Deiah veDibur - Information & Insight

Window into the Chareidi World

24 Nisan 5773 - April 4, 2013 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

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Ancient Shul in Damascus Looted Before it was Burned

Accusations were bandied back and forth recently between the police authorities of the Syrian president Bashar Assad and the rebels with regard to the burning of the ancient synagogue in Damascus. The government authorities claim that the synagogue was damaged and plundered during clashes between the army and the rebels. According to the head of the Museums and Antiquities Department of Syria's Ministry of Culture, Mamoun Abd el Karim, the synagogue in the Guber neighborhood was robbed of several artifacts already last year, and the government was unable to maintain any form of surveillance upon the building since the entire section was in the hands of the rebels.

The Defense Against Persecution of Torah and its Scholars

Throughout the ages, the enemies of Klal Yisroel from without and oppressors from within have attempted to coerce us into following their practices and ways, whether by adapting to a gentile lifestyle or embracing the accursed Haskala philosophy. They have tried to misinterpret our Torah and to impose their laws and mores into the structure of pure Torah. Only through our leaders' adamant staying power and determination, and their fortifying the walls of Torah with a deep sense of responsibility for the future in preserving the ancient, generations-old tradition, and the guidance and direction of our Torah leadership - were our people able to survive the difficult times. They have even succeeding in entrenching themselves ever deeper in Torah, expanding the borders of kedusha everywhere, especially in Eretz Yisroel, following the devastation of the Torah and yeshiva world during the Holocaust, when our people were threatened with genocide and total eradication. Their survival was only due to their unyielding, uncompromising stand to pursue the path of our fathers and masters, generation after generation, in the face all of our persecutors.

Rain and Kinneret Watch

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret.

HaRav Chaim Chaike Mi'Amdure, zt"l
In honor of his yahrtzeit, 23 Adar (5547)

In his sefer Tiferes Shlomo (Parshas Tzav) the Rebbe of Radomsk zt"l writes that a person may constantly strive to greater heights with Torah and mitzvos yet still not reach his soul's perfection until he acquires a rebbe who teaches him the correct path. As an example, he cites the tzaddik R' Chaike of Amdure, who fasted and performed self-affliction all his life, often fasting from Shabbos to Shabbos. He would deprive himself of sleep and stay awake all night learning Torah. However, he did not feel that he had reached his life's tikkun until he found his rebbe, the Maggid of Mezeritch, zt"l.

From Our Archives

Opinion and Comment
A Middos Workshop: Ta'avah-The Thirst for Salty Water (Part 1)

Based on shiurim of Rav Dovid Siegel

Chocolate cake. Crembos. Corn chips. Potato chips. Orange soda. Ice pops. Sports cars. Swivel chairs. Fast food. Automatic ice dispensers. The last century has introduced new concepts -- a whole new vocabulary -- of luxuries designed to pamper us. Temptation has reached new levels unheard of in the past, attacking us at every turn, with every billboard, continuously inventing new angles to pull us under its spell.

Opinion and Comment

We Must Protest

by Mordecai Plaut
The see the letter referred to click here.
The letter from gedolei Yisroel led by Maran HaRav Y. S. Eliashiv shlita is a beacon of Torah truth that pierces the darkness of our times to show us where we stand and in which direction we should proceed.

Opinion and Comment

The Three-Pronged Strategy

by Chaim Walder

The winds of war are blowing outside. No, not the war with Iraq, but the war against Hashem, against His Torah and against shomrei mitzvos. Now a remark made by one of our gedolei hador has acquired new dimensions: "The elections are more cause for alarm than the Iraqi threat." Everything is now clear as day.


Av, 5765 - Kislev 5766 (August-December 2005)

May-July, 2005


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