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7 Adar II, 5782 - March 10, 2022 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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The Center of the Universe
At The Center of the Universe
by Mordechai Plaut

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HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi writes to the Rav of Odessa

In a rare and unique letter to the rav of Odessa, HaRav Shlomo Bakst, and in a message of chizuk to all the community rabbonim who are in the midst of exile with their flocks and students, fleeing from the war front, not having yet found a permanent haven — HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, Rosh Yeshivas Ateres Yisroel and member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, who is in touch these people also in normal times, sends words of encouragement and direction.

He writes:

"Torah has no designated 'place.' Wherever there are Jews who keep and study it, there can it be found and that is its place.





Remote Control Medical Help

Dr. Maria Shebyekovsky is familiar to many wives of avreichim in Bnei Brak because of her devoted work as a midwife in Maayanei Hayeshua. She immigrated to Israel from Ukraine with her husband seven years ago and now she tells us:

"In these days, the information about people in Ukraine who require medical help — and I can speak mainly from the viewpoint of my work — comes to Israel via reports and announcements sent through the computerized media, either to me personally or to a group of doctors which has been organized to receive the facts from there.





That Was An Ehrlicher Yid

This hesped was written soon after the passing of HaRav Schwab and we published it at the time. We thought it worthwhile to republish it now.

The King of Israel and a talmid chochom are both drowning. Only one can be saved— whose life takes precedence? The Talmud states that we must save the talmid chochom because "we have no other talmid chochom like this one." Although there are other great talmidei chachomim, each individual talmid chochom is irreplaceable because his particular mesorah, personality and wisdom enable him to express unique aspects of Hashem's Torah (Horayos 13a, Netziv).

One month ago a talmid chochom was taken from our midst. HaRav Shimon Schwab synthesized many diverse strands of Torah. He was educated in the spirit of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, a talmid of Mir and Telshe in Europe, rav of K'hal Adas Yeshurun, a noted darshan and a leader of American Orthodoxy. It is not my purpose to explore each of these strands or to write a comprehensive biography, but rather to focus on HaRav Schwab's unique personal greatness. To be "maspid" means to accentuate the loss, the emptiness, "we have no other talmid chochom like this one."





Rain and Kinneret Watch

by Dei'ah Vedibur Staff

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret - Winter, 5782.

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From Our Archives

Joyous Fasting: Understanding the Uniqueness of Taanis Esther

by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis

Cry To Hashem

"The prophets and the beis din in the days of Mordechai and Esther commanded that we should read the Megilloh on Purim in order to proclaim the praises of Hashem and the salvations that He wrought through the merit of our tefillos. In this way we will bless and praise - - mevoreich and mehallel -- Hashem, and establish for all generations the truth of which the Torah writes: "Which nation is so great that Hashem answers them when we cry out to Him." (Rambam in his introduction to his minyan hamitzvos).

Face to face with the threat of complete annihilation, Mordechai directed us to turn our hearts to Hashem in prayer. On the thirteenth of Adar, before going to war against our adversaries, the Jewish people fasted and prayed that they should succeed in battle. Taanis Esther was established to commemorate this day of fasting and prayer tzom and tefilloh (Rosh, Megilloh 1:1).

If we have tzoros we usually consider davening as a means to be saved from them. In truth however, troubles are the "illness" and tefilloh is the "cure." The real reason for our tzoros is that Hashem wants to hear our tefillos (Rav Chatzkel Levenstein zt"l). Before we can appreciate the myriad of hidden miracles that Hashem did for us during the days of Mordechai and Esther, we first need Taanis Esther in order to focus on the fact that all the tribulations and our subsequent redemption were for the purpose of reestablishing a relationship with our Creator.

Hating Evil Leads to Pure Spiritual Simchah

by Mordecai Plaut

The mitzvah of remembering Amolek is not just to recall historical incidents, but to remind us to hate all evil. According to the Rambam: "The 189th [Mitzvas Asei] is that He has commanded us to remember what Amolek did to us when hastening to do evil to us. And we must hate him all the time, and we must arouse all souls to fight him, and we should encourage people to hate him -- to ensure that the mitzvah is not forgotten and to ensure that the hatred of [Amolek] is not weakened nor found lacking in people's souls with the passage of time." If there is one emotion that the modern Western sensitivity abhors, it is hatred. There is no room for hatred. No one should hate, according to modern "wisdom." Everything has its place and time, and tolerance is imperative. Whatever you do, do not hate.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781