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24 Tammuz, 5780 - July 16, 2020 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Mattos-Masei-5780 Published Weekly
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Answers and Guidance from HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlita on Current Issues

"Studying Torah" is the key to ward off the Corona virus; this was the message stressed by HaRav Chaim Kanievsky as the answer to topical questions addressed to him, as guidelines for roshei yeshivos, rabbonim, educators and parents. He wrote the following words this past Monday regarding our obligations during this period.

Replying to the question of how we can fortify ourselves and arouse heavenly compassion, he urged succinctly: "Through prayer." ...





Chizuk and Guidance from HaRav Gershon Edelstein shlita

The Ministry of Security and Aeronautics Industry launched the Ofek 16 spy satellite into space this past Monday 14 Tammuz. A highly sophisticated electro-optic surveillance satellite, it entered its orbit shortly after launching and began broadcasting data.

Prime Minister Netanyahu related to this launching at the opening of a government meeting and said, "We are not being lax for a moment in our efforts regarding security. The success of Ofek 16 greatly heightens our capacity to operate against Israel's enemies, both near and far. It significantly broadens our ability to function on the land, at sea, in the air as well as in outer space."





Serious Covid Cartoons — Antisemitic Edition

Antisemitic expressions — and worse — have been increasing in recent years, in sympathy with many spirits of the times.

The current outbreak of the Covid 19 disease has inspired those who hate Jews to blame us for all the ills including the terrible pandemic.

Here is a sample of some of the cartoons that have appeared.





Agudah Defends the Right to Build Shuls

Agudath Israel has filed a motion in Federal District Court to intervene in a lawsuit against the Village of Chestnut Ridge. The lawsuit opposed a Village ordinance that gives flexibility for building houses of worship within the Village, including shuls.

Until the new ordinance, the Village's zoning laws made it practically impossible to build a shul or other house of worship in Chestnut Ridge. Requirements, such as a minimum of 5 acres on which to build, ensured that observant Jews were effectively "zoned out" of the Ramapo village.





12 Gravestones Revealed under Lizhansk Street

A shocking discovery was unearthed In the course of renovation taking place this week in the marketplace of Lizhansk, Poland, not far from the tomb of HaRav Elimelech.

No fewer than 12 Jewish gravestones which had been uprooted from the Jewish cemetery were found to have been appropriated as the foundation for the main road.









From Our Archives

"To the Conductor: A Psalm"

by Yochonon Dovid

"I have something interesting to show you," said the doctor, and withdrew a large photograph from his briefcase. "Do you know what this is? It is a photo of an original cell from which a living creature develops. It was taken by a very delicate instrument capable of a forty-thousand-to-one enlargement. Can you note here, on the side of the cell, a certain swelling that is divided by a split of sorts?

"This is the beginning of the reproductive process of the cell. It grows very quickly and subdivides into two separate identical cells. The camera caught it at the very inception of this splitting process. Each of the two cells will then repeat the division, forming four cells, then eight and so on, geometrically, until a living entity is created within the mother's womb."

I was all wonder as I studied the cell embarking on the process of creating a living creature. This is the building block of an independent living thing which will execute all of the many and complex tasks of its life, of its very existence upon earth.

Our Torah, Our Prayers And Our Tears: Our Prayers

by HaRav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg

Part II

The gemora (Nedorim 81a) quotes the question of the posuk in Yirmiyahu (9:11) that asks: "For what reason did the Land perish and become parched like a desert . . .?" What was the reason for such a harsh punishment? The gemora explains that this question was put to the Sages and the Prophets and the angels. None could give the reason, until Hashem Himself answered: "Because they have forsaken my Torah that I set before them they did not heed My voice nor follow it."

Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav that this means that the people neglected to recite birchas HaTorah before they began learning every day. The Ran in his commentary on this gemora quotes Rabbeinu Yonah zt"l who explains that to assume that the Torah was actually "forsaken" would be incorrect. Granted that superficially the gemora does imply that the Land was destroyed because of bitul Torah, however if this were true, "then when the question was put to the Sages and Prophets, why did they not explain it, for it was certainly obvious and easy to explain?"

Therefore, the gemora's lesson must be deeper. "Rather, definitely they were always occupied with Torah, therefore . . . HaKodosh Boruch Hu Himself had to explain it, for He knows the depths of the heart," that they did not begin learning with birchas HaTorah.

In other words, the Torah was not held in high enough esteem, it was not considered sacred enough, to recite a blessing upon it.

Breakfast is to Break the Fast

by R' Zvi Zobin

Little Miri finishes supper at about seven o'clock. She goes to bed soon after and wakes up at seven-thirty because she has to catch the school bus at eight. Of course, this first part of the day is rushed and Miri only feels like having a drink before she leaves for school. Miri's mother sends her off with a chocolate- spread sandwich and an apple for her first recess.

The school day starts with tefilla and then there is a lesson on Chumash until morning break at 10:00 when the children eat their sandwiches. A simple calculation shows that every day Miri undergoes a 15 hour fast, from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. and then she only has a chocolate-spread sandwich and an apple and a drink of water from the water fountain.

Miri does not complain about being hungry or thirsty. Miri's mother used to try to get her daughter to eat some breakfast and even tried to tempt her with different types of cereals, but Miri always said that she did not feel like eating. Probably, Miri feels the stress of having to get ready on time and having to catch the school bus.

Children all over the world are going to school without breakfast....


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