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A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Adar I, 5784 - March 7, 2024 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
Stories - Fiction

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A Conversation with HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein shlita

Every since the outbreak of war five months ago, the Rav of Ramat Elchonon has had no rest. There is no end of halachic questions piling up on his desk, both from the front and the families of the captives. In his sunrise minyan in Ramat Elchonon, pirkei Tehillim are said, together with Ovinu Malkeinu every morning to repeal the harsh decree. Family members of hostages come to Kollel Beis Dovid in Holon seeking strengthening.

We have asked HaRav Yitzchok to tell us how the public can improve and fortify itself through prayer. This is what he answered.

There was once a case of a man who was hemorrhaging without stop, defying the efforts of all the doctors. The members of his family went for advice to the Ponovezh Mashgiach. HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein, begging that he pray for their father.

He duly said: "May Hashem have compassion upon this man," and the bleeding stopped.

In the yeshiva, everyone talked about this miracle...




Some are Immune from Criticism

When we are talking about an Arab judge, Khaled Kabub, one whose judicial rulings follow Palestinian policy, such as his ongoing and consistent objection to the demolition of the homes of terrorists with blood on their hands, when even our security people repeatedly claim that this is a unquestionable deterrent, then he can chalk up an almost absolute immunity.

Kabub's daughter runs an office of lawyers; above the entrance hangs a huge poster of her father so that everyone who enters it knows that the apple does not fall far from the tree. According to judicial ethics, a judge is not permitted to use his position to promote any personal interest.




From the Heights of Torah Logic: On the One Hundred and Fifth yahrtzeit of the gaon, R' Yitzchok Yaakov Rabinowitz zt'l—R' Itzeleh Ponovezher, who died on the twentieth of Adar, 5679.

This was originally published exactly 30 years ago in 5754. This is the first time it is being published online.

Part II

The most momentous milestone in R' Itzeleh's life was reached twelve years after he had begun to preside as rav in Ponovezh. During that period of gloom, darkness and mist for the Jews of Russia, the most preeminent and the last Torah institution in Lithuania was established: the kibbutz for superior yeshiva students in Ponovezh. This institution, which was one of the most magnificent the Lithuanian Torah world had ever known, merited R' Itzeleh's full concern and dedication.

The wealthy Mrs. Gabronski, daughter of the famous gvir, Kalman Wissotsky, owner of the world renowned tea empire, sought to perpetuate her late husband's memory by establishing and supporting a kibbutz for elite students. For this purpose, she journeyed to the home of the gaon of the generation, "the expert in yeshiva matters," as she called him, R' Chaim of Brisk, and asked him where to situate this institution. She had three choices: Brisk, Vilna or Ponovezh, which were all central cities.

R' Chaim explained the factors she had to consider:





Rain and Kinneret Watch

by Dei'ah Vedibur Staff

Our weekly report of the rain and the level of the Kineret - Winter, 5784.

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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives

Opinion & Comment
New Chapters from the Life and Teachings of R' Yisroel Salanter zy'a Excerpts from the memorial book, Kedosh Yisroel published about two years ago - yahrtzeit: 5 Shvat, 5643

Maran R' Yisroel Salanter's initiative of dividing the Shas among his disciples, alongside an additional proposal in the town of Memel which anticipated the idea of the Daf Yomi by a few decades * A self imposed exile by Maran R' Yisroel Salanter

A Ben Torah Must Be Extremely Cautious

We know to what great extent did Maran uproot from within himself every inclination towards self-importance or self- interest - to the point which these were almost wholly nullified and he was free to let his thoughts burst forth and seek the ultimate truth, unhampered by personal desires.

I heard one of his talks to adherents in which he sought to guide them. One of his points was that a ben Torah must be very careful not to be overly adamant in defending his view.

He spoke at length on the responsa of the Geonim where we see that even after they stated a reply to a question, the answer was often challenged by the person quoting an explicit gemora showing the opposite. The sage who was asked the question was able, through his acute knowledge, to refute the question according to his original premise, sometimes even using the very quote to uphold his own opinion.

Stealing the Gavel from the Judge!

by Chaim Arbeli

The chareidi community quite frequently finds itself trapped between the hammer of the judges of law and the anvil of the dismal reality. The Israeli courts are well known for their "objectivity," and the community of Torah-faithful Jews has found itself to be on the raw end of the legal rulings. As a consequence, Betzedek was founded, which aimed to utilize "their" tools and, while triggering the mechanisms of law and justice, overstep the boundaries and take care of the interests of the inferior and vulnerable sector-the Torah Jews.

Just as the gedolei hador dispatch rabbinical delegates deep inside the legislative system-the Knesset- to rescue a drop from the ocean, so Rabbi Mordechai Green, as a rabbinical delegate in the judicial system, acts with his legal expertise to save what he can-and from the power of those who sent him come the legal successes of the organization.

The fact that the offices of the Betzedek organization are located in the Shaarei Ha'ir building, at the entrance to Yerushalayim, is not merely symbolic. From the window on the fifth floor you get a good view of the streets below, and these streets are not just any Jerusalem streets, they comprise the site which contained the half million people who demonstrated on 28 Shvat, 5759 (1999) against the exclusive rule of the Israel Supreme Court. It seems that, despite the passing of the years, the tremendous outcry still continues to reverberate in the air.

There, in the Betzedek offices, we gathered together attorneys Mordechai Green and Uri Steinmetz, both of whom were once deeply involved in similar action for "The Council for Legal Protection of Jewish Values," which was also initiated by the gedolim. We wished to understand the way in which the Betzedek organization functions today under the encouragement and direction of the Israeli gedolim from all circles and communities, and why the Council for Legal Protection of Jewish Values has pulled out of the operation and its voice been silenced. Attorney Green is now the director of Betzedek, while Attorney Steinmetz is primarily in private practice.


Is not all this involvement with the courts risky? After all, is it not an open secret, proven in research, that the judges of law do not favor religion in their decisions-to put it mildly!

The host, Rabbi Mordechai Green, chose to let his colleague, attorney Uri Steinmetz, speak first.


These links were fixed, Tammuz 5781