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] 7 Kislev, 5780 - December 5, 2019 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly
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The Story of this Year's Agudah Convention

There was tremendous energy in the air at the Agudah Convention, which took place over the weekend of Shabbos Parshas Toldos in the Crowne Plaza Stamford. The theme of this year's Convention was "Stories: Yours. Theirs. Ours." But to fully tell the story of the Convention; to list all the speakers and topics discussed; to describe the atmosphere at the beautiful Shabbos seudos; to even give justice to the topics discussed in the Yarchei Kallah shiurim, is all but impossible in the space allocated for this article.

This will give a summary of the main keynote sessions of the Convention, which took place Thursday night, motzei Shabbos, and Sunday, along with some of the concurrent sessions on Thursday.

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Is Netanyahu Guilty or Not?

There is no doubt that the Israeli police and prosecutors, along with their collaborators in the media, were out to get Netanyahu. It is clear that Netanyahu was pursued relentlessly by the authorities, that they sought to accuse him of a crime in advance of finding one. The question is: Did they find one in the end?

Attorney General Mandelblit published a charge sheet of over 60 pages discussing the three cases against Netanyahu. For a start, it was highly unusual.

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Gedolei Yisrael Speak about Shabbos

In the incisive letter of HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and the Rosh Hayeshiva HaRav Gershon Eidelstein publicized regarding the need to reinforce and augment the value of Shabbos in light of the increasing Shabbos desecration in the peripheral public areas, they wrote: "When, of late, acts of public violation of Shabbos have increased in the country, constituting a chillul Hashem... This behooves us to fortify ourselves in the observance of Shabbos Kodesh and the study of the laws of Shabbos by sanctifying it through Torah involvement; certainly the study of the laws pertinent to Shabbos will have an impact on those distant as well and a strengthening in the observance thereof." In the wake of this letter and the concurrent increase and spread of chillul Shabbos, we turned to members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, asking how their plea can be actualized in practice, for their insights would surely be guidelines for the public.

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Mosaic Found in the Golan

For the first time, a beis knesses was discovered in the Golan dating back to the period of Roman rule, bearing a mosaic which sheds light on the style and design of ancient synagogues.

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How Rochel Imeinu Dealt With Adversity

by L. Jungerman

Yesodos

"And she said: With great wrestling have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed"

The Malbim uses this verse to whisk us right into the great gates of faith. He comments: "Naftulei (wrestling) is derived from the word tzomid posil, a covering bound upon [a vessel], that is, a covering and seal. Rachel wished to say that the matters between her sister and herself, that is, why she has brought forth children and not I, are bound up with Hashem. It is a hidden matter which a mortal cannot understand. But I, she said, prevailed — I suffered my lot with joy for [I know that] Hashem is righteous and His judgments are true and straight."

When times are difficult and one suffers, when one's eyes are lifted to Hashem for succor, then aside from what we are lacking at that time, we are tormented by the question: Why? Why me? Why does the next person have it good while I must suffer so bitterly? Am I any the less worthy?

This soul-searching is tortuous. Why are others able to marry off their children with ease? Why are most normal couples blessed with children? Without mental anguish? And why are others blessed with good health, prosperity and so on?

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