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A Window into the Chareidi World

14 Kislev, 5782 - November 18, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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Koh Somar Lebeis Yaakov — A Message for Jewish Women

Our generation has been blessed with righteous women who, in addition to managing their household and all that this comprises, have also assumed the yoke of parnossa so that their husbands are able to sit in the tent of Torah. Fortunate are we to merit this. And yet, it is imperative that we be vigilant that they are not faced with trials in their workplaces which are not suited to a chareidi woman. This requires heightened attention.

I have been requested to bring to the public attention what I have heard from the Rosh Yeshiva in this matter, as follows:





Statement about the International Beit Din

It has come to our attention that the so called "International Beit Din" (IBD) has issued multiple heteirim for married women to remarry without a get, utilizing various methods and arguments.

Gedolei Haposkim and multitudes of Rabbonim from across the spectrum have publicly decried the actions of the IBD and claim that their heteirim have no merit. The Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah and Conference of Synagogue Rabbonim of Agudas Yisrael join them in protest.





Redistricting: This Will Affect Our Community for the Next Ten Years

Redistricting can be a complex and seemingly abstract topic. This is unfortunate because it is also an extremely important topic. The way maps are drawn affect a community for at least a decade, and often longer.


New York





The Situation is Tough but Don't be Discouraged

G-d forbid that our spirit fall due to difficulties. HaRav Yosef Lis quotes the Brisker Rov in the name of the Chofetz Chaim that the situation in Poland was most disheartening and people complained to him, asking what to do.

He said, "Do you hear? They want better advice. However, if all of the latter day sages, together with the Rishonim, Geonim, Amoraim and even the Tanoim were to gather together, would they be able to offer better counsel than Rabbi Eliezer Hagodol who says: What shall a person do to survive the tribulations prior to the coming of Moshiach? Let him occupy himself in Torah and deeds of chessed. But they are dissatisfied with this advice. They demand from me a better choice."

Persecutors of religion will not be victorious over us so long as we realize that this is a decree from Heaven.




R' Boruch Ber: A Sketch of Maran, our Master and Teacher zt'l

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

This "Sketch" of R' Boruch Ber appears as a preface to the second volume of Bircas Shmuel. It is not a biographical sketch since it does not deal with Reb Boruch Ber's life story. Rather it is an evaluation of his greatness, which has great relevance for us since, as Reb Reuven writes, "My father-in-law's z'l greatness did not lie in his giving up more for Torah than others did. It lay in his taking more from Torah than others took."

This "Sketch" is in fact a master-shiur, written by a master-maggid shiur. It therefore needs to be studied, not merely read. In a few places, where the flow of Reb Reuven's meaning was not immediately apparent, a few explanatory words have been added inside square brackets. Similarly, a number of references are made to attitudes or practices of Reb Boruch Ber's with which readers may be unfamiliar. In order to enhance the understanding of Reb Reuven's meaning, several explanatory boxes have been added, as indicated in the text.





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From Our Archives

The Lapse of a Hairsbreadth: A Shmuess

by HaRav Sholom Schwadron, zt'l

Part II

We see that Timna wanted to convert, but the Ovos rejected her, so she went to live with Elifaz, and Amolek was produced from their union. Timna was certainly rejected for her bad character traits, yet Heaven meted out punishment for this. With the great Ovos, even a small lapse can draw a big punishment.

For Our Ultimate Benefit

The posuk (Yirmiyohu 30:10-11) says, "And you, don't be afraid My servant Yaakov," says Hashem, "and do not be terrified Yisroel, for behold I will save you from afar . . . for I am with you," says Hashem, "to save you, for I will wreak destruction upon all the nations where I have scattered you . . . and I will make you suffer for judgment and I will not erase you entirely."

The Zohar (parshas Bolok 199) asks, "Why does the posuk say, `and I will make you suffer for judgment (lamishpot)?' It should have said, `and I will make you suffer in judgment (bamishpot).' However, on that day, Hakodosh Boruch Hu will first bring a cure to Yisroel. What is the cure? Hakodosh Boruch Hu gives Yisroel suffering all the time, continually, little by little, in every generation. . . so that the prosecution should have no control over them, `And I will not erase you completely.' "

[The suffering referred to in the posuk is not the actual judgment itself, for that would be too hard to bear all at once. It is the continual "low level" suffering which Klal Yisroel undergoes, which has the effect of annulling the power of judgment, for the punishment has already been given.] In other words, Hakodosh Boruch Hu brings the cure before the blow. The suffering which we undergo is like an injection given to a sick man. Although the prick of the needle hurts, it brings the cure!

This is the difference between Yaakov and Eisov. Yaakov took Olom Habo and Eisov took Olom Hazeh. Eisov was given Olom Hazeh. However, ultimately he doesn't have it in any lasting way, as Chazal say, "No one dies having attained [even] half of what he desired." The posuk (Mishlei 13:25) says, "A tzaddik eats to satisfy his soul" -- so that he'll be healthy to serve Hashem -- "while the stomach of the wicked ones is lacking" -- his stomach is too small for him. He'd like to continue filling it but he can't, because it's too small!

The Prime Bomb Sapper at the Northern Border Wondered Why the Tanach Did Not Remain Intact as it Always Did

Excerpts from Oleinu Leshabeiach, Volume Two

He was considered one of the biggest experts in his field. And you should know that in this day and age, the title `bomb sapper' is one of the most sought-after in the entire army and even the whole country, for that matter. The wars being fought between various countries all over the world have catapulted those with the know-how of neutralizing bombs to the top echelon of this military field.

His first name was Yaakov and, for reasons which will become obvious, we cannot give his full name. Up north there is hardly a soul who doesn't know him. He is the first to appear anywhere where there is a reported suspicious object and at every public event attended by top brass who need protection. He is present in order to ascertain whether the area is safe and sterile, so to speak, or if there are any possible mines, bombs, explosives or danger of any kind.

Many hundreds of such events have been patrolled by him to date. He is as familiar with the police robot detonator, which is dispatched to neutralize explosives, as with the palm of his hand. Suspicious objects include valises, handbags, and assorted parcels abandoned on the road.

Yaakov's figure is familiar to the northern settlers and when he arrives with his big police car emblazoned with the words "Police Sapper," people know that the main highway arteries will soon be shut off to traffic and Yaakov will forge ahead with his robot.

This man was not religious -- until a certain event, that is, immediately after which he began to put on tefillin, arousing the attention of the security people with whom he has been working for years. Since our friend is one of the key men in the field, all of his colleagues understood that his new embrace of mitzvah- practice was not without heavy significance, without prior thought, and many exhibited considerable interest in his personal story.

This is his true story.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781