from the nations, and the name of Israel shall no longer be recalled." That is why when there are enemies from both within and without, we are obligated to strengthen ourselves in Torah, primarily in the study of Torah lishmo, as well as in halocho, prayer and modesty, for these are the areas that the gemora says need strengthening.

HaRav Wosner also referred to the most dangerous aspect of our generation: the media, which threatens to inflict harm on every Jewish home. The media spreads indecent language and unfit thoughts referred to by Rabbi Eliezer in Brochos when he says, "Keep your sons from higoyon."

Every Jewish mother and father wants his sons to be talmidei chachomim and yirei Shomayim. How is it possible for children to grow up to Torah in a home which has Internet or radio? How is it possible to raise bnei Torah if we violate the verse, "do not let the destroyer come into your homes to kill"? "What avail will be there be to acquiring her if she is bad in the eyes of her master?" Of what avail will be one's spiritual acquisitions if one's home contains media that Hashem does not sanction? How can we pursue contradictory tracks: raising children to Torah on one had and contaminating the home with the media on the other hand?" HaRav Wosner asked fervently.

At the end of his address, HaRav Wosner related to the need to strengthen ourselves in tsnius in our of dress and at our places of work. He also stressed the need to strengthen prayer, which is "tefilloh le'oni ki ya'atof," prayer with intent from the depths of our hearts. He then brought the words of Rav Chaim Vital, who said, "After the four exiles, the Jewish Nation will suffer at the hands of the Ishmaelite nation, which is more wicked than all the others," and who knows if he wasn't referring to our current situation. Rav Chaim Vital closes: "Hakodosh Boruch Hu promised that if one prays from the depths of his heart, he will be saved: Hashem will listen." If we pray a tefilloh le'oni ki ya'atof and pour out our hearts to Hashem, we will be redeemed in the merit of the Torah and tinokos shel beis rabbon, and the verse, "Ki lo yitosh Hashem amo venachaloso lo ya'azov" will be fulfilled through us, concluded HaRav Wosner in his stirring speech.

HaRav Y. Koldetzky quoted HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, who all noted that we must distance ourselves from contention. He said that when Moshe Rabbenu said, "Ochein noda hadovor," he meant that the reason for the golus has become known, and that reason is contention and baseless hatred, for whoever speaks loshon hora evicts the Shechina.

The Chofetz Chaim once asked: "If we were to make a collection to build the Beis Hamikdosh, everyone would contribute generously. Why not contribute to the building of the Beis Hamikdosh by refraining from loshon hora, baseless hatred and contention? Why not contribute by means of yielding to one another, even at the cost of financial loss? The sins of a person who is ma'avir al midosov are forgiven. HaRav Koldetzky also cited the Chofetz Chaim as saying that in the World to Come, each person will see how much damage he caused in the world as a result of his deeds. This, he said, is implied by the verse, "sof dovor hakol nishmo," which means that in the end, all those who were forgiving will see how much deliverance they have brought to Klal Yisroel, while those who caused dissension will see how much destruction they perpetrated: destruction for which they will be punished.

HaRav Koldetzky spoke about the necessity for scrupulousness in tsnius, especially with respect to dressing according to halocho. He also decried the free distribution of newspapers containing loshon hora and rechilus.

He closed by stressing the obligation to pray from the depths of our hearts. "Only prayer with intent will bring about the full geulah. We must know that Klal Yisroel is drowning in a sea of calamity: widows, orphans, ill people cry out and plead for help. We can help them and us by prayer which is "tefilloh le'oni ki ya'atof" -- prayer from the depths of one's heart, of which the verse says: "He did not scorn their prayers."


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