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7 Kislev, 5782 - November 11, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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Shocking Assimilation in Israel

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and the Population Authority of the Interior Ministry reveal, for the first time, the scope of a disquieting phenomenon: over 100,000 couples in Israel are intermarried - that is, one of the two is a non-Jew. In most cases a man is married to a non-Jewess, in which case, their children are not Jewish.

The daily Israel Today has exposed these facts for the first time, laying the blame for this upon the botei din which are lax in dealing with the conversion of minors, while it is clear that such conversion in minors of families not observing Torah and mitzvos is not valid to begin with. In this expose, self-interested groups are attempting to highlight the problem in order to force the wicked government to speed up the reform in conversion which will lower the criteria for conversion according to Halochoh to a state of what they consider "friendly, satisfactory conversion."





Observations about the Wicked Government

Yair Lapid, the man who promised a new and different politics, is clean of any stain. From day to day, he is exposed as the last of the repugnant. He allows himself to be challenged by the media. Had Netanyahu appointed a cousin to a top ranking office in the public arena, as Lapid did, the media would have pounced on him, frothing at the mouth. But when Lapid appoints his sister-in-law to a public post in the board of directors of Keren Kayemet, explaining that she would serve as a volunteer, a major columnist of the Israeli press whose keyboard didn't rest for a day during Netanyahu's tenure denouncing every action he took, has, regarding Lapid's act, written, "Lapid's answer distressed me." Not angered him, cholila, for one is forbidden to show wrath against the one who managed to get rid of Netanyahu, but sufficed with 'distressed.'




Continuing the Fight Against Above-Ground Internment

Per the directive of Torah leaders, for the past few months Yated Ne'eman has been waging a resolute battle against the trend for layered, above-ground burial, as well as against new and severe initiatives of gathering bones for burial. In the wake of a series of exposes, a widespread arousal has taken place among the Torah-observant public and even in the midst of the general public, to avoid and prevent burial in such unacceptable forms. Indeed, many questions have been brought before local rabbonim throughout the country regarding proper reburial of those already interred in the objectionable manners.





HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz zt'l— 5th Kislev 5782, His Eighty-second Yahrtzeit

This was originally published in our print edition in 1994, 28 years ago.


R' Boruch Ber's Torah used to pass eagerly by word of mouth throughout the European yeshiva world of ninety years ago. Today, while we possess the four volumes of his Bircas Shmuel which contain his shiurim, we are without the warmth and enthusiasm of his delivery. The language of the printed shiurim is terse and concise and much hard work must be invested in understanding the content. (Recently, several volumes of Chidushei Veshiurei Maran Rabbi Boruch Ber, have been published. These consist of notes of R' Boruch Ber's shiurim made by his talmidim, in a style that is much more easily understood.)





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From Our Archives

The Ten Tests of Avrohom Ovinu

by HaRav Yoel Stenitzky

Part III

As far as Avrohom's ten tests, all opinions agree about seven trials: 1) "Go you out of your country," 2) famine in Eretz Yisroel, 3) Soroh's being taken by Pharaoh, 4) the War of the Four Kings, 5) Hogor and Yishmoel's being sent away, 6) Bris Milah, and 7) Akeidas Yitzchok. Opinions differ whether the following five are included: 1) Ur Kasdim (not enumerated by the Rambam), 2) Bris Bein HaBesorim (both the Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah do not reckon it), 3) running away from Nimrod (listed among the ten only according to Rashi), 4) Soroh's being taken by Avimelech (according to the Rambam and Rabbenu Yonah), and 5) Hogor's marrying Avrohom (a trial only according to the Rambam).

In the first part, HaRav Stenitzky discussed the kiddush Hashem of Avrohom in the furnace of Ur Kasdim, and the fact that afterwards Avrohom Ovinu went around disseminating consciousness of Hashem -- and that this was a truly heroic act.

In the second part, HaRav Stenitzky discussed the trials of "Lech Lecho" and of the famine in Eretz Yisroel.

The Lapse of a Hairsbreadth: A Shmuess

by HaRav Sholom Schwadron, zt'l

Part I

The Heart Knows

"And Timna was a concubine to Elifaz, son of Eisov and she bore Amolek to Elifaz . . . " (Bereishis 36:12)

The gemora (Sanhedrin 99) tells us more about Timna: "What is the meaning of, `And the sister of Loton was Timna' (posuk 22)? Timna was of royal birth, as the posuk (29) says, `Aluf Loton, Aluf Timna. . . ' the title Aluf signifies high rank but without a crown." Rashi explains that, "since Timna was sister to a king, she must have been the daughter of a king as well." The gemora tells us further, "She wanted to convert and she came to Avrohom, to Yitzchok and to Yaakov and they didn't accept her."

This is surprising. The medrash on the posuk (12:5), "And the souls that they made in Choron," tells us that Avrom would convert the men [to belief in Hashem] and Sorai the women, and of course Yitzchok and Yaakov continued this work. Why then, didn't they accept Timna, who wanted to convert?

The posuk (Shmuel I, 16:1,6) says, "And Hashem said to Shmuel. . . `Fill your horn with oil and go and I will send you to Yishai of Beis Lechem, for I have seen a king for Myself among his sons'. . . And when they arrived, he saw Eliyov, and said, `But before Hashem is His anointed one. . . '


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781