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4 Menachem Av 5774 - July 31, 2014 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly

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The Center of the Universe
At The Center of the Universe
by Mordechai Plaut

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Chinuch Institutions Will Insist on Accepting Students Only From Homes Which Do Not Have Forbidden Devices

Principals of talmudei Torah schools are joining the determined battle against the Internet and other technological devices in anticipation of an assembly of rabbonim to strengthen the walls of our camp. They have declared, "Chinuch institutions will stand firm against accepting children from homes that have forbidden devices." This, per directive from gedolei Yisrael past and present, including a letter from HaRav Eliashiv zt"l and ybl"a HaRav Shteinman.

The Danger in Discontinuing Chinuch Atzmai Transportation

An outcry for survival for the future of thousands of Jewish children who are coming closer to Torah echoed painfully throughout the emergency gathering of hundreds of principals of Chinuch Atzmai schools throughout the country which took place on Sunday evening in the Wagshal halls in Bnei Brak. Attended by the roster of gedolei Yisrael, it was called to address the budgetary crisis threatening the continuation of transportation for tens of thousands of students seeking a Torah education in the Chinuch Atzmai schools.

Importing Vegetables in Shmittah

"We must supervise the competition among produce importers in the shmittah year to prevent price gaps of up to 200% as in the past." This was the demand of the government Knesset Supervisory Committee in a special hearing held on the subject of preparation for the upcoming Shmittah year.

"Go My People, Enter Your Chambers"

Until lately, Jewish homes were secure and guarded. There was a time when danger did not threaten and one could raise one's children in peace and serenity, when we trusted in the fulfillment of the words in Tehillim, "Our sons are [pure] as plants... there is no breach and no bad tidings and no outcry in our streets" and that all grow up as blessed seed. But today, we have returned to the previous periods where we needed special siyata deShmaya to successfully rear children who are wholesome and G-d-fearing. We again encounter the phenomenon where fire consumes the periphery of our camp and within the very community of shomrei Torah umitzvos.

Ha'Admor Reb Ben-Zion Halberstam zt'l Hy"d of Bobov

In honor of his yahrtzeit, 4 Av 5704-1944

A pall of sadness and mourning hung over the court of Bobov. The Rebbe Reb Shloime had passed away, shattering his many chassidim and talmidim. His son and heir to the Admorus, Reb Ben Zion, was visibly broken.

From Our Archives

Opinion and Comment
Now is the Time for Mourning

By Mordecai Plaut

There are plenty of things in the world today for us to worry about. There is the general decline in morality of the West, which expresses itself in so many areas. The West is certainly sliding down a very slippery slope that can only end very unpleasantly, and we have at least an obligation to protest.

In Exile With the Torah

Memoirs of a survivor of Yeshivas Bialystok in Poland -- HaRav Binyomin Grodka

Part II

In the first part (of three) HaRav Grodka discussed his early years briefly and then went on to describe his years in yeshiva. He entered the Novardok yeshiva of Bialystok at the age of 16 in 1936, and was able to learn there for three years before the War broke out in Elul, 5639 (1939). He discussed the yomim noraim that year and what it was like to learn and live with the clouds of war hanging low. Many yeshivas from Poland and Russia went to Vilna, Lithuania in the hope that it would be independent of both Germany and Russia. A week before Pesach 5700 (1940) Rav Grodka arrived in Birzh with the yeshiva and the rosh yeshiva HaRav Yaffen and the mashgichim HaRav Yisroel Mowshowitz and HaRav Nissen Patchinsky. However soon Russia took over Lithuania.

The Idea of Bein Hazmanim: Relaxation, Not Diversion

by Rav Avrohom Hacohen Binder

Much ink has already been spilled to draw a distinction between "bein hazmanim" in yeshivas, and "summer break" for students or "vacation time" for employees. Yet following the strident voices always heard calling on bnei yeshiva to do military or civilian service or to do two weeks of military training--perhaps restricted to bein hazmanim alone--it is our task to shed more light on the subject. Both these and similar ideas proposed in the past have been staunchly opposed by gedolei Yisroel, whose spokesmen have explained that the Torah world must not alter the schedule and order that have been the norm for decades.


Av, 5765 - Kislev 5766 (August-December 2005)

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