Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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23 Tammuz 5762 - July 3, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Announcement and Warning

Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Pinchos 5762

In order to prevent michsholim and debasement, we have been asked by the gedolei Yisroel shlita, to publicize these letters concerning organized tours to Lithuania and other sites outside of the Land of Israel under the guise of pilgrimages to gravesites of our great rabbis.

We have heard rumors that have brought anger to our souls' very being. Chazal said that whatever is holier its fellow is more destroyed than its fellow. Last year, a trip abroad was organized for some of the greatest Torah scholars and leaders of our generation for the purpose of preserving the graves of the great leaders of the last generation. Their aim was also to pour out their hearts in prayer on hallowed land [of the graves of these past Torah giants] for the salvation of the Jewish people. The goal was also one of kiruv rechokim to Judaism by means of the holy presence of so many great people. (There was also a true manifestation of wondrous Hashgocho protis in these goals at the time.)

Now, some unscrupulous profit-seekers are organizing tours to Vilna and related sites with a mixture of men and women in the guise of frumkeit. Let it be known to all that anyone joining such groups will be changing the burial sites of the Vilna Gaon zt"l and others from holy gravesites to graves of licentiousness, chas vecholiloh, and such an event must never happen to the Jewish people.

Let this call be accepted by each individual, who will be blessed by a double brochoh from Shomayim, [this letter is written by] one who agonizes over the current lowly state of our people and hopes to see the salvation of Hashem in saving the holy resting places of our great departed Torah leaders, may their merits protect us, Amen!

(signed) Yisroel Eliyahu Weintraub

Bnei Brak

I would like to affirm the above call and warning of the above gaon, shlita.

We have come to decry those motivated by the pursuit of profit at the expense of an inevitable desecration of Hashem's Name and profanation of our great niftarim in their holy resting places. These tours do not contain even the slightest trace of being for the sake of Heaven. They are tours of hefkeirus. We would like to warn those concerned not to subject themselves to severe punishment, chas vecholiloh, and to change their bad intentions [to participate in such tours] because of the dire punishment sure to result.

I am also begging for compassion for those who have no idea of the seriousness of what they are doing, in the hope that they will hear the message, rectify themselves and change their minds.

Michel Yehudah Lefkovitz


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