Deiah veDibur - Information &

A Window into the Chareidi World

12 Elul, 5779 - September 12, 2019 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Ki Seitzei-5779 Published Weekly


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Avi Berkowitz, Trump's New Point Man on the Middle East

Avi Berkowitz has been chosen to replace the retiring Jason Greenblatt. Avi studied in Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, after which he went to study in Kol Torah. He is now about 30 years old. This was told to us by a distinguished avreich who knows him personally and maintains steady contact with him.




The Only Way to Prepare for the Yomim Noraim

Chazal say: Rebbi wept and said that one can acquire his future world in one hour while others take years to attain theirs. The Maharsha writes: Rebbi wept over the lesser worth of one who gains his Olam Haba in merely an hour as compared to the one who toils for it over a long period, but whose input gains him a far worthier place commensurate with his greater effort.






HaRav Gershon Edelstein's Advice on Elections in Elul

At the conclusion of the shiur klalli which the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, delivered to the student body of Yeshivas Ponovezh, he spoke on the subject of the upcoming elections and of the duty of each student to vote at this pivotal time:

"It is known that Elul is a time which requires especial reinforcement, since it is the preparatory time before Rosh Hashonoh, the Day of Judgment, and one must accumulate merit. But precisely when one must increase one's merit, there are impediments and attempts at weakening.





HaRav Chaim Kanievsky will Go on the Stump for United Torah Judaism

Starting last Wednesday: in anticipation of the heavy campaign being launched for the Torah world, a series of historic tours by HaRav Kanievsky is taking place throughout the country geared to rouse the hearts of the people in the hinterlands regarding the decisive elections for the Knesset which will take place on the upcoming Tuesday, the 17th of Elul.

The electoral messages will be presented from the holy words of the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, in all of the rallies taking place in the country, from north to south, attended by tens of thousands who will undertake to support the UTJ list which is fa





Mussar Study Before The Yomim Noraim — Two Letters From Or Yisroel


We originally published this in 1995, about 24 years ago. Written by the founder of the Mussar movement, it provides basic insight and guidance into learning Mussar all year — and especially in Elul. This is always timely and important.

Part I

HaRav Shlomo Wolbe once said, "It is almost impossible to do teshuva without being familiar with these letters in Or Yisroel (7 & 8)." We are happy to be able to present Letter 7 here in translation, along with some other selections. Readers are advised that the material is dense and difficult, and it requires attentive and serious study.

HaRav Uri Weissblum in the introduction to his annotated version of Or Yisroel makes the following comments about the importance of mussar study in our days.

click here






From Our Archives

Beyond The Letter of the Law: A Zchus for Yom Hadin

by HaRav Moshe Aharon Stern, zt'l

"Ve'osiso hayoshor vehatov" says the posuk (Devorim 6:18). This implies that we must conduct ourselves beyond what is "legally" required from us; we need to go further.

In Torah, there is din -- Law, and there is lifnim mishuras hadin -- beyond the letter of the Law. The din -- the law of the Torah -- obligates each one of us; there is no difference between a minor, barely bar mitzvah, or a great and elderly sage. Each one of us, as a Jew, has been obligated in the 613 mitzvos which are all included in the warning of: "Cursed is the one who does not fulfill the words of this Torah" (Ibid. 27:26). That is din.

Yet, extending beyond the letter of the law -- lifnim mishuras hadin -- is dependent upon one's individual madreigah as a person. Reb Eliyohu Lopian zt'l used to comment upon the mishna (Ovos 2:1) "Eizo hi derech yeshoroh sheyovor lo ho'odom?" -- What is the correct path for the person to choose? Reb Elya emphasized ho'odom -- the man to signify the complete man. The odom hasholeim must choose a straight path; the path which extends beyond our mere obligations: the path of lifnim mishuras hadin.

Leaving Children by Themselves

by R' Zvi Zobin

It was 11 o'clock at night. Mr. Wolf was walking slowly down the steps of his apartment building after visiting his friend. Suddenly, the door of an apartment was flung open and two little children stood by the open door, crying hysterically.

"What's the matter? Where are your Mommy and Daddy?" asked Mr. Wolf anxiously.

The two children, a little girl about six years old and an even smaller boy of about four, were sobbing too frantically to answer, but it was clear that they were alone in the house.

"Wait a minute. I'll be right back!" Mr. Wolf raced upstairs to his friend. One of his daughters came down to the apartment, calmed down the children and took them back to her home.

The next day, Mr. Wolf's friend explained what had happened. The children's parents had left a relative as a babysitter. The children seemed to be sleeping and the relative thought he would pop out to catch maariv. Eventually, he returned at 12:30 but did not feel he had done anything wrong.

Observations: Secular Researchers Conclude That Students Achieve Better Results in Separate Classrooms

by S. Yisraeli

While the IDF debates Hesder soldiers' protests against assigning female soldiers to their units, in another arena, extreme liberalism, with its concern for "equal rights for women" -- and arbitrary disregard for common sense and Jewish values -- has been shown to hinder elementary and high school students through one of the symbols of secular education: forcing boys and girls to study together.


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

May-July, 2005