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4 Cheshvan, 5781 - October 22, 2020 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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Guidance from Leading Roshei Yeshiva

A special gathering was held this past Motzei Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, heralding the winter session in yeshivos ketanos and gedolos and dealing with its various aspects. It took place in the home of the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, and constituted the foundation of the `Tomchim' program, an adjunct of the Lev Shomeia organization.

It was attended by roshei yeshivos, the rabbonim heading the organization and its activists working throughout the country. The new program is aimed at creating a rapport between the roshei yeshivos and their young students, and avreichim especially trained by the organization to help the bochurim to overcome the difficulties encountered in their climb to spiritual excellence.





The Long Lockdowns of the Past: Tiveria and Noach

In 5586, one hundred and ninety-five years ago, there was a terrible outbreak of cholera in Eretz Yisroel. It spread from the Upper Galilee and felled many victims among the Arab population.

This was at the beginning of the Chassidic settlement in the Holy Land. HaRav Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk gathered around him a concentration of chassidim. At the onset of the plague, he organized a quarantine or lockdown to spare his community from infection; it lasted for a full three months, from Purim until Shavuos.




Proper Levels of Vitamin D in the Body Help Prevent Covid

The Ministry of Health recommended that in this time of Covid-Corona people maintain a proper level of Vitamin D in their bodies, either through controlled exposure to the sun for 20 minutes a day, or through taking a nutrition supplement.

Professor Ronit Endelwalt, Manager of the Nutrition Section of the Ministry of Health, cautions that excessive consumption of Vitamin D is a proven cause of falls and broken bones and is thus not advised. Also she recommends against massive doses such as drinking an entire bottle of Vitamin D supplement.





On Business Ethics

Originally published in the Bereishis edition of 5751 (1991), exactly 30 years ago.

Salant's shochet was an eminent talmid chochom as well as a very pious man. One day, he told Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, that he wanted to change professions.

``Why?'' Rabbi Yisrael asked him.

``Because the responsibility of providing my fellows with strictly kosher meat weighs heavily on me. There are so many pitfalls, so many prohibitions which I might unwittingly transgress.''

``What will you do instead?'' Rabbi Salanter asked.

``I'll open a store, and go into business."

Rabbi Yisrael raised his eyebrows...








From Our Archives

A Middos Workshop: Cooling Down the Angry Fires

Based on Shiurim of Rav Dovid Siegel

These articles are better than your average middos articles!

In previous articles we examined the challenging problem of haughtiness (ga'avoh), our basic human tendency to feel more important than others. We learned several techniques for eliminating this trait from our lives, most importantly to concentrate on the reality that Hashem's view of us far outweighs what we or our peers think of us.

Now that we have scraped off the first layer of pride from our hearts, we can analyze its direct offshoot, anger. Simply put, anger is the expression of ga'avoh in severe proportions.

"His blood was boiling." "She blew off steam." "In the heat of the moment."

Have you ever noticed how many cliches relate anger to heat?

Principles of the Teaching Profession: Let Us Create Worlds!

by HaRav Tzvi Shraga Grossbard, zt"l

"Noach found favor in the eyes of Hashem" (Bereishis 6:8).

The Seforno (ibid.) comments that Noach's finding favor in Hashem's eyes, "is what saved his sons and daughters. He himself [i.e., his own zechus] was incapable of saving them but his finding favor in Hashem's eyes helped them. This is as the posuk writes: `Though these three men [referring to Noach, Doniel and Iyov -- see v. 14] were in it, as I live, says Hashem Elokim, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they alone shall be saved' (Yechezkel 14:16). [Their inability to save others] is because they did not teach those living in their times to recognize Hashem as Avrohom, Moshe, Shmuel, and those like them, did. It is as Chazal (Pesochim 87a) write that `Eilom [Doniel -- see Rashi, s.v. zu Eilom, and also Noach and Iyov] were zocheh to study but were not zocheh to teach.' Likewise Noach, although he rebuked [his generation] about their corrupt social behavior, he did not teach them to acknowledge Hashem's existence and walk in His ways. Although Noach was a complete tzaddik in what he thought and did, a tzaddik who perfects only himself can only save himself. If, on the other hand, someone perfects others too, he is capable of saving others. In such a case there is hope he will inspire them to do teshuvoh . . ."

The Settling of Migdal Eder

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

`And you, Migdal Eder, the hill of the daughter of Tzion, unto you shall it come. To you the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Yerushalayim.' (Michah 4:8)

Nowadays it would create a storm: a new neighborhood in the greater Jerusalem area? The world would be up in arms! Seventy-five years ago, it was the Arabs who supported this initiative while the Zionists, who would like to build today but are not allowed to, did everything they could to prevent, disrupt, and interfere. They did not offer any assistance to the new settlement, since it was to be chareidi.

This is a story of a chareidi settlement in the Chevron hills: Migdal Eder. Seventy-five years of building the land and the story of its suffocation by the Zionist leadership.

Seventy-five years ago, in 5687 (1927), the media reported the settlement of the Zichron Dovid organization on one thousand two hundred acres of mountainous land in the Chevron hills. The newspaper Davar wrote as follows: "After various adventures, the Zichron Dovid Association has begun settlement on a new spot in the Jerusalem area on the way to Chevron, a place which until now has been barren of any Jewish settlement. The Association has received ownership rights (kushans) for the time being for an area of 1,200 dunam. The Arov wellspring, which is rich in water, is part of this land.


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