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5 Iyar 5760 - May 10, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Highlights of the Lev L'Achim Rally

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The annual Lev L'Achim rally was held on Monday 26 Nisan in Bnei Brak. Thousands came to hear maranan verabonon speak at the event which lasted more than six hours from three in the afternoon. This event brings together thousands of activists from all over the country.

One of the main speakers at the event is HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Steinman. This is what he said:

"There is nothing to add to the divrei Elokim chaim given by the others. We must convey one sentiment only: that every one of the participants can sense that it is as if a large part of Klal Yisroel has been lost, chas vesholom. All are sons of the HaMokom. Hakodosh Boruch Hu, the Father, has lost His sons. When someone returns a lost son to Him, how great is His happiness -- the happiness of a father to whom a lost son is returned. One who returns a child to Torah and mitzvos returns His lost son to the Father, Hakodosh Boruch Hu, and the great joy he brings Him cannot be described or imagined.

"Each participant must be imbued with the feeling that it is he who has returned the son to his Father, and in this way has brought great joy to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. If he feels that way, he will succeed. Hakodosh Boruch Hu will grant him success, and in this way we will all merit the great light of `the earth is filled with the knowledge of Hashem, as water covers the seas' and we will merit the geula sheleimo, speedily in our times.

Another of the highlights of the long event is the address of HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, the rav of Ramat Elchonon. Here we present part of his remarks.

Many of the questions asked by activists throughout the year are addressed to HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, who discusses them with his father-in-law the pillar of halachic authority Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. At the meeting, HaRav Sorotzkin presented some of those questions and HaRav Zilberstein presented the answers.

One question was: Is it permissible to lie or to "round off corners," (i.e. not to say the entire truth) in kiruv work.

In his clear voice, saturated with love of Torah and those who study it, HaRav Zilberstein related a number of stories which clarified both the question and the answer.

"The first story involves parents influenced by an activist to send their son to the Chevron Yeshiva," HaRav Zilberstein related. "The parents agreed, but demanded that their son receive a bagrut (high school) diploma. `Does Chevron grant a bagrut diploma?' they asked the activist, who did not give a positive reply, but promised that he would arrange a diploma for the boy. The boy entered the yeshiva, and began to study gemora, Tosafos and Maharsho very eagerly.

"After a while, his parents asked the activist: `Nu?'

"`Don't worry,' he replied. `One of the students who is familiar with the material will study with him.'

"Not long afterward, the boy told his father: `Abba, pardon me. You asked him, and he did what you asked. But I want to study Kesuvos, and not only have no time to study for the bagrut, but I am also not interested in such a diploma.'

"The father approached the activist, who replied: `I did what you asked. But what can I do if your son doesn't want to take the bagrut?'

"I was this young man's friend," HaRav Zilberstein continued. "Today, he is one of the heads of the botei din in Israel."

HaRav Zilberstein proceeded to the next story: "This is a story about activists who influenced a father to register his son in one of the yeshivos hakedoshos. The father agreed but asked how the boy would support himself when he grew up. The rosh hayeshiva signed a statement saying that the livelihood of the boy was assured. What did the rosh yeshiva really intend? This was what was in his mind: `May the student succeed. If Torah is his occupation, the Torah will guarantee his livelihood. If not, the yeshiva will help him.'

"Time passed. The student succeeded far more than expected, and today is a ram in that very same yeshiva."

"But," intoned HaRav Zilberstein, in the famous gemora niggun, "the rosh yeshiva signed. That's not simple."

"Yet," he suddenly said, "in order to continue, I have to tell you a third story, in which I will reveal the name of the rosh yeshiva: HaRav Eliyahu Broide." He then related: "One day, I went to visit him in the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv. There was a Jew there whom HaRav Broide introduced as one of the greatest baalei teshuva of our times. That Jew was a barber, who used to keep his shop open on Friday night. He even had an a excuse: the barber shop was situated in an area where many air force officers lived and, for those who may not know, the only time they have for haircuts is on Friday nights, Rachmono litzlan. One day, HaRav Broide passed by the barber shop, and discovered this serious Shabbos breach. He asked the barber pleasantly: `Why do you desecrate the orders of Hashem Tzevo-kot?'"

" `I don't earn a thing all week,' the barber replied, `because of taxes and other things. I earn my most of my living on Friday nights.'

" `Let's examine your records, and see how much you earned during the past few months on weekdays and on Shabbosim. Close the barber shop, and I promise you at least a 30 percent increase.'

"The barber saw a that the rav was a distinguished Jew and he listened to him. Then, in the silence of the hospital, the barber related: `HaRav Broide was not precise. He said 30 percent and the truth is that I made 50 percent more!'

"I then asked my brother-in-law, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, the activists' question. He told me that a person who truly trusts Hashem and seeks to sanctify Hashem's Name before the many people who are looking up to him, may alter his words. However, one who is active in the spreading of emunah has power and actually has no need to lie. He can say the absolute truth."

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