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A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Shevat, 5783 - February 2, 2023 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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HaRav Don Segal Offers Chizuk After the Murderous Attack in Jerusalem

"And the entire community of Yisroel shall slaughter it in the afternoon." This does not mean that the entire Klal Yisroel, one by one, sacrificed their korbon Pesach, for if so, it should have stated "slaughter them" and not "it." It goes to say that every korbon which an individual brings is considered to be a sacrifice of the entire body of Klal Yisroel, as stated above. This also includes the fact that if one Jew is killed, it is considered as "the entire community of Klal Yisroel."

And for this shall all the anguished, those who keep Torah and mitzvos, feel upon this terrible blow as if the entire body of Jewry was murdered on Shabbos Kodesh (parshas Bo). And if this was so decreed in Heaven, there must be a great wrath. For not even a fingernail of a Jew can be hurt if not for the overall Providence upon all, and is there not the Heavenly conduct that "for the Guardian of Israel does not sleep nor slumber"?





A Story about Life After Death

In the midst of a sea of troubles and tragedies, there is a story which I heard from the original source, a story to reinforce our emunah:

Five years ago, on the seventh day of Chanukah, Reb Mordechai Artzi, a Jew who strengthened himself greatly in Yiddishkeit and was befriended by a Ruzhiner chossid, passed away. In his last years, he lived in the Vishnitz Senior Citizens home in Bnei Brak, and in the very last months of life, his Chassidic mentor convinced him to being putting on Rabbenu Tam tefillin.

This mentor, A.K., told me the following:

"Towards the end of Chanukah this year, on the day following Reb Artzi's yahrtzeit, a man who was also close to the deceased, came to me, very excited. He told me that on the preceding night, Reb Mordechai appeared to him in a dream and said that the Rabbenu Tam tefillin which he had used were not his own. He had received them on loan and asked A.K. to return them for him to their rightful owner, but he did not provide the name of the man.





For Kovod HaTorah: The Battle Over The Vilna Rabbinate

This extended historical series about the battles over the rabbinate in Vilna was originally published in 1995 (5755).

Part IV

This series has discussed the background of Vilna, the Yerushalayim of Lithuania, and its rabbonus. We saw that the real position of Chief Rabbi of Vilna was left unfilled for more than a hundred years, out of respect, until the secular authorities insisted on the appointment of a rav to administer the registration of demographic information such as births, deaths and weddings. The community was required to appoint such a "rav meitaam," and the choice came down to a test of strength between the traditional side lead by HaRav Chaim Ozer, and the reformers and maskilim. Before his election, Rav Rubinstein, a former yeshiva student, promised Reb Chaim Ozer that he would stay clear of any involvement in Vilna's communal institutions. In return he was backed by Reb Chaim Ozer and elected. However, he did not keep his promise after his election in 1910.

Later, Reb Chaim Ozer's forced absence from Vilna during the First World War enabled Rav Rubinstein to greatly increase his sphere of influence in Vilna's communal affairs, in direct violation of the promise he had given Reb Chaim Ozer upon his election. When the Polish government required the Jews to hold new elections in 1919, the chareidim were in a minority against the combined forces of secularists, Zionists and religious Zionists and they were powerless to prevent Rav Rubinstein's accession to the seat of the Vilna Rabbinate.

This chapter chronicles the protest campaign led by the Chofetz Chaim to redress the terrible wrong that had been perpetrated against the honor of Reb Chaim Ozer and of Torah itself.

The Storm Breaks





Rain and Kinneret Watch

by Dei'ah Vedibur Staff

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret - Winter, 5783.

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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Opinion & Comment
"The study of Mesillas Yeshorim Prevents Dissension"

by Rav Eliezer Rivlin

One of our readers drew our attention to a letter from R' Yosef Zundel of Salant zt'l written to R' Eliyohu Dov Levinson of Kartinga who, aside from his greatness in Torah and his piety, was also a wealthy and very generous man. R' Dov did much for the sake of the Yishuv settlement in Eretz Yisroel.

From this letter, it appears that some disreputable people mocked him and demanded that he resign from his position of gabbai. Perhaps they were influenced by similar treatment and slander against HaRav Meir Auerbach zt'l, author of Imrei Binah, in the infamous controversy involving the Radeshkovtzky court. At the time of the writing of this letter, Jerusalem was in turmoil.

There was no quarrel, for only one side was contending. Why did the quarrel erupt after they came from abroad? Because here they were put to the test, and since they were in the wrong, the angel caused them to err even more.

The method: through fabricated stories and lies - and smear publicity. How did they acquire signatures for these posters? What is the spiritual license for dissension?

It all begins with bitul Torah and greed. A historical document from Hatzaddik R' Yosef Zundel of Salant. (p. 34)

Yeshivas Lomzha and Its Torah Prince: The Fortieth Yahrtzeit of HaRav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon, zt'l

By Rav E. Ozer and B. Re'eim

One Man's Potential

The yeshiva world was suffused with joy at the celebration of the marriage of Reb Eizel Kastiakovsky, known as Reb Eizel Vilner and who was already one of the leading scholars of the Mir, to the daughter of the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon zt'l.

The wedding was graced with the presence of a large number of the greatest Torah personalities of the day. HaRav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt'l was the mesader kiddushin. HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz zt'l and HaRav Shimon Shkop zt'l, were honored with Brochos and HaRav Yeruchom Leibowitz zt'l, the Mirrer mashgiach, danced with all his might to honor the chosson and the new illustrious father-in-law.

One key figure was conspicuous by his absence - the kallah's father, the Lomzher Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Yechiel Mordechai. The wedding took place during one of his stays in America to relieve the yeshiva's financial straits and he was unable to interrupt his visit to return home for his own daughter's wedding.

This disturbing vignette captures much that typified Rav Yechiel Mordechai's life. For decades, he ranked among the greatest roshei yeshiva. He stood at the helm of one of the largest of the great yeshivos that flourished in prewar Poland and Lithuania and devoted every ounce of his strength to the spiritual and material needs of his hundreds of talmidim. Under Rav Gordon, Lomzha became one of the first Lithuanian yeshivos to open a branch in Eretz Yisroel - a yeshiva that played an important role in the early development of the Torah community. Yet his life was beset by difficulties and he suffered repeated personal tragedy and loss. Despite his heavy burdens and his sorrows, he always radiated tranquility and joy and extended kindness and grace to all.

Rav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon was just twenty-four years old when he was appointed Rosh Yeshivas Lomzha.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781