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15 Iyar, 5784 - May 23, 2024 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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HaRav Shlomo Kanievsky shlita Tells How to Prepare for Shavuos

Why was Kalba Savua called by such a name?

Because he sustained all those who were hungry; everyone who entered his home 'hungry as a dog' (kalba) emerged fully sated (savua).

Notwithstanding, he refused to support his married daughter, Rochel. Why? Because she was a blight on his good name.

This, said HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, comes to teach us that a person can do endless acts of kindness to the entire world but the moment that one strikes a blow to his pride — even if it is his own daughter — he will refuse to help.

We interviewed the rosh yeshiva of Kiryas Melech and Tiferes Zion, HaRav Shlomo Kanievsky, and asked: In view of this period of Sefiras HaOmer and its preparation for the giving of the Torah, why is it particularly important to dwell on character improvement?




A Reiner Mentsch, A Reiner Torah: HaRav Moshe Soloveitchik zt'l

Part III:`I Dwell Among My People'

This multi-part essay was originally published in honor of the first yahrtzeit. He was niftar 19 Iyar, 5755. This was first published in 5756 (1996).

Introduction: Rav Wolff Rosengarten

"He bore the burden of communal affairs single-handedly. He was involved in every single public matter. For every controversy, he was the mediator. Concerning every problem, his was the last word.

"When there was a question about whether or not to found a yeshiva or open a talmud Torah, he was the one whose decision was crucial. Not a step was taken in any communal matter across the entire European continent before his advice had been sought. He was the leader. Nobody did a thing without consulting him. He advised everybody.

"Throughout, he never reckoned with his own position in the larger scheme of things. Personal favors and his own personal honor choliloh, had no place in the makeup of his character. Why, the Chazon Ish zt'l, described him as "a man with a clean, untainted soul." What more need be said?"

Reb Wolff went on to add that Reb Moishe's influence was felt not only on the communal level but on the individual level as well.

"Domestic harmony would be restored after his intervention. Medical problems, involving fateful decisions, were decided one way or the other according to what he said. He would receive visitors from as far away as America.




How Things Look to Benny Ganz

Does anyone fathom what Benny Ganz wants?

As is his penchant, he calls for a press conference whose announcement he makes while desecrating Shabbos, as if he intended to deal with a historic issue smacking with the piquancy of hysteria. Ganz set up a podium bearing an Israeli flag and delivered his message with a severe countenance which included several demands.

He maintains that the war is stuck in a stalemate; that the political status is wedged tight; and that the law of the draft must be dealt with immediately.

What was Ganz actually seeking? He says: Removing the threat of Hamas, dismantling its military power and demilitarizing the Gaza Strip. Now, how does one go about doing this? Does Ganz have solutions? If so he has not shared them.

Next: Ganz demanded removing the threat of Hizbullah and designating September 18 as the final date for returning the evacuees up North to their homes. Sounds good, in fact, wonderful.

But how to go about it?




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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Opinion & Comment
The Level of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

by HaRav Yitzchok Hutner zt'l

In honor of the holiday of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, Lag BaOmer.

The Remains of Mon, the Taste of Mon

"And bnei Yisroel ate the mon for forty years until they came to a habitable land; they ate the mon until they came to the edge of the land of Canaan" (Shemos 16:35). This posuk seems to contain a contradiction, for it mentions two different places that bnei Yisroel stopped eating mon. The gemora uses this to show that although the mon stopped descending daily when Moshe died on the seventh of Adar (at "the edge of the land of Canaan"), the people subsisted on the mon that remained in their containers until the sixteenth of Nisan when they ate from the produce of the Land (Kiddushin 38).

Tosafos asks why the gemora didn't cite the posuk in Yehoshua (5:12) which states explicitly that "the mon finished on the day after Pesach . . ." and suggests that "perhaps [the gemora] preferred deriving it from the Torah's words" - an answer that is not readily understandable.

The gemora brings another Beraissa that asks that bnei Yisroel apparently did not eat mon for forty years, as the posuk says they did. The mon descended for the first time on the sixteenth of Iyar, a month after they left Egypt and they consumed it daily until the sixteenth of Nisan forty years less one month later. The Beraissa proves from this that the matzos that they brought out with them from Egypt, which they ate for the first thirty days, tasted like mon.

Still the Ideal

"Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai said, `If a person ploughs in the ploughing season, sows in the sowing season, reaps at harvest time, threshes in the threshing season and winnows when there is wind, what will become of the Torah? But, when Yisroel are fulfilling Hashem's will, their work is done by others . . .' Abaye said, `Many people tried to emulate Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai and were unsuccessful' " (Brochos 35).

There is a tradition from the talmidim of the Vilna Gaon that although many were unsuccessful in emulating Rabbi Shimon, individuals should try and do so and they will succeed. Although there is scarcely a person in our generation who merits studying Torah on such a level, it is still possible to attain something of it. (Ed. Note. See Nefesh HaChaim, shaar 1:8 and Tzidkas Hatzaddik, p. 224).


Home and Family

by Yisca Shimony

Rebbetzin Michla, wife of the noted Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, stood at the back doorway facing the courtyard of her home. The bright sun smiled at her and she felt somewhat tired but satisfied. She turned back to the room; there, on the wall, on crude wooden shelves, were food items necessary to feed her family and her husband's yeshiva for some time to come.

"My work was surely worth my while! The soaps I made brought us all these many goods!" she sighed, and quickly acknowledged, "Boruch HaShem! He gives me strength to do this hard task." She went over to the sack of potatoes leaning against the wall and manuevered it to the entrance with her feet. "I'll send the children over to the yeshiva kitchen. The cook will cook them for the boys. The eggs, too, I'll send, and some milk."

She looked again at the loaded shelves, and felt satisfaction. "It is worth all the hard work!" She walked out of the door to the courtyard and entered the small storage room where she brewed the soap. She wiped her brow as she recalled the heat and exertion in the crushing, mixing and cooking of all the dry leaves and grasses she and the children collected, and how she processed them before placing them in the cauldron of boiling lye, fats and water, cooking up the mixture until it all became a fatty, thick concoction. With a ladle she poured this soapy brew into flat containers and let it cool overnight.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781