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26 Elul 5775 - September 10, 2015 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

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

Please note that the next regular issue is scheduled for the Sunday before Yom Kippur.

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Women's Atzeres Regarding Internet Dangers

A huge rally took place this past Sunday evening, 22 Elul, encompassing all the Jewish Torah population centers throughout Eretz Yisroel. It was addressed by gedolei Yisroel, rabbonim and educators, and dealt with vigilance over our homes and the souls of our children against the threat of modern technology while particularly focusing on proper blockage of Internet access in work places.

Special Rabbinical Conference about Shabbos aspects of Modern Appliances

Hundreds of rabbonim from all kinds of chareidi Jewry attended a special gathering organized by Mishmeres HaShabbos to discuss electric appliances in the digital age.

New International Center for Halachic Medicine

"The medical field presents complex halachic challenges. It is our obligation as rabbonim to grapple with them and find halachic solutions for each situation on the one hand, while on the other, we must not change or veer by a hairsbreadth from our halachically transmitted tradition, including to the clear-cut defined lines which I have received from HaRav Wosner." These were the opening words of HaRav Moshe Shaul Klein at the first meeting of the rabbonim of the H.R.B. control center.

Wednesday End-of-Shmittah Gathering

The committee established to stage a grand culmination of this Shmittah year, to pay homage and appreciation to the farmers who observed the Shmittah fully according to the halachic dictates, worked very hard to plan this gala event with full coordination with the Keren Hashevi'is, the Bnei Brak municipality, Hatzolah staff and the police so that this momentous occasion in honor of those `stalwart heroes' ran smoothly affording a tremendous Kiddush Hashem as befits it through the participation of gedolei Yisroel.

35 Shoforos and 40 Esrogim Confiscated by Customs in Israel

Customs officials at Ben Gurion airport confiscated last week 35 Shoforos and 40 esrogim which were concealed in two suitcases belonging to a fifty-year-old chareidi Jew, a resident of Bayit Vegan who deals with the above commodities.

Rosh Hashanah and Malchuyos — Their Inner Significance

To grasp the essence of Rosh Hashanah and the Malchuyos (which mention pesukim during the tefillah that declare Hashem's kingship over the world, in accordance with the Gemora [Rosh Hashanah 34b]), we must remember that the Zohar (Ra'ya Mehemna, Pinchas 225a) teaches us that man's main goal in Olam Hazeh is to reach a clear recognition that "a person has nothing of his own."

From Our Archives

From a Kingdom on Earth to the Kingdom of Heaven

by Rav Rafael Berlzon

This is not just "another" story of a convert. This is not just "another" story of teshuvoh. Rav Natan Gamadza's story has moved thousands. It will move you - hopefully to your own teshuvoh and kabbolas Ol Malchus Shomayim.

Rav Natan Gamadza is a ger tzedek from a unique background: He is the son of one of the true kings still in power on our days. His story is an inspirational one of teshuvoh, that also gives insight into Malchus, one of the themes of Rosh Hashonoh. The gemora says that we should try to experience earthly kingship, in order to appreciate how it is distinct from Jewish kingship that we will see when the Melech Hamoshiach arrives.

Opinion and Comment

Rosh Hashonoh: An Audience with the King

This article is based on HaRav Yisroel Dovid Neuwoner's weekly shmuessen given to Kollel Ruach Chaim, Yerushalayim.

When he was a boy before the war, Rav Neuwoner's daily learning began at 5 a.m. and continued until 10 p.m. In the latter part of his thirteenth year Rav Neuwoner, along with his father and mother and six brothers, were taken to Auschwitz. With miracles, he and his father survived. In France, he learned in Novardok and eventually became the mashgiach of the Novardok Yeshiva - Ohr Yosef. Rav Neuwoner now lives in Yerushalayim and speaks extensively throughout Eretz Yisroel.

Opinion and Comment

Reflections on the Days of Mercy and Forgiveness

An essay taken from a manuscript of HaGaon Hatzaddik R' Shlomo Wolbe zt'l from a recently published work, Maamorei Yemei Rotzon

"For this thing is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it" (Devorim 30:14).

The Torah penetrates deep into the physical body and into the material world - and sanctifies it. The Torah reveals here that even body and world are actually not very removed from the Creator, for they can be sanctified and uplifted.

From hereon in, it remains dependent: "If one [a man-and- wife unit] is meritorious, the Shechinah abides. If one is not meritorious - fire consumes them."

This is an essential rule in all mundane matters. Those very things which fire consumes are latent within you. This refers to the fire of desire and craving. But this selfsame fire can also be used as a utensil for the dwelling of the Shechinah in your midst.

Opinion and Comment

What is the Kingdom of Hashem?

By Mordecai Plaut

One of our main tasks on Rosh Hashonoh is, "Say before Me [pesukim of] Malchuyos, . . . in order to accept Me as your King."

One of the main issues of Rosh Hashonoh is thus Hashem's malchus, His rule as King over the world. Hashem's malchus in the world at large is incomplete until it extends to all of Creation. Thus, more than any other period, we pray for the ultimate Redemption in great detail as applied to the entire universe: "Put Your fear . . . upon all your creations . . . may all created things bow down before You . . . and all the evil dissipate like smoke . . . "

Though we cannot directly make Hashem the King of Creation as He will ultimately be, we can work at making Him King of ourselves.


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

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