Deiah veDibur - Information &

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av, 5782 - August 4, 2022 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
Stories - Fiction

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Cohanim Must Take the Right Lane

Several years ago, it was publicized that a section of Highway 444 between the Gamzu interchange and the bridge of Highway 6 was built over a burial cave. After an intensive examination, it came out that the cave was only under the left lane of the highway.

At the time, the Modi'in Illit beis din headed by HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ulman zt"l and HaRav Meir Kessler and HaRav Y. Cohen, sat in discussion about whether to allow usage of the right lane for traffic. The question was brought before HaRav Eliashiv who ruled that it was permissible to use the right lane but not the left one.





Starting Yeshiva Gedolah

Thousands of sweet young students finishing their terms in yeshivos ketanos in Eretz Yisroel, gathered for a yearly uplifting debriefing, a preparatory seminar which has been taking place for over a decade, sponsored by Dirshu. Its purpose is to initiate, prepare, invigorate, and inspire them in advance of their crossing the threshold of a yeshiva gedola.

The center of this year's seminar focused on a message of guidance provided by the Rosh Hayeshiva HaRav Gershon Edelstein. It was chaired by HaRav Yisroel Layush, Ra"m in Yeshivas Aharon, who began with praise for the exalted gathering itself, inviting to the podium HaRav Arye Leib Shapira, mashgiach of Yeshiva Ponovezh yeshiva ketana.

The Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Edelstein, told the young students the following:





Police Lies

Yet another upsetting story about the police. A young chareidi was sitting on his porch in Meah Shearim uttered a disquieting word to the officers patrolling the street below. They decided to retaliate and pin a case on him. This took place two years ago before Pesach, at the very height of the Corona lock downs when Meah Shearim gained the brunt of police activity by entering the neighborhood every day to see if anyone was defying the prohibitions.

During one of their rounds, a group of rioters attacked the police who decided to find a scapegoat for their wrath. They zeroed on the young man sitting on his balcony, ran up to his apartment, dragged him until Rechov HaNeviim, where a police van wrote out a report with a 5,000 shekel fine, stating that it was given on the grounds of his refusal to disperse among the band of rioters since this was endangering public order. It should be remembered, that he was dragged from his balcony one flight up!





From Baranovitch To Mir: HaRav Leib Baron Recalls His Youth In Eastern Europe

Part I

This series of recollections of HaRav Arye Leib Baron was first published by us in 1995. HaRav Baron was niftar in 2011. He had a remarkable memory for detail, and these memoirs of his are a fount of information on life in Europe.

HaRav Arye Leib Baron (shlita,) was born in Horodok, which is near Volozhin. In his youth, he learned in the yeshivos of Baranovitch and Mir. Today he is the rosh yeshiva of Mercaz HaTalmud in Montreal, Canada and is known for his shiurim in both halacha and aggada, some of which have been published in his seforim: Bircas Reuven, Bircas Yehuda, Yishrei Lev, Nesivos Lev, Mesamchei Lev and Yismach Chaim, to give just a partial listing. We have published several of his essays on machshovo and hashkofo in these pages.

In the following essays, based on an extended interview with HaRav Baron, he discusses the prewar European yeshiva world, upon whose approach to learning and to character development, today's yeshivos are patterned. Thanks to the magnificent memory with which he is gifted, HaRav Baron was able to describe his experiences in perfect detail, thus evoking living images of the life inside the great yeshivos of Baranovitch and Mir and of their roshei yeshiva and mashgichim.






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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Opinion & Comment
Behind the Stones: Connecting to the Temple's Destruction

by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis

Yirmiyohu's Tears

At the time of the Temple's destruction, while Yirmiyohu was sitting and weeping about the tragedy, he was approached by a Greek philosopher (some say Plato). The philosopher asked him, "You are known to be a very learned man; how can you cry about the fall of a few stones?" Yirmiyohu inquired of the Gentile scholar "In your discipline as a philosopher do you have any questions which remain unresolved?"

The philosopher proceeded to expound several perplexing and confounding paradoxes. The prophet instantly resolved all the anomalies in a clear and lucid manner. The Greek philosopher was astounded at Yirmiyohu's brilliance and perspicuity of thought. He beseeched Yirmiyohu to reveal the source of his exceptional wisdom. Yirmiyohu responded: "From these very stones which I lament over." (Rema in the introduction to Toras HaOloh).

While the Temple stood, Hashem dwelled amongst us and we could recognize His existence. Aside from the miracles which took place there daily, there were mitzvos which helped Kohanim, Leviim and Yisroelim to recognize Hashem's Presence in the Beis Hamikdosh. These included fearing and guarding the Mikdosh, and preparation for the Temple service. A clearer understanding of these mitzvos will help us to appreciate what we are missing without the Beis Hamikdosh.

Walking In Awe

In Exile With the Torah
Memoirs of a survivor of Yeshivas Bialystok in Poland -- HaRav Binyomin Grodka

by HaRav Binyomin Grodka

Part II

In the first part (of three) HaRav Grodka discussed his early years briefly and then went on to describe his years in yeshiva. He entered the Novardok yeshiva of Bialystok at the age of 16 in 1936, and was able to learn there for three years before the War broke out in Elul, 5639 (1939). He discussed the yomim noraim that year and what it was like to learn and live with the clouds of war hanging low. Many yeshivas from Poland and Russia went to Vilna, Lithuania in the hope that it would be independent of both Germany and Russia. A week before Pesach 5700 (1940) Rav Grodka arrived in Birzh with the yeshiva and the rosh yeshiva HaRav Yaffen and the mashgichim HaRav Yisroel Mowshowitz and HaRav Nissen Patchinsky. However soon Russia took over Lithuania.

Kabbolas HaTorah on the Way to Siberia!

Many respected, important roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Novardok and their students were in Lithuania during the war and exile. We'll mention a few of them, who blossomed in the desolation and exile.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781