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14 Av, 5782 - August 11, 2022 | Mordecai Plaut, director | Vayishlach - 5782 Published Weekly
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HaRav Chaim Kanievsky zt"l on Bircas Kohanim at the Kosel: A Story about Rav Hai Gaon

This is excerpted from the forthcoming "Shomanu Kein Ra'inu" by HaRav Shimon Brecher who was very close to HaRav Chaim.

Is it important for a Kohen to participate at the mass bircas kohanim which takes place by the Kosel?

Yes, as is explained in Sefer Chassidim (Siman 630). It says as follows:

Rav Hai Gaon used to go up to Yerushalayim each year from Bovel for Succos. They would walk around Har Hazeisim on Hoshanna Rabba seven times while reciting psalms which Rav Hai had designated.

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81st Anniversary of the Pogrom in Jedwabne, 10 July 1941

A special anniversary ceremony took place in Warsaw to commemorate the date when Nazi rioters, together with local Polish collaborators, unleashed a pogrom against the Jewish residents of Jedwabne.

This pogrom was especially brutal and cruel; Jewish blood gushed like water during the attack which claimed so many Jewish lives.

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OPINION
Summarizing and Assessing Operation Breaking Dawn

So what are we left with? A serious strike at the Islamic Jihad leadership. A volley of hundreds of rockets towards Israel where, boruch Hashem, most of them were intercepted. But most important of all, there were no Jewish casualties. Short and quick. Focused and pinpointed. And halted when the top echelons of the IDF concluded that they had reached the desired goal and that it was time for a speedy cease-fire before anything began to turn sour.

It would be enough for one Gazan child to be killed to change the entire equation and bring Hamas into the picture because then it would be a different kind of war. The Islamic Jihad is perhaps the second biggest terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip but it isn't all that big with very limited military clout. Hamas is big, dominant, equipped with deadly arms and its involvement in this war would have turned this into a different story altogether.

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Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah Visit Camp Agudah

Wednesday, 6 Av, August 3, was truly special at Camp Agudah. It was on that day that the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah met at Camp Agudah.

Rabbi Elya Brudny, Rabbi Hillel David, Rabbi Yosef Frankel, Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rabbi Shlomo Eliyahu Miller, Rabbi Yeruchim Olshin, and Rabbi Shimon Yehuda Svei, attended the meeting in person while Rabbi Aharon Feldman and Rabbi Aharon Dovid Goldberg joined by phone.

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

Part II

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.

The first part described the author's experiences in the Baranovitch yeshiva. In this part he describes the Mir yeshiva in Europe.

Guard Duty

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Outstanding Articles From Our Archives


The Aliya of R' Isser Zalman Meltzer

by Yisca Shimony

A lot of interesting detail, told from a woman's point of view.

It was a cold and rainy Monday morning, Rosh Chodesh Shvat, 5685. At ten o'clock, a large crowd gathered in the Eitz Chaim Yeshiva, located in the courtyard of the Churva Synagogue in the Old City. When it was packed full, the doors were closed and many disappointed people were left outside.

The honorary guest arrived on schedule at eleven. The rabbonim kept praising the eminent new Rosh yeshiva, R' Isser Zalman Meltzer, who had arrived recently from the Polish town of Kletzk. Eventually, the introductory speeches ended and the new Rosh Yeshiva delivered his first shiur to the packed audience of Jerusalem's elite Torah scholars. It was clear that a new era had just begun and that a major change was taking place. This first shiur truly fulfilled the expectations of the many erudite talmidei chachomim of Jerusalem.


Opinion & Comment
As Long as the Protective Measures Were Intact, the Arabs Showed No Hatred

by the Yerushalmi Maggid, HaRav Benzion Yadler zt'l

A foundational discussion of living in Jerusalem in safety. We consider this a yesod of life.

The Anshei Knesses Hagedolah convened towards the end of the Babylonian exile. In their wisdom and with their spirit of holiness, they understood that Yerushalayim had only been destroyed because "people strictly followed the letter of the law" (Bava Metzia 32). In other words, the people had failed to observe the protective measures and the stringencies and customs that the Sages of each generation had instituted. The Anshei Knesses Hagedolah therefore instructed their disciples to "Make a fence for the Torah" (Ovos 1:1).

The mussar scholars explained this with a parable. During wartime civilians are fenced in with barbed wire. This is not for their protection; simple cutters can easily cut the wire apart. As long as the fence remains intact however, they feel safe from danger. If they find that it has been breached, they understand that they are all at risk.




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