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16 Teves, 5781 - December 31, 2020 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Bereishis- 5781 Published Weekly
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The Third Israeli Lockdown: Not Too Heavy

This past Monday 13 Teves, 24 hours after the third lockdown went into effect in Israel, the roads throughout the country were packed almost as usual, according to Pelephone statistics. The news report said that between 6:00 and 15:00, there was only a 20% drop in traffic flow using WAYZ, as compared to last week before the lockdown.




Building a Torah Town in Mexico

After eighty years, the kollel avreichim and yeshiva students in Mexico were able for the first time to stand upon the property of a new area in Extapan de la Sal which was purchased through courage and determination according to vision and enterprise at the cost of millions of dollars. This property encompasses half a million square meters (over 100 acres) with surrounding areas earmarked for future purchase only by appropriate buyers for this city-of-Torah complex totaling another two million square meters (over 400 acres).





Court Upholds Agudath Israel Challenge to New York State Rules

In a major victory for religious freedom, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on December 28 issued a decision in two cases, Agudath Israel of America v. Cuomo and Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, upholding challenges against New York State's restrictions on attendance at houses of worship during COVID-19.

The Court of Appeals ordered the federal district court to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the 10 and 25 person attendance limits at houses of worship in the "red" and "orange" zones, respectively. It also ordered the district court to consider whether the 25% and 33% capacity restrictions in red and orange zones also violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.




The Torah and Derech Eretz of HaRav Samson Raphael Hirsch

HaRav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch was niftar on December 31, 1888, or 27 Teves, 5649. This year is thus 132nd anniversary of his passing. 27 years ago, we published this essay, marking the publication of Shemesh Marpeh a major study of HaRav Hirsch by HaRav Eliahu Meir Klugman. We are happy to republish it now on the Internet.





"The Trait of Mercy Overcomes"

One who is ill finds himself weighed between the Heavenly attribute of Mercy and that of Justice, with the stronger being the victor.

Chazal revealed a significant secret, said the Mashgiach HaRav Yeruchom from Mir. In the event of a fire, firemen rush to the rescue, but by the same token, robbers may rush for spoils. If the fire is small and can be doused without outside help, the matter is kept quiet so as not to attract potential thieves, but if it has grown out of hand, there is no choice but to shout for help, even though this will also publicize the fact to thieves. Whatever can be salvage either way will be worth the while.









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

Yerusholayim of Yore: Blessed With Plenty

by Yisca Shimony

a true biographical story

Malka Yadler sat on the hard wooden bench in the doctor's waiting room. In spite of acute stomach cramps, she was able to see what was happening in the room and was alert to her surroundings. She heard the loud cries of the little girl sitting opposite her and noticed the fidgetings of the young woman sitting next to her, apparently her mother. She held the crying child close to her heart and soothingly caressed her long thin braids.

"What's bothering her?" Malka asked.

"Sores in her mouth," the young woman sighed. The little girl raised her voice and wailed, while her mother kept trying to quiet and soothe her. "Sh... sheifele... sh..."

On another bench sat another young woman. She, too, sat next to her children, a little girl and boy. Both children had red, infected eyes.

To Make a Contract

by R' Zvi Zobin

I have to know

What I'm agreeing to

What I have to do

If I'm going to be able to do it

How I'm going to feel while I'm doing it

If I'm going to like doing it

How long it's going to take me

That's a lot for a child to know.

What will be if I break the contract?

Who cares?

A child lives in the present

He does not look ahead.


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