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1 Kislev 5763 - November 6, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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HaRav Mattisyohu Salomon to Lead Mission of Vaad Lehatzolas Nidchei Yisroel to Russia
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Final preparations are currently underway for another major chizuk tour, led by HaRav Mattisyohu Salomon, to the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Vaad Lehatzolas Nidchei Yisroel which, over the past two decades, has pioneered the miraculous renewal of Yiddishkeit in those lands, has organized a mission that will be visiting some of the centers of its activity. The mission will be following an itinerary very like one followed three years ago by a similar group.

HaRav Salomon, mashgiach of Lakewood Yeshiva, will be heading a group of prominent community leaders, activists and laymen from the United States, Europe and Eretz Yisroel. As well as participating in the special events that have been coordinated for this visit, the mission's members will be meeting the Vaad's resident shelichim in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia, to discuss each community's particular needs and the challenges that its members face. The mashgiach is scheduled to deliver words of chizuk at each event.

The tour plans to arrive be'ezras Hashem on Tuesday, December 10 (5 Teves) in Tbilisi, Georgia. A special communal chizuk assembly is planned. A new sefer Torah will be dedicated al sheim HaRav Abba Freedman zt"l. The party will also tour the city of Gori (birthplace of Stalin) visiting the Vaad institutions there and the Jewish community.

The next day is to be spent in Azerbaijan, first in Kuba, to see the revival of Torah life there in what is an ancient Jewish community, and in Baku, the capital, where a kenes and concert for chizuk for the entire Jewish community is planned. Thursday morning is also to be spent in Baku, visiting the day school, mesivta, Bais Yaakov high school, the newly built mikveh, and community shuls. That afternoon the party is to leave for St. Petersburg.

As three years ago, the final stage of the tour is to be St. Petersburg, Russia where, on Friday December 13 (8 Teves), they will participate in the dedication of the Aron Hakodesh at Yeshiva Pri Yitzchok by Dr. Yoel Rosenshein. The yeshiva is named after HaRav Yitzchok Blazer zt'l, one of the closest talmidim of HaRav Yisroel Salanter zt'l, who served as rov of the city's then-large Jewish community until his departure for Yerushalayim, around one hundred and twenty-five years ago. Pri Yitzchok was the name given to one of the works which HaRav Blazer wrote during his tenure as the city's rov.

The group will then visit St. Petersburg Jewish sites and communal institutions.

Shabbos and Sunday, December 14-15 (9-10 Teves) parshas Vayigash, will be spent at a "Yarchei Kallah" with the talmidim of yeshivas Pri Yitzchok. On motzei Shabbos there are plans for a festive melave malka with Reb Abish Brodt and Ephraim Hasenfeld who are expected to participate in the trip.

In a letter publicized four years ago, the geonim HaRav Eliashiv and HaRav Shteinman speak of the obligation that is incumbent upon each and every Jew to work towards saving the Jews of these lands who, through no fault of their own were absorbed by the gentiles and lost all Torah and yiras Shomayim. Although the progress that has been made to date in drawing them closer to Torah and mitzvos is nothing short of incredible, we must not allow our efforts on their behalf to slack when their need is still so great.

This important and historic trip will be'ezras Hashem pave the way for even greater involvement in the spiritual rebirth of the Jewish communities of Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and the other countries of the former Soviet Union.


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