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23 Adar, 5780 - March 19, 2020 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayakhel-Pekudei-5780 Published Weekly
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Important Special Update 27 Adar!
A Holy Letter from the Rashkebahag Maran Sar HaTorah Shlita, about undertaking the fast and the Yom Kippur Kotton Prayer on erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan

On Monday morning 27 Adar there appeared on the front page of Yated Ne'eman in Bnei Brak the following letter about the Corona outbreak from HaRav Chaim Kanievsky.





Raboseinu Maranan Gedolei Yisroel Shlita with Rulings and Guidance for Heichalei Torah and Chinuch Institutions

BS"D 19 Adar 5780

At a time when we need Rachmai Shomayim to preserve the health of our people, it is certainly proper to strengthen limud Torah, to be careful about speaking loshon hora and rechilus, to strengthen humility and to judge favorably.

Chazal said (Yoma 28b) throughout the times of our forefathers, yeshiva [learning] never stopped among them. They also said (Shabbos 119b) there world continues in existence only due to the tinokos shel beis rabban, and they are the great guarantors that the destroyer will not enter the rooms of Yisroel.

Nonetheless, danger is more serious than prohibition...





Scenes from Israel under the Threat of the Covid-19 Virus

Life struggles to go on. This was the scene of Maran the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Gershon Edelstein's weekly talk. Only a privileged few were admitted in person, and most of the audience heard it over the phone. But in this case the result was similar to the usual talk.





An Urgent Call From The Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of America

Even though the time of prayer called for in this notice has passed, we are nonetheless publishing it for the perspective it gives on the main current topic.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America released a statement today, underscoring the seriousness of the situation and the need for everyone to listen to the direction of the medical professionals involved in containing this disease.





"His Eyes Survey all the Land"

by HaRav Dovid Kronglas zt'l


Part VI

There are also sources in Chazal that say that important parts of life are dependent on mazal and not on zchus. One point is that Hashem does not forgo sins so that our reward will be complete. To ignore any sin would cast a severe pall over one's reward in the World of Truth. Also, Hashem established two ways of conducting the world: for those who can meet the high standard He employs the middas hadin as He "originally" thought in making the world, and for those who cannot meet this standard he uses a middas horachamim that is more lenient.

In this part the Mashgiach zt'l explains, among other matters, the correlation between reward and punishment and mazal, and the tikkun of gilgul.

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V: A Person's Mazal and Duty are Given Through Middas Hadin

When a neshomoh descends from Shomayim, Hashem endows it with its mission in life according to the hanhogo of mazal, as I explained above. The King of Kings, HaKodosh Boruch Hu, supplies the neshomoh with all its needs for avodas Hashem corresponding with its assigned mission. Hashem precisely provides its needs according to how "Hashem initially intended to create the world" - with middas hadin. Outfitting the neshomoh in such an exact way guarantees that not even one crumb of nohamo dekisufa (the bread of shame) will be mixed into its spiritual sustenance when it eventually returns to Shomayim.

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Rain and Kinneret Watch

by Dei'ah Vedibur Staff

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret - Winter, 5780.

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From Our Archives

The Rambam's Insight into Our Arab Problem

by Mordecai Plaut

It is interesting -- and perhaps more surprising than it should be -- that we can find a thoroughly appropriate description of our predicament and our feelings in words written over 800 years ago by that great sage who provides us with so much guidance in so much of what we do: the Rambam.

It is not certain exactly when in his life he wrote his Iggeres Teiman, but the general background is known. The Rambam was prominent in Egypt and throughout the Jewish world, especially North Africa and the Middle East. The Jews of Yemen were under pressure from without -- in the form of Shiite Moslem rulers who bid them covert or die -- and from within in the form of a moshiach sheker who undermined their steady faith with his apocalyptic pronouncements.

The Rambam replied with his long Iggeres Teiman, much of which seems addressed to us as well as the residents of long ago Yemen.

On Chazoro

by Rav Avraham Zvi Margolit, founder of Mifal Hamasechtos

These ideas are always important but they serve as special guidelines for activity in Nisan.

The key word in all aspects of avodas Hashem is ambition. This is especially true in the case of limud haTorah. A bochur who has no ambition to acquire knowledge of the Torah will have a very low productivity level. Everyone has to aspire to train himself to be the godol beTorah of the next generation.

The mashgiach in our yeshiva, HaRav Dov Yoffe often repeats the statement made to him by the Chazon Ish: "Almost any yeshiva bochur can be the next godol hador."

Preparing for Shabbos

by HaRav Moshe Shmuel Shapira zt"l

To attain the spiritual advantages of Shabbos, to realize and feel its sublime qualities, one must prepare in advance. It is impossible to jump right into Shabbos and hope to benefit from it fully without groundwork.

Actually, before a person gains any additional level in his avodas Hashem he must exert himself beforehand. The Shulchan Oruch writes that when a person is engaged in tefillah, his madreigah should be near ruach hakodesh. Doubtless, to reach such a sublime level a person must prepare himself. The mishnah in Brochos writes that once chassidim prepared themselves for a whole hour before the tefillah in an effort to humble themselves before Hashem. [Parenthetically, if during the tefillah it is necessary to be near the madreigah of ruach hakodesh, we understand how far we are from real tefillah.]


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

May-July, 2005