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20 Adar, 5781 - March 4, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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The Israel High Court Ruled that Reform and Conservative "Converts" are Considered Jews

Halachic poskim, dayanim and rabbonim expressed their protest and chagrin regarding the dangerous development and intervention of the Bagatz-High Court in the sensitive subject of recognizing the `conversion' of non-Jews performed by Reform or Conservative clergy which constitutes a woeful breach in the genealogical purity of the Jewish people while outrageously dealing a blow to the status quo and the sanctity of the Jewish people.





Concern for All

There is a popular saying often quoted in the name of the Mashgiach HaRav Dov Yaffe zt"l: "It's not my job to be concerned for the whole world." However, just as Hashem is concerned for the entire world, so too must we be concerned for everyone.

This does not mean that we must relinquish Torah study. Rather, through our study, good deeds and heartfelt prayer, we can lower to this world bountiful spiritual and material blessing to benefit the entire world.




Agudah Statement on Israeli High Court Ruling on Non-Orthodox Conversion

The Israeli High Court's ruling recognizing non-halachic conversions performed in the country is not only a radical departure from the Jewish religious tradition bequeathed to all Jews but a body blow to true Jewish unity.

The court's decision is both misleading and dangerous.





A Firsthand Account of the Chofetz Chaim's Final Years

First published 25 years ago in 1996, this is an interview with Rabbi Shlomo Epstein, chairman of the Chevra Kadisha in Kfar Chassidim and an alumnus of the Chofetz Chaim's yeshiva in Radin. Reb Shlomo knew many of the gedolim of prewar Europe, among them HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz zt'l, HaRav Shimon Shkop zt'l, and HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt'l, in whose home he was a frequent visitor. Reb Shlomo's notebooks were the source of some of the printed shiurim of HaRav Naftali Tropp zt'l, who taught in the Radin yeshiva. This conversation was devoted to Reb Shlomo's recollections of the Chofetz Chaim.

Since the Chofetz Chaim was niftar in 1933, now 88 years ago, recollections like these will probably not be composed now or in the future. These are firsthand memories of someone who lived through those bygone times.




Rain and Kinneret Watch

by Dei'ah Vedibur Staff

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret - Winter, 5781.

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From Our Archives

The Choicest of Days: Shabbos

by R' Yerachmiel Kram

Reasons for the Commandment of Shabbos

"Between Me and the Children of Israel it is an everlasting sign" (Shemos 31:17).

The commandment of Shabbos was included among the Ten Commandments and even preceded the giving of the Torah at Sinai. The Jews were commanded regarding Shabbos at Moroh. The Torah states two reasons for keeping this seventh day: the first appears in the commandment of the Aseres Hadibros in Yisro and the second, in the commandment appearing in Voeschanon, namely: "For [in] six days Hashem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all they contain, and He rested upon the seventh day. Therefore did Hashem bless the Sabbath day and sanctified it" (Shemos 20:11).

Abstaining from work on Shabbos is designed to affix in our hearts the realization and the belief in the renewal of the world, which was created during six days by a Creator, Who also rested from His work, as do we abstain from work on this seventh day. Shabbos is, therefore, an appointment in time whose purpose is to strengthen faith in the Creator.

Remembering R' Aharon Paperman, z"l

by His Family

Last year on 22 Adar (2002), Rabbi Aharon Paperman z"l, well- known rov, mechanech, orator, and fundraiser for Torah institutions was niftar. His long and productive life was dedicated to promoting the growth and development of Torah and Yiddishkeit on the American and Israeli scene.

Who was this multifaceted man who touched so many people in all walks of life and of all ages and left a lifelong impression on each of them?

What caused him to be loved and respected by all who knew him -- even if they did not necessarily agree with his ideals?

At his levaya in Yerushalayim the maspidim spoke of R' Aharon's mesiras nefesh for Torah, his love for and diligence in Torah study, and his middoh of yashrus that personified him throughout his lifetime. These traits were evident wherever he was, in whatever role he played. He did not follow the crowd. He followed the Torah guidelines which he knew existed for every situation.

He had an engaging and magnetic personality and a smile that warmed every heart. It was no wonder that whoever knew R' Aharon felt a close, personal connection to him.

Wherever R' Aharon went, in whatever capacity he served, he always reached out to the individual. He took a profound interest in each and every person, to the extent that each person felt a close connection to him.

During the war years, stationed in Italy with the 54th Army, he profoundly affected Jewish soldiers of all convictions.


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