Deiah veDibur - Information & Insight

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13 Marcheshvan 5778 - November 2, 2017 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayeira-5778 Published Weekly

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At The Center of the Universe
At The Center of the Universe
by Mordechai Plaut

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Rise in Anti-Semitic Incidents In Europe and the US

Despite legislation against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial throughout Europe, and in spite of police action, incidents of anti-Semitism on the continent are on the rise. This dismal and worrying picture was presented this past Monday in the Knesset Committee for Immigration and Absorption. A comprehensive survey of testimonies about plots against Jewish and Israeli students on university campuses was presented to the committee.


The Rav of Barcelona on the Situation in Catalonia

The Rav of Barcelona, a member of the Conference of European Rabbis, HaRav Meir Bar-Chen, discussed this past Monday the Catalonian struggle for independence in an interview with a Yated Ne'eman correspondent. He said that the Jewish community in Barcelona has no official position regarding a ruling government in this region but the present situation certainly directly affects the solidity and strength of the Jewish community in Barcelona and threatens its future. Barcelona is a large city in the Catalonia section of Spain that has been trying to declare itself independent from Spain.



Agudath Israel of America Lawsuit Against Political Discrimination

A lawsuit filed by Agudath Israel of America charging Jackson Township with violating the constitutionally protected religious rights of Orthodox Jewish residents has been amended to include an additional count after area residents found their efforts to construct an eruv stonewalled by a newly enacted ordinance that they believe is yet another example of deliberate discrimination targeting the township’s growing Jewish population.


From Our Archives

Opening the Heart for Teshuvah

by HaRav Shimon Moshe Diskin zt"l

"Then on the third day Avrohom lifted up his eyes and saw the place far off. And Avrohom said to his young men, `Stay here with the donkey while I and the lad go yonder and prostrate ourselves, and then return to you'" (Bereishis 22:4- 5). Rashi (v. 4) explains that Avrohom's "seeing the place" means his seeing a cloud hovering over the mountain. Chazal (Tanchuma, Vayeiro 23) tell us that the two lads who had gone together with him, Yishmoel and Eliezer, could not see this sight. Avrohom therefore told them, "Stay here with the donkey" -- that they are a people similar to donkeys. R' Sheila in Brochos (58a) called an Akum a "donkey," as is written, "Whose members are like those of donkeys and whose issue is like that of horses" (Yechezkel 23:20).

But why, just because they did not reach the lofty level of seeing Shechina on Mt. Moriah, was their status said to be equivalent to donkeys? Are there not many Jews, even many prominent ones, who cannot see the Shechina? Should we consider all of them to be like donkeys?

"And You Found His Heart Loyal Unto You"

by L. Jungerman

"Avrohom Ovinu was tested with ten trials and withstood them all, to prove Avrohom Ovinu's great love," Pirkei Ovos.

Most of the trials with which Avrohom was tested were enumerated in last week's portion of Lech Lecho: Going forth from his land; the famine in the land of Canaan; Sorai's being abducted to Pharaoh's palace; the war of the kings; the expulsion of Hogor and Yishmoel and the circumcision. In his commentary on Ovos, the Gra brings the source for the enumeration of the trials, but despite the great difficulty in Avrohom's surmounting these trials, they were not sufficient to warrant his being awarded the description of "G-d-fearing." Only in this week's portion, at the conclusion of the tenth test, the Akeidah, is he told, "Now do I know that you are G- d- fearing." Now, not before.


A story by Chaya Levinson - Part Two

"There is nothing as whole and perfect as a broken heart..." (R' Yisroel Salanter)

Synopsis: Rivky undertakes the project of sewing her own bridal gown. She utilizes her work hours as her time for reflection and prayer. All of her hopes and prayers are incorporated into the stitches.



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

May-July, 2005


The Message of an Earthquake

A Mission to Spread Daas Torah

Looking for the Best in Yiddishkeit

Can I - Should I?

The Immorality of Palestinian Combatants and Noncombatants

More Editorials . . .

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