Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

7 Nissan 5762 - March 20, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network


No More than Barely 4 Million Halachic American Jews
by Mordecai Plaut

According to a new study, there are no more than 4 million people in the United States who are halachically Jewish. This figure itself should be viewed as an upper bound rather than an exact number. The true figure is probably significantly lower. The results of the American Jewish Identity Survey, 2001 have already been reported from various perspectives. The following report highlights the findings that are interesting from a chareidi perspective.

Gedolei Yisroel Call for Increased Torah Study

In a pronouncement to bnei Torah throughout the world, gedolei Yisroel stress that in light of the current state of affairs endangering the lives of the residents of Eretz Hakodesh, everyone should take stock of his ways and feel that this calamity has occurred due to his shortcomings.

Roshei Yeshiva Emphasize Obligation to Strengthen Torah Study

In the wake of the call of HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, the country's roshei yeshiva have aroused the Torah community to take vital measures to strengthen Torah study.

A Cease-Fire in the Offing?
by Yated Ne'eman Staff and M. Plaut

America is making a very public and serious effort to reach a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians. Though the Americans have not said so explicitly, it is widely speculated that the Americans want quiet in the Israel- Palestinian conflict so that they can force out Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

South African Jews Mourn As Violence Hits Close To Home
by D. Saks, South Africa

A memorial service was held in Johannesburg this week for three young South African victims of the Middle East violence. The three, who died within a fortnight of each other, were the first South African-born casualties of the seventeen-month long Palestinian uprising. Many bereaved family members and friends flew to Israel to attend the funerals, and the killings received substantial coverage in the local South African press.

Internal Affairs Ministry Lists Reform Converts in Violation of Minister's Directive
by Betzalel Kahn

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set up a team last week headed by Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin to evaluate various solutions--including legislative reform--to the problem of listing Reform and Conservative converts as Jews based on the recent High Court decision.

Edited By Rabbi Moshe Finkelstein Kiryat Mattersdorf, Jerusalem

These notes are based on the responsa of Moreinu veRabbeinu HaGaon HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, rosh yeshivas Torah Ore, to questions posed by women attending his regular chizuk talks. They have been compiled by a group of his talmidim. The notes also include Hebrew sources and footnotes, which are not reproduced here.

Chief IDF Rabbi Confirms Hundreds of Soldiers Converted
by Betzalel Kahn

IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier General Yisrael Weiss has confirmed that the IDF conversion beis din he heads converts hundreds of soldiers.

Former Tourism Minister Meets with Reform Rabbis
by Betzalel Kahn

Then Minister of Tourism Benny Alon participated in the annual conference of the Congress of Reform Rabbis in Jerusalem on motzei Shabbos parshas Vayakhel- Pekudei. Five days later Alon resigned.

Chareidi Leaders in London Meet with Israeli Ambassador Regarding Advancement of Reform in Israel
by Betzalel Kahn

A delegation of British chareidi leaders met with the Israeli ambassador to England last week and submitted a statement of opposition to recent moves in the Israeli legal establishment to advance the standing of the Reform movement--recognition that diminishes the stature of the Rabbinate and the place of halocho as an integral part of the Jewish tradition.

Yeshivos Can Arrange for Their Students to Receive ID Cards
by Betzalel Kahn

As a result of the efforts of Rabbi Yitzchok Boruch Weinberger, deputy mayor of Jerusalem, a new and more convenient arrangement for applying for the ID cards of yeshiva students over the age of sixteen has been made. By the time they are eighteen, Israeli children all have an official ID card (teudat zehut).

HaRav Eliezer Kahanov zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

On Friday 2 Nisan, the aron of HaRav Eliezer Kahanov zt"l was brought to Eretz Yisroel. He was the rosh yeshiva of Torah Vodaas in New York, and one of America's most prominent halachic authorities. He was buried in Yerushalayim.

HaRav Avrohom Chaim Brim zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

The levayoh of HaRav Avrohom Brim, the rosh yeshiva of Mishkan Yosef, was held on motzei Shabbos, 25 Adar. HaRav Brim was one of the greatest roshei yeshiva and marbitzei Torah of our generation, a prominent transmitter of the teachings of the great rabbonim of the previous generation. He was 80 years old at the time of his passing.

HaRav Yedidia Yechiel Michel Gutfarb zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

This past Tuesday, 28 Adar, was the levaya of the pillar of tzedoko and chesed, HaRav Yedidia Yechiel Michel Gutfarb zt'l. He was niftar after years of suffering which he accepted with love.

Terror Crisis in Israel Pushes Shuvu to Increase Assistance
by Eli Rubinovich

Twelve years ago, as thousands of new Russian Jewish immigrants were pouring into Israel, there was considerable excitement and enthusiasm in helping them discover their long lost connection to Yiddishkeit. Many organizations sprang into action, initiating new programs. Today individuals and organizations perhaps feel that the immigrants have settled in, they've acclimated to their new lives in Israel.

Help Jerusalem's Poor!
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The Jerusalem-based Ezrat Avot organization is reaching out to the international public on behalf of the elderly poor and impoverished families which it services. This year Ezrat Avot is embarking on a major Pesach food distribution project consisting of over 1,000 parcels. Much planning is needed as well as financial assistance from caring and generous donors.

Israel's Yad Sarah
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Yad Sarah, an extraordinary Israeli volunteer organization, saves the Israeli economy $220 million yearly -- and many of its citizens rivers of tears -- by lending out medical equipment, driving the disabled, providing geriatric dentistry, advising about home care equipment, supplying legal aid, meals on wheels and much more. All these services are free or at a nominal fee for everyone in (temporary) need.

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