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23 Elul 5773 - August 29, 2013 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

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The Center of the Universe
At The Center of the Universe
by Mordechai Plaut

For the week of Rosh Hashannah, we do not plan to publish an issue. The next planned issue is during Aseres Yemei Teshuva and before Yom Kippur, dated 8 Tishrei 5774.
Kesiva vechasimah tovah to all!

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Jewish Bones Exhumed in France May be Cremated

Virtually everyone buried in France is threatened with eventual cremation.

French law that is aggressively secular prohibits establishing cemeteries exclusive to a particular religion. As a result, all burials that take place in France are held within the same larger cemeteries used by the non-Jewish populace. Nonetheless, the Jews manage their burials mostly within sections that are generally Jewish.

New Area Under Robinson's Arch to Permit All Ceremonies

A new area south of the current prayer area at the Kosel will be opened at which Reform women will be permitted to do whatever they want, including reading in a Torah and wearing talleisim, according to a Cabinet resolution passed last week. The current area of the Kosel will remain a beit knesset that operates according to the widely accepted rules of holy places.

Vaccination of All Children Against Polio Endorsed by Rabbonim

Israeli health authorities have embarked on a country wide campaign to administer polio vaccine to all children nine years of age and younger. The rabbonim, including HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, who has particular expertise in medical issues, have endorsed the campaign.

HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky, zt"l Author of Chazon Yechezkel
In honor of his yahrtzeit, 24 Elul 5736

Rav Yechezkel's hallmark was his unique clarity in learning and teaching. In learning and teaching he would quote his rebbe, Reb Chaim Brisker, as having said, "If there's something lacking in the explanation, then there's something lacking in the comprehension."

From Our Archives

In Depth Features
Hoaxes, Scams and Con Artists -- Keeping Ahead of the Game

by M. Plaut

Some tips and lessons about how to tell truth from falsehood.

There are various references in this article to electronic communication and email. This specifically only applies to those who do have email. However, the lessons to be learned about human nature and middos are important to everyone.

Opinion and Comment

Chazal Tell us How to Overcome Yishmoel

by Rabbi Mordecai Plaut based on a shiur of a rosh yeshiva in Yerushalayim With the threats faced by those living in the Middle East and around the world from those of Arab extraction, the following penetrating analysis sheds light on important characteristics of the struggle with Yishmoel as described by Chazal. This is not to suggest that every Arab is as detailed here, but that the essential features of the contest are as explained, and the steps we must take -- which are matters of our personal and private avodoh -- are as outlined here.

Opinion and Comment

The Chofetz Chaim's Cheshbon Hanefesh

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The Yomim Noraim, we know, are days for taking stock and soul searching.

Each and every one of the Chofetz Chaim's days were taken by him into account, but all the more so, the days of Mercy and Penitence. During this period, he would pray for his soul and the soul of his people. He sought to exonerate and acquit himself and his people in the upcoming Judgment. He prayed for this fervently in the remote botei knesses where he would go and seclude himself, in towns and villages; he preached it in his talks in the Radin Yeshiva. Every opportunity of hearts open and tenderized was utilized for the holy purpose of exhorting his fellow man.

Opinion and Comment

Sanctifying the Name of Heaven -- Rare Praise for the Chareidim

by Chaim Walder

The 22 kedoshim killed in the terrorist attack on the 2 bus in Jerusalem had the merit of sanctifying the Name of Heaven in their deaths and of bringing Jews closer to emunoh and yiras Shomayim in an unprecedented way. No measuring device can gauge the effect the past weeks have had on the hearts of Jews far from Torah and mitzvos.


Av, 5765 - Kislev 5766 (August-December 2005)

May-July, 2005


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