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6 Adar, 5781 - February 18, 2021 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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PM Netanyahu Says The Chareidi Community Cooperates on Vaccination

Prime Minister Netanyahu gave an unusual interview this past Monday to News 12 during which he referred to the court cases against him, the election campaign and the battle against the Corona virus. He said that he believed that this time he would be able to muster a block of 61 mandates from the right wing of Israeli politics in order to establish a new stable government.





How to Be Safeguarded from the Plague — By Studying the Laws of Shmittah

These are typically short answers given to short questions asked by his grandson, HaRav Yaakov Yisroel Kanievsky.





Ukraine: The Cemetery in Haditsch, the Resting Place of the Baal HaTanya, Will be Fenced In

Many pilgrims visit the section of the cemetery in Haditsch, Ukraine, for prayer by the tomb of the Baal HaTanya. Very sadly, however, there are hundreds of Jewish graves scattered throughout the cemetery surrounding the tomb. The entire area is open and violated by local residents who feel free to do as they will.





A Shmuess Motzei Shabbos

A new program was presented to the public this past Motzei Shabbos with the blessings of HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Gershon Eidelstein, as well as the support of Torah leaders and roshei yeshiva. The new program, Kol Mibei Midrasha for yeshiva students, "Yod'ei Shmecha", presents short vaadim from Torah leaders and rabbonim on selected topics geared to fortify the listeners in ways to draw closer to Hashem.

The Mashgiach, HaRav Don Segal, opened the first assembly which took place this past Motzei Shabbos Mishpotim by saying that "all the listeners will join this program presenting lofty matters on the one hand, while on the other, it will address the lowest point in our lives, or, in other words, it will encompass our entire lives."





A Kol Korei from the American Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah

"Spring has passed and summer is over - we have not yet been saved." (Yirmiyah 8:20) Thousands of our fellow Jews, among them Torah giants and tzaddikim, have been afflicted with the terrible COVID-19 disease, and - may Hashem help us! - many of those have passed away. The pandemic has greatly diminished the Torah learning in our yeshivos, Bais Yaakovs, and shuls; it has curtailed our Yomim Tovim and celebrations.





Bearer Of The Undying Torch: An Appreciation of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman zt'l, in the Seventy-fifth Year Since His Petiroh

Part IV

The story of Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman, who passed away over seventy-five years ago, contains important lessons for understanding about the survival of Torah in the spiritually barren and desolate land that America was a hundred years ago. Rabbi Drachman grew up in a thoroughly American environment, but he nonetheless became firmly and deeply committed to Torah true principles that were, in his person, completely at ease with his all-American heritage. Rabbi Drachman saw, with a fresh and open American eye, the flowering of HaRav Hirsch's Frankfurt, as well as the vitality of eastern Europe. He attended the funeral of Sir Moses Montefiore, officiated at the funeral of Harry Houdini and was on familiar terms with Seth Low, one of the legendary presidents of Columbia University. He also translated Hirsch's The Nineteen Letters and was responsible for Mordechai Kaplan's dismissal from his post as a rabbi in New York City in an Orthodox congregation solely because of the latter's heretical views. His fascinating story helps us understand some of the important roots of the American Jewish community.





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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Snow in the North


From Our Archives

Rav Yisroel Salanter's Teachings In Yerushalayim -- The Beis Hamussar and Yeshivas Or Chodosh, Founded By Talmidim Of The Alter Of Kelm

by B. Re'eim

138th Yahrtzeit of HaRav Yisroel Salanter: 25 Shvat

From Kelm To The Old City In his introduction to HaRav Yisroel Salanter's Or Yisroel, HaRav Yitzchok Blazer zt'l writes that some of the greatest among his rebbe's talmidim, "followed his holy path and worked to spread his teachings and his goodly approach to mussar to benefit the public and to draw their souls closer to the study of the fear of Heaven and of mussar. A spark of this light also went to illuminate the east, the holy site, Tzion and Yerushalayim. There too, there was a remnant to whom Hashem called, disciples of his disciples, who dwell in the tent of Torah and engage in Torah debate. They instituted the holy path of the study of mussar and yir'oh among themselves and through them, light shone forth. May they succeed in swelling their ranks, through Torah and the pure fear of Heaven."

Putting the Election Results -- and Any Public Activity -- to the True Test

by M. Shotland

It goes without saying that as ma'aminim bnei ma'aminim we do not place our faith in one set of results or another, but in Mi She'omar vehoyo ho'olom. All of our endeavors are of course merely hishtadlus and we fulfill this obligation to do hishtadlus in one way by voting according to directives of the rabbonim. We obviously hope thereby to increase our sector's ability to influence public policy for the sake of Torah and those who are faithful to it.

By nature an election campaign stirs the inclination for victory. But we must never degenerate to the level of translating electoral achievements into practical hopes. Zeh le'umas zeh osoh Elokim. Just as the masses' political hopes proved to be totally vain, the situation has evolved to the point that it appears that the number of mandates the chareidim receive will have a negligible impact in political terms.

Therefore we do not place any faith in achievements and it remains as clear as can be to us that no matter how the distribution of power in the Knesset turns out-- even if the schemes of the nefarious chareidi-baiter were to succeed, chas vesholom, and a purely secular government is established--salvation could still come and perhaps even from he himself, despite his worst intentions.

Yet this all depends on our fulfilling our own obligation of hishtadlus and this is our litmus test of success.


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