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5 Tammuz, 5784 - July 11, 2024 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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I Can Do It; But You Cannot: The Inconsistency of the Left

You do not have to have the biggest sense of justice these days to feel that there is a double standard in the Israeli justice system, backed up by the leftist media and the demonstrators.

During the operation of the government before this one, run by Bennett and Lapid, the forces of justice were quick to react to any expressed threat against the leaders. But now the things that are said against the government, and especially against prime minister Netanyahu, are greeted with deafening silence, no matter how extreme.

Here are some standout examples of things that were said against Netanyahu. If they had been said against a prime minister not from the right, they would have rightfully earned those who said them visits from the prosecutor's office.




The Legacy of Reb Yeruchom, zt'l

Part II

These essays were originally published in 1996, 28 years ago.

The Yerushalmi (Shekalim 2,5) teaches, "Ein osim nefoshos letzaddikim, divreihem hein hein zichronon." It is unnecessary to construct large monuments for tzadikim, their words perpetuate their memory. This is especially true in the case of the Mirrer mashgiach, Reb Yeruchom zt'l, for two reasons.

First, Reb Yeruchom identified closely with his shmuessen. His lectures were not theoretical discussions but the result of tremendous introspection. Perhaps this can be most succinctly expressed by the following quote taken from his children's introduction to the first volume of Reb Yeruchom's Daas Chochmah Umussar, shmuessen that he said at the Mir Yeshiva:

"His every word, whether learned or taught, emanated from his innermost self. His holy neshomoh, his pure heart and his strength of character are the sources from which he drew most of his Torah. His soul was attached and incorporated into every nuance and utterance that left his mouth. His knowledge of Hashem was derived from his own self-knowledge."

Thus, we can understand the source, Reb Yeruchom, by studying his product, his talks.




"We were Wrong" - is Not an Option

A disaster. The Israeli media does not know how to deal with it. They try to keep it as quiet as possible.

The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the progress on a deal for the hostages is a result of Israeli military pressure in Gaza. Somehow they saw messages sent between the Hamas leaders in Gaza and the Hamas officials that are outside, and it was clear that Sinawar was being pressured to accept a deal because of the heavy price of Israeli military pressure.

These messages take account of the extensive loss of Hamas fighters and the extensive damage to Gaza and they therefore were pressuring the local murderers to accept Biden's proposal for a deal with Israel.

To put it more bluntly: Netanyahu's approach, the only continued heavy military pressure on Hamas will advance a deal for the hostages, was vindicated.




An Urgent Kol Korei of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah




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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Opinion & Comment
If There is No G-d-fear, There is No Wisdom

by HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman

Part II

In the first part, HaRav Shteinman said that Torah needs constant strengthening along with yiras Shomayim, for Torah and yiras Shomayim go hand in hand. Without yiras Shomayim, any outlook is superficial. One needs to seek the truth in order to be worthy.

Aristotle was a Deliberate Heretic

The Vilna Gaon determines that Aristotle was a heretic by intellectual choice and intent. He lived in the generation of Shimon Hatzaddik and surely, if he had genuinely sought truth, he would have gone to that Sage for an explanation about Creation, the heavens, and the universe as a whole. He would have understood it, too.

How could Shimon Hatzaddik have explained and proven the knowledge to him? asks the Gaon. He says that if he, the Gaon, was capable of demonstrating the workings of the heavens on his very table top by merely uttering a holy name, surely Shimon Hatzaddik was able to do so as well.

Aristotle would have listened, learned, and necessarily been convinced of the truth, and would not have presented his own erroneous theories and philosophy. Why and how did he arrive at his invalid theories? Simply because he sought to ignore the truth or not to know of it. The Gaon maintains that Aristotle did not want to know the truth!

This statement applies as well to all those who wandered off the Torah path. They strayed because they preferred a life without responsibility, without toil. They chose not to know the truth, for the truth did not serve them; it was too demanding, too difficult. One has to strive and toil for the sake of truth, as the mishneh depicts: This is the way of Torah . . . This also applies to everything connected to truth. In order to attain it, one must be willing to deprive oneself physically and materially, to eat bread in salt, subsist on rationed water . . . else it is impossible. One can attain wisdom and Torah only through toil, effort, sacrifice and a continual search for truth.

Opinion & Comment
Longing and Yearning

by HaRav Moshe Samsonowitz

Part II

In the first part, HaRav Samsonowitz noted that it was the yearning of the Jewish people to resemble heavenly creations that brought them their arrangement in the Camp in the desert under flags (degolim). On Mount Sinai the Ministering Angels held flaming "flags" of fire when accompanying Hashem as He descended upon the mountain. The Israelites saw these flags and were overcome with the desire to emulate them. To acquire a virtue or a new spiritual level, one must first long for it. After a person demonstrates that he desires it, Heaven will relate favorably to his request and help him attain it. We see that longing is made an explicit requirement for fully fulfilling many mitzvos. We must long for our deeds to reach those of our Ovos. The heavenly fragrance of the ketoress aroused a deep longing to serve G-d. The Rambam says that as part of our preparation for Shabbos we must long for it to come, as if awaiting a distinguished guest. Sefiras HaOmer is an exercise in longing for Matan Torah. The Ramchal says that an essential component of prayer is to be "bestirred to want to be close to Him and to seek His favor." This feeling is not an extra virtue, but a condition upon which a prayer's success is contingent. If we do not bestir ourselves, shefa will not be channeled down upon us.

And He Ran After Eliahu

Our traditions indicate three kinds of relationship to those who teach us Torah. The Shulchan Oruch has clear-cut halachic parameters concerning who is considered one's main teacher (rav muvhak), and who is considered one who has taught him only part of what he knows. However, there is a third category that we will call "rebbe" for lack of a better term. This is the individual who a person feels is his main mentor. He turns to him for resolution of his doubts. He accepts his decisions, he deeply admires him, and he longs to be in his presence.

How can a person be certain who is his rebbe? This question concerns every one of us. I asked this question of the gaon Rav Yitzchok Hutner zt"l, and he answered me that this matter is explained in Melochim I 19:19- 21: "Eliyahu passed by where Elisha the son of Shophot was plowing, and he cast his mantle upon him. And [Elisha] left the oxen and ran after Eliyahu, and said: `Please let me kiss my father and my mother good-by, and then I will follow you.' And he said to him, `Go with them; what do you want from me?' ... But he arose, and went after Eliyahu, and served him. "


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781