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30 Sivan, 5781 - June 10, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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HaRav Boruch Povarsky kissed the Hand of a Shmittah Farmer — and Told Stories about His Moving to Israel

Our rabbonim and gedolim are going into high gear in preparation for the upcoming shmittah year to stand by those farmers who keep shmittah according to the strict halacha in spite of all the trials and difficulties involved. This past week, this was given a poignant and moving expression at the special event organized by the Keren Hashevi'is at Moshav Chemed, the home town of Yossele Koch and his son, Avichai from Moshav, a family of shmittah observing farmers which leaves fallow its olive groves and cucumber fields during shmittah.

Rabbi Avrohom Rubinstein, mayor of Bnei Brak and member of the Keren Hashevi'is administration, opened the event by thanking the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovezh , member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, HaRav Dov Povarsky, for the tremendous effort he has invested towards this important subject. Director General of the Keren, Rabbi Binyomin Cohen, also thanked the Rosh Yeshiva emotionally for his having come, despite the difficulties involved.

In the course of the signing of the partnership, which took place in the very heart of the olive grove, the guest of honor related a story which took place in the period when he was in Lebanon.





The Tel Aviv Metro Will be Safe for Kohanim

The planning of the mega project, the biggest transportation project for Israel today known as the Metro, is in advanced stages, including the necessary government certifications. It hopes to solve the serious transportation problem by creating three underground subway lines which will include 22 districts and 110 stations over 140 kilometers, from Petach Tikva in the east, Rechovot in the south and Ranaana in the north at the cost of 150 billion shekel.

An intensive and detailed appraisal carried out by Yated Ne'eman together with the accompaniment of the Union of Kohanim indicated a serious problem regarding the sanctity of kohanim.





A Recent Case of Chayim Aruchim

Agudath Israel is grateful to Mount Sinai Hospital for highlighting the important work done by Chayim Aruchim, a project of Agudath Israel. In a press release on June 3, 2021, Mount Sinai hospital recognized the important role Chayim Aruchim played in ensuring a 104 year old woman was able to receive heart surgery. See here for more about Chayim Aruchim.

When Shirley Farca was told by a New Jersey hospital where her 104 year old mother had been admitted for heart failure that there was nothing they could do in the early summer of 2020, and she should consider hospice, Shirley thought perhaps that was a good idea.





The "Blackmail" Government that Wasn't

Since the very establishment of the State, many parties have served as balance and counterbalance. These were usually small parties representing a very specific voting public but seeking to justify their power in the Knesset. They sought budgets for this and that legislation which would somewhat improve their constituents' conditions, and other coalitionary requests.

None of these parties even dreamed of demanding the most significant position in the government - the role of prime minister. It was clear that this was the prerogative of the head of the largest party which had received the most votes. Naftali Bennett, head of the small Yeminah party, is the biggest extortionist in the history of the State. Barefacedly, from a niche party which received a bare 5% of votes, he is demanding the top position. He demanded - and received it.




Kelm: Reb Yeruchom Levovitz zt'l, Mirrer Mashgiach — 85th Yahrtzeit 18th Sivan 5781

Originally published in our print edition in 5756 (1996) for the 60th yahrtzeit, we are publishing it now on the web in honor of the 85th yahrtzeit of the Mashgiach whose influence is still felt today. These articles are a serious appreciation of the legacy of that great man.

Part iI

Return To Mir (Adapted from Ho'odom Biyekor)

In 5683 (1923), Reb Yeruchom finally returned to Mir and the period in which the yeshiva was to attain its greatest prominence in the yeshiva world, began. Most of the three hundred bochurim whom Reb Yeruchom found in the yeshiva upon his return had arrived during the years of his absence. Such was the effort which he invested in tending the bochurim in his care that a mere three months later he was able to remark to a close associate that he had already succeeded in identifying each bochur's worthy traits and in some cases, their unworthy traits too.





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From Our Archives

"And For Your Daily Miracles" -- Living in Newark in the 1940's

by Anni Rephun Fruchter

Moshe and I were married in December 1946 and lived in Newark, New Jersey. Several years earlier, he had bought a chazoka [franchise] for shechita in a chicken market from a shochet who was retiring. He worked in the market from 4:30 a.m. until 2:30 in the afternoon, only interrupting himself twice. For shacharis, he went to the shul of an elderly widowed rebbetzin for whom he donated his services as baal tefila and baal korei, which he did on Shabbos as well, after which he would eat the breakfast he took from home -- a thermos of coffee, sandwiches, and fruit. And shortly after noon, he would arrive home for a light lunch.

Torah For The Taking, Torah For The Giving: HaRav Zushe Waltner Zt'l

By Moshe Musman

1 Tammuz 5763, Seven Months Since His Petiroh

Part One

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 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.

Among such men one might include founders of the powerhouses that have been raising Torah disseminators, authorities and legions of bnei Torah for fifty years and more, transplanters of specific approaches into new and foreign soil, and those who inspired thousands to turn from the profanity and materialism of the modern world and wholeheartedly embrace the timeless values that are our nation's pride. All of them, whether they built, transmitted, inspired, or did all three, effected genuine change. They breathed life into a nation's dry bones and infused soul into its spiritually wasted frame.

While it is interesting to reflect on the composition of such a list -- some names will probably spring to mind quicker than others -- HaRav Zushe Waltner zt'l, earned a place on it by any reckoning.


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