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14 Tammuz, 5781 - June 24, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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Remarks of HaRav Nosson Zochovsky About the Current Situation, the Past and Future Prospects

Morai verabosai. here we have noted the changing situation. We wish to speak, as a man to his friend, as one who remembers the situation which existed before joining the coalition in the past, as one who remembers the events which took place until we were altogether permitted to join it.

It was no simple matter to enter the coalition [when this was first done by Agudas Yisroel many years ago]. I remember that HaRav Shach sent me, together with HaRav Shlomo Berman, to the Steipler, when it was finally decided to allow joining the coalition.

I also recall that for the first time, Begin, then head of the Likud and prime minister, wanted to give our rabbinical representatives positions in the government, even including ministerial and deputy ministerial offices. The question then arose regarding which of these posts we could assume.





New Laser Antiaircraft Weapon Tests Successfully

The Defense Ministry's Department of Warfare Weaponry together with the Elbit Company reported this past Monday the finalization of a series of experiments carried out recently in the Mediterranean skies as part of a broad project launched by the Ministry. In the course of the experiments, they succeeded in shooting down some ten unmanned aircraft using a sophisticated laser system developed together with the Israel air force.





The Danger in Fraud

This article was originally published 25 years ago, in 1996.

In the course of the Torah's account of Bilaam's curses/blesses, we are told of Bilaam's request that Balak build him seven altars and prepare seven bullocks and seven rams. What harm did these sacrifices cause to the Jewish people? We learn of this elsewhere, regarding the verse, "And forty-two children were split off." This happened in the time of Elisha. R' Chanina said: Because of the forty- two sacrifices which Bilaam offered up, forty-two Jewish children were split asunder from the Jewish people.

In his work, Ohr Haneffesh, R' Zeitchik dwells upon the significance of the words of our Sages and on the connection between Bilaam's offerings and the death of the forty-two children in Elisha's time. For, indeed, the offerings of the wicked has an ongoing effect filtering down through the generations and a connection to "a root producing bitter wormwood."





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From Our Archives

Torah for the Taking, Torah for the Giving: HaRav Zushe Waltner Zt'l

By Moshe Musman

Part Three

Introduction: A Gallery of Heroes

The establishment of major Torah centers throughout the world that perpetuate the great yeshivos of Eastern Europe, is one of the greatest contemporary miracles. This began over sixty years ago. It was wrought by a handful of great builders who single-mindedly, often alone and against the prevailing trend, created, from scratch, environments where spiritual growth could take place and Torah greatness could be worked for. The significance of their achievements lies not in the size of what they left behind them, for the most striking growth came later, but in its very existence. Because of their tremendous self-sacrifice, the foundations they laid have proven enduring and today support a larger-than-ever edifice. Whether they built, transmitted, inspired, or did all three, they all effected genuine change. They breathed life into a nation's dry bones and infused soul into its spiritually wasted frame.

HaRav Zushe Waltner zt'l, earned a place on this list by any reckoning. While his work as a Torah disseminator began early in life and continued into advanced age, he is principally associated with the great achievement of his middle years, the creation of a Torah center in Tangiers. Most Tangiers alumni are grandparents today. Many of them fill important communal positions around the world. Virtually all are sincere, genuine bnei Torah. Who was the man that achieved such results and how did he do it?

The first part discussed HaRav Waltner's youth in Hungary and his travels to Cracow and Switzerland until he eventually was admitted to England in 1937. There, Rav Waltner developed a very close relationship with Rav Eliahu Dessler. After the war, Rav Waltner founded the yeshiva in Sunderland to accommodate war refugees. Traveling to Tangiers to recruit talmidim for Sunderland, he met R' Shmuel Toledano who soon built a yeshiva building and then invited Rav Waltner to come and found a yeshiva. He sent Rav Waltner a telegram: "It's all ready. Come." At the advice of Rav Dessler who consulted with the Chazon Ish on the matter, Rav Waltner accepted the challenge.

The second part described the revolution effected by Rav Waltner in Morocco. Although there was an indigenous tradition of Torah learning, Rav Waltner introduced the depth and sophistication of Europe that found eager interest in this area that had never known them. Also the concept of being a talmid chochom as a lifestyle became something that was accepted by thousands of simple Jews who had never before aspired so high.

Gambling is Decadent

By Mordecai Plaut

The idea of legalized casino gambling, which is a perennial proposal in Israel, has recently received support from highly placed government officials. Although it was long considered unlikely in Israel, now powerful figures including the director of the prime minister's office and the Finance Minister have expressed support for the idea. Even though the prime minister and the attorney general have criticized legalized casino gambling, it is hard to say what the result will be.

The Orphan's Kaddish: A true story

by C. Regev

Part 1

"Nooo! I can't!' screamed Shloimi as he kicked his feet. R' Zev looked at the curled up body of the boy and wondered: can his mind be so made up? Shloimi burst into tears that tore the last of his heartstrings. He held his son close and felt tears seeping through his own shut eyelids.

When the crying had subsided somewhat, Shloimi was still breathing heavily, as if he had just expended a huge effort. "Abba, I can't any more! I can't say Kaddish in shul over Ima. They all look at me!" He spoke in a flurry, running one sentence into another. A sea of pain, waves of grief flowed from his red eyes. "Can't I do something else for Ima's neshoma?" he asked for the umpteenth time.

"Kaddish is the greatest thing you can do," his father answered for the umpteenth time.

"Can't I say Kaddish in shul only with you, so that you can answer?" The questions repeated themselves, like in a set ritual, in the same order that R' Zev had learned to expect.


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