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21 Sivan, 5784 - June 27, 2024 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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Gedolei Yisrael in America

The unique and historic visit of eminent Torah leaders from Eretz Yisroel headed by HaRav Dov Lando has captured the attention of the Torah world at large, It was launched at dawn this past Sunday with the landing of their flight.

The entourage arrived at Lakewood that afternoon and was climaxed in the very streets with tens of thousands participants who thronged to express their homage to Torah and be partners in shouldering the yoke of the Torah world in Eretz Yisroel during this most challenging period.

Headed by Maran HaRav Dov Lando, the delegation consisted of the prominent figures of HaRav Don Segal, HaRav Yaakov Hillel, HaRav Avraham Salim, the Admor of Rachmestrivka, joined as well by HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch who had arrived a week before to rouse the public of yeshiva supporters in assisting to establish a joint fund for the Torah world at this very critical time facing the Torah community in Eretz Yisroel.




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

Part VII (final)

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).

Part Seven: Yeshivas Toras Chaim — (Continued)


Throughout the years, Reb Moishe always maintained a special interest in the welfare of Russian Jewry, for whom he felt an extra measure of responsibility due to his proximity. His feelings towards this massive group of the Diaspora, who remained largely cut off from the rest of world Jewry for two or three generations, are conveyed in a moshol he often repeated.

Imagine a father who has a number of children, one of whom is seriously ill and is lying unconscious. Naturally, the father spares no effort to relieve his child's condition. Time passes until one day when, boruch Hashem, the child begins to move his hands and feet. Soon afterwards, he opens his eyes. The father now redoubles his efforts to restore his child to full health.

Russian Jewry are Hashem's children, Reb Moishe would conclude, whom we now have a chance to restore to health. He would say that undertaking this work was the task of the generation's leaders.

As soon as the doors of the Soviet Union began to swing wide open, some six years ago, Reb Moishe seized the chance to start working inside the country. At his behest, Rav Yitzchok Silver (who, since emigrating to Eretz Yisroel after successfully raising his own children as observant Jews in defiance of Soviet persecution, has been involved in reaching out to new Russian immigrants) and Rabbi Alexander Eisenstadt (who had worked with Reb Moishe on the aforementioned European project) travelled to Moscow to evaluate the possibility of setting up some kind of long term program.




What Has the High Court Done with Regard to the Draft?

The trip of our Torah leaders to the U.S. for the sake of the Torah community in Eretz Yisroel expresses our esteem to the supporters of Torah across the sea and their tremendous merit in enabling Torah study to continue and stand on its feet. At the same time, however, it is also a shameful show, if not the worst possible, of exposing the real face of the State of Israel.

The very fact that the Jewish state — the very one which the nations of the world buttressed in its establishment solely in deference to the Divine promise to the Jewish People [for a homeland] as written in the Torah — halted its designated budget for Torah scholars. This is a severe writ of defamation and prosecution, threatening and destructive, which undermines the very foundations of the continued existence of this state.

The truth is that it is no big surprise. Throughout the years of its existence, the state's support of the yeshiva community was only a result of coalition settlements rather than from an understanding and acknowledgement that this was how it should be.




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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Truth and Falsehood

by A. ben Aharon

Torah Sources About Truth and Falsehood

The story of the Meraglim raises the issue of truth and accuracy in speech. Modern research illuminates once more what our Sages taught: That the inclination to lie is intrinsic in every human being, and is actually part of the Creation. The yetzer hora is always there lying in wait and anyone who does not possess yiras Shomayim can fall into the grasp of falsehood through all kinds of different and varied leniencies: social lies, scientific lies, and even lies in the natural universe. Some people think that lying is a question of health. Why is science incapable of seeing how to search for truth?


Torah Sources About Truth and Falsehood

The seal of the Ribono Shel Olom is truth. Our Sages emphasized our obligation to work on searching for truth, and to what an extent we have to flee from falsehood. We have collected a few of their sayings to give a little balance to the bitter picture that non-Jewish researchers paint of human nature. This is what the Torah teaches us about the search for truth-and how to attain it.

Kol mi shemotzi emess la'amito, ma'aleh olov haKosuv ke'ilo hoyo shutaph im HaKodosh Boruch Hu bema'asei bereishis (Mechilta, Yisro) - Whoever who brings out the complete truth, the posuk considers him as being like a partner with the Ribono Shel Olom in Creation.

The Ramchal explains this as follows:

"Emes is one of the pillars upon which the world stands (Ovos 1:18). Speaking falsehood then, is comparable to removing the foundation of the world. Conversely, if one is heedful of the truth it is as if he maintains the world's foundation (Mesillas Yeshorim, chapter 11).

Our Sages said: A person should always be a yirei Shomayim in secret, admit the truth and speak truth in his heart.(Otzar Hamedroshim, Eisenstein, and in the daily prayers).

They also said: Why are the letters of emes scattered away from each other, while the letters of sheker are close to each other in the order of the Alef-Beis? The reason is because it is hard to tell the truth, while lying is easy and accessible.

Opinion & Comment
Age of the Universe

by R' Dovid Kornreich

Why is everybody else so sure?

It is an unquestioned ikkar of science that the universe is billions of years old. To deny it in scientific and academic circles is tantamount to denying the law of gravity. (Wait a minute. Quantum theory doesn't accommodate a law of gravity! So let's say it's tantamount to denying the necessity of cause followed by an effect. No, no - that isn't good either. Quantum theory claims that nature does not operate in a strict cause and effect relationship.) In any event, you will undoubtedly be buried under a heap of scorn and ridicule for being even ever-so-slightly skeptical of this fundamental tenet of rational thought.

What makes everybody so sure?

We see a ratio of radioactive decay present now in igneous rocks. We see tree rings, thin varves of lakes and ice cores with layers upon layers. We measure starlight coming from galaxies that are millions of light years away. These cumulative processes - decay, layers, light travel - all take time, a long time. The scientist asks himself, "How long must this process have taken in order to look the way it does now?"

It's simple logic. Measure how long it takes today to form one ring, or a dozen. Measure how long it takes today for a certain percentage of isotopes to decay. Measure how fast starlight travels today.

Then you simply work backwards. You extrapolate from what you currently consistently observe, to then assume that this process has always taken place in the exact same way since it started. Then you can calculate mathematically when it must have started. That is what gives you ages that run into the billions. It's as simple as that.

Fortunately, it is equally as simple to throw one big monkey wrench into this perfectly logical construct. Just take away the right to assume that what we see today is how things have always been into the indefinite past.

"But waitaminute!" says the rational scientist. "I have a right to extrapolate! By what authority can you take this right away from me?"

And his complaint is quite valid. What logical basis do nice frum Jews like us have to deprive the dendrochronologist, geologist, physicist and cosmologist of their scientific right to extrapolate?

"If you aren't willing to extrapolate back into the past," reasons the scientist, "then you shouldn't take any risks about the future either!"


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781