April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky Speaks at Manhattan Day School

(Courtesy of Bris Avrohom) Manhattan Day School invited Rabbi Mordechai Kanelsky, executive director of Bris Avrohom, to speak about life in Russia as a child, and how he studied the Torah under communism. The event was held a few days after the holiday of Shavuot, when we were under the influence of the great holiday when God gave us the Torah. Rabbi Kanelsky shared how he learned Torah in secret in a basement and how he had to hide so that no one would know that a melamed came to teach him Chumash and Mishnayos.

Under Russian rule, studying Torah in general and especially for school-age children with a private melamed, was strictly forbidden. If one were to be found studying the consequences were drastic: teachers and parents could be sent to Siberia and the child would possibly be taken to an orphanage. The Kanelsky parents were not deterred by the threat of the Russian policies. With tremendous self-sacrifice they were adamant about giving the child a proper Jewish education.

Rabbi Kanelsky concluded with the idea of how appreciative the children in Manhattan Day School should be of their parents giving them a Jewish education and to the American government for the ability to study and practice our religion freely. Most importantly they should take advantage of the time in school and grasp every opportunity to study the Torah and mitzvot, and enjoy the beauty in Torah especially since the children were the guarantors at Mount Sinai when God gave us the Torah. With the fulfillment of every mitzvah we will speed up the coming of Moshiach.

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