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21 Kislev, 5780 - December 19, 2019 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayeishev-5780 Published Weekly

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The Main Siyum HaShas in Israel will be on 3 Teves (December 31) near Bnei Brak

In two and a half weeks, those who have undertaken to study the Daf Hayomi Bavli will have completed this cycle, marking the 13th series of Siyum HaShas since the Daf Yomi was initiated at an Agudath Israel Knessia. The committee organizing the event in Eretz Yisroel through the representatives of Chareidi Judaism are making preparations for the central celebration to take place on Tues. the 3rd of Teves, 5780 (December 31), under the leadership of our Torah gedolim, members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah and Chachmei HaTorah, roshei yeshivos, Admorim, rabbonim and dayonim, communal heads of all the communities and distinguished circles of chareidi Jewry here, united with one heart, exemplifying "Together the Tribes of Israel."




No Antisemitism in Tourist Season

During the snowy winter season, a Jewish tourist once arrived at a resort on the heights of the Swiss Alps and settled in one of the famous hotels there. Before leaving, he complained to the hotel administrator about the anti-Semitic behavior of one member of the staff. The director raised an eyebrow surprisingly and said: "Anti-Semitism in our hotel? During tourist season?!"

This anecdote was brought to mind in wake of the announcement of the Blue-White political party determining that the campaign for the upcoming elections will eschew anti-chareidi propaganda. In the previous elections, their slogan was "A United Secular Government," which raised acerbic criticism. The rejection of the chareidi public and incitement against it activated bells of alarm.





he Twenty-sixth Menorah - a Chanukah Story

The following Chanukah story is one of 16 short stories in a book published 23 years ago entitled Listen to the Soul, by Hebrew Yated staff member Chaim Walder. We originally published it at that time, in print.

In his opening remarks to the book, Walder writes:

"[These stories] do not describe the world as it is, but rather portray it as I would wish it to be...

"In the mouths of these characters I have placed the words that explain much of what one needs to know about the human soul. I purposely put the clearest, most direct message into the mouth of the biggest thief, Heikin [of our story—Ed.], who decided to become a better person after meeting the pure-hearted pitiful yet faithful servant with the sterling character:

" `Imagine how the world would look if there were a few more pure- hearted people like Onchik,' said Heikin. `Would there be room for theft and corruption in such a world? Would anyone dare commit the deeds I used to?'

"That is why I wrote this book."





42 Incidents of Vandalism In Jewish Cemeteries in Alsace

In the past year and a half, no less than 42 incidents of vandalism in Jewish cemeteries took place in the Alsace region of France. The last one took place at the beginning of this month when swastikas and graffiti were sprayed on 107 ancient tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Westhauffen.




The Assets of Arab-Land Jewry: $150 Billion

$150 billion is the scope of the property which the Jews of Arab lands and of Iran left behind after being expelled from their countries and making aliya to Israel when it first achieved statehood. These facts, being revealed for the first time, are merely a conservative appraisal without any monetary adjustment for inflation. They are a result of an assessment covering a period of several years, and were first publicized in Yisrael Hayom.




Divine Hashgocho and Foreseeing the Future

by L. Jungerman


We surely must continue to hope that things will change, that the present situation, which seems almost rock bottom, will change for the better. We must hope for the restoration of honor and glory for the entire world when all of humanity will be uplifted to a noble level, to a condition of unity and peace, which is the most difficult of all.

The Midrash in this week's portion discusses the verse, "And the butler did not remember Yosef, and he forgot him." Who would have expected — that Avrohom and Sorah would give birth to a son in their extreme old age? That Yaakov Ovinu, who crossed the Jordan with no more than his staff, would flourish in numbers and wealth to such a degree? That Yosef, who was sold into slavery, would become viceroy?

Who would have expected all these? That is the question. Matnos Kehuna elaborates and asks: Who in his realistic mind could conceive such a future for Avrohom and Sorah, or for Yaakov such vast wealth? Who would have dared to dream that Yosef would ever reach a position of such power?

click here





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

Banish Cell Phones from the Beis Medrash

by Rav Aharon Chaim Nashri

"Omar Abaye . . . Omar Rovo . . . says the gemora . . . "

The time: 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. -- perhaps 10:00 p.m.

The place: Bnei Brak, Yerushalayim, Tiveria, Haifa, London, Antwerp, Montreal, Boro Park, Skokie, North Hollywood -- anywhere Jews are gathered.

The occasion: A Daf Hayomi shiur.

Ah, that fabulous idea first proclaimed before the gathered masses by HaRav Meir Shapira of Lublin, before thousands of Jewish leaders of the generation, that dream he described in his speech: "The same daf, at the same time, everywhere around the world . . . Two Jews who speak a common language and meet on an ocean liner, one from Eretz Yisroel and the other from chutz lo'oretz, both have something in common to talk about: the daf from Daf Hayomi!"

And indeed, this lofty vision has been realized. Ashreinu. Everywhere around the world tens of thousands of Jews gather together at a set time every evening, day in and day out without exception -- erev Pesach, chol hamoed, Yom Kippur, nights when there are weddings to attend and nights when anxieties weigh heavily -- always, at the same time, and at the same place.

True, this is a fantastic sight to behold. "Omar Abaye . . . Omar Rovo . . . " the voice echoes in the beis medrash.

"If there is the slightest deviation, our behavior is no longer in accordance with the Torah altogether."

by Maran HaRav Shach zt"l

Following is a translation of part of the mussar shmuess delivered by Maran HaRav Shach (zt"l) in the Ponovezh Yeshiva on Sunday 19 Marcheshvon, 5752 (1992) as published in the Hebrew Yated Ne'eman.

It seems to me that we should be happy about the fact that we have something unique, something that no other people has. We have, in the Torah, an exact chronology and history of the Creation of the world, day by day. Even more. We were given details of the hourly Creation: the first hour, the second hour and so on.

These are events that took place more than five thousand years ago, and we have them with such wonderful exactness!

When we say "You have chosen us from among all the nations," we should dance for joy, that He has set us apart from idol worshipers and given us such a Torah!


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

May-July, 2005