Excerpts from Oleinu Leshabeiach, Volume Two,
Shemos, based on the shiurim of HaRav Yitzchok
Zilberstein as compiled by Rav Michoel Zoran
The Prime Bomb Sapper at the Northern Border Wondered Why
the Tanach Did Not Remain Intact as it Always Did
He was considered one of the biggest experts in his field.
And you should know that in this day and age, the title `bomb
sapper' is one of the most sought-after in the entire army
and even the whole country, for that matter. The wars being
fought between various countries all over the world have
catapulted those with the know-how of neutralizing bombs to
the top echelon of this military field.
His first name was Yaakov and, for reasons which will become
obvious, we cannot give his full name. Up north there is
hardly a soul who doesn't know him. He is the first to appear
anywhere where there is a reported suspicious object and at
every public event attended by top brass who need protection.
He is present in order to ascertain whether the area is safe
and sterile, so to speak, or if there are any possible mines,
bombs, explosives or danger of any kind.
Many hundreds of such events have been patrolled by him to
date. He is as familiar with the police robot detonator,
which is dispatched to neutralize explosives, as with the
palm of his hand. Suspicious objects include valises,
handbags, and assorted parcels abandoned on the road.
Yaakov's figure is familiar to the northern settlers and when
he arrives with his big police car emblazoned with the words
"Police Sapper," people know that the main highway arteries
will soon be shut off to traffic and Yaakov will forge ahead
with his robot.
This man was not religious -- until a certain event, that is,
immediately after which he began to put on tefillin,
arousing the attention of the security people with whom he
has been working for years. Since our friend is one of the
key men in the field, all of his colleagues understood that
his new embrace of mitzvah- practice was not without heavy
significance, without prior thought, and many exhibited
considerable interest in his personal story.
This is his true story.
During his extended years of service as police and army
sapper, Yaakov had the opportunity to test-by-exploding
hundreds of suspicious looking parcels in the center of
cities and the outskirts of settlements up North. "I
repeatedly encountered a very, very strange phenomenon," he
reports. "Each time I was summoned to detonate a suspicious
handbag or satchel and the robot executed its orders, it
invariably turned out that if the bag contained a pair of
tefillin or holy books, these were not demolished by
the explosion. They remained intact and whole. Always."
It was impossible to explain this anomaly away. Always, but
always, Yaakov related, these religious articles would emerge
from the debris of the explosion completely intact, as if
they had not been involved in a suspicious package
All this, however, did not yet bring him to the inevitable
conclusion that there was a Guiding Hand in this world.
Today, he cannot quite understand this, and is surprised at
himself and how those events did not prompt him to draw
nearer to the Creator. But that is how it was.
An event involving security in one of the northern
settlements near the Lebanon border tipped the scale.
Yaakov was summoned to neutralize an unclaimed satchel that
was particularly suspicious looking. He came with his car and
prepared the equipment needed to fire at it. After clearing
the area of all spectators, he shot at the parcel. It turned
out that this was, after all, an innocent bag belonging to
some unfortunate traveler which did not contain any explosive
Yaakov breathed easy and, after examining the contents of the
bag, he prepared to return to headquarters. At the last
moment, however, he identified a Bible among the contents.
This time, however, contrary to all previous times, it was
burnt from cover to cover to the point that it was altogether
illegible. He had a difficult time identifying it
He remained riveted to the spot. This was most irregular. He
had never come across anything like this before! Why had this
particular Tanach been burned? Yaakov took it in his
hands and turned it all around. No clues. The famous sapper
prepared to continue on his way, dismissing this as a freak
occurrence, but at the last moment, he noticed a small
inscription on the back cover.
It was so tiny that he hardly noticed it. By squinting up
close, he was able to make out that this was a . . . New
His heart skipped two beats. Now he understood everything.
Now he knew for sure that there was a Creator. Shortly
afterwards, the police sapper arrived at the home of the
district chief rabbi and asked him to obtain a pair of
tefillin for him. On the following morning, Yaakov
already wore them on his head and arm for the
The Idea That Struck the Gavad
A dayan who judges true and straight merits tremendous
Heavenly assistance in all of his deeds. Heaven enables him
to reach the truth and not to stumble in error.
People on the sidelines sometimes stand amazed at the ideas
that crop up in a beis din, brilliant insights that
even the most veteran investigators and interrogators could
never have hit upon. We will illustrate this through a story
which we heard from a most reliable source involving a din
Torah that took place by HaRav Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss
zt'l, author of Minchas Yitzchok, the Gavad of
A Jew whom we shall call Reuven once brought a man, say
Shimon, to the beis din, suing him for a certain
amount of money. He claimed that the man had borrowed money
and had not yet returned it. The defendant denied the claim
outright, insisting that he had never borrowed any money from
him in his life. The dayonim asked the litigant if he
had a document proving the loan and Reuven produced a paper
with Shimon's signature and the terms of the loan.
The defendant admitted that it was his original signature but
continued to maintain that he had not borrowed any money from
the litigant. The document was forged but he did not have the
slightest idea how his valid signature could have been made
According to the halochoh, his denial was not valid
since he admitted that the signature was bona fide and
thus, the document should be recognized as legal. But the
Gavad intuitively felt that the defendant was telling the
truth and asked for some time to think that matter
On the following day, R' Yitzchok Yaakov summoned Shimon and
asked him to bring several volumes from his personal library.
Not understanding the reason behind this request, he
nevertheless complied. The Gavad opened up one book and
noticed at once that Shimon was in the habit of signing his
name in the middle of the page to show ownership rather than
at the top, as most people do.
"Did you ever lend any of your seforim to Reuven?"
asked HaRav Weiss. Shimon racked his brain and then
remembered that some time ago, he had lent him a book. "Go
home and bring it here," ordered the Gavad. When he returned
with the sefer, Rav Weiss opened it and to Shimon's
amazement, the first page with his signature was, indeed,
missing. It was now crystal clear. Reuven had ripped out the
blank page that had Shimon's signature on it and had created
a promissory note in the space above!
How did such a brilliant idea ever strike the Av Beis
Din? Only through the Divine promise which was given to
Jewish judges that they would be assisted from Heaven to
reach a good and true judgment and not stumble in error.
This story should provide strong support and reinforcement to
everyone, showing that even in these times, our
dayonim are granted special Divine intuition and
assistance in seeing and understanding things that are hidden
from other folk. This is the power of the Torah, and this,
too, is the power of Klal Yisroel.
Maran HaRav Eliashiv Noticed the Forgery
There is another story that can also illustrate the
supernatural powers that are granted by Heaven to honest
dayonim to enable them to judge accurately and truly.
I recall a story that happened to my master and father-in-
law, HaRav Eliashiv shlita when a forged document once
came into his hands. He was immediately able to say that it
was not genuine.
I was present at the time and asked my father-in-law how he
was able to see that the document was forged. He said to me,
"But don't you see it clearly for yourself?" And he added,
"It was originally written with a red pen."
I looked at the document again and wondered at his words, for
the ink seemed altogether black. R' Eliashiv told me to look
again more closely and then I actually did see different
shades on the document, red and black, which proved that
someone had tried to overwrite red with black.
It was found out later that it was just as he said, and most
precisely so. It was amazing how quickly he had been able to
notice the forgery, but on second thought, that is the
clarity that is awarded to those who judge, for "Hashem
stands in the Divine assembly."
The members of a household were also astonished to see HaRav
Chaim Kanievsky come once two hours before Shabbos to suggest
a shidduch for their orphan.
When people approach someone with an important request and
they do not turn it down, but keep on postponing the actual
doing of that request to some `tomorrow,' we can only call
this trait middas Amolek! A Jew does not put off a
good deed for the morrow but grabs it immediately. Not only
does he do it the same day -- but at that very moment!
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