April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Rav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi and Rav Shimon Baadani Bring Spirit of Tahara to Teveriah

“The city of Teveriah has never seen such a powerful, overt demonstration of the importance of Torah. The crowd was massive, and it was clear that residents of Teveriah who care about Yiddishkeit were deeply moved. To see leading gedolim…who all troubled themselves to travel to Teveriah and give messages of chizuk to the city’s inhabitants was the greatest demonstration of achdus and kavod haTorah that the city has seen in a long time!”

Those were the words of Reb David Ohana, a member of the city council of Teveria for Degel HaTorah, talking about the siyum on Maseches Chulin that the Daf HaYomi had recently completed.

The recently elected mayor of Teveriah, Ron Kubi, is a rabidly anti-religious demagogue who has made a conscious effort to trample on the kedusha of Shabbos in the city.

A number of Teveriah’s prominent rabbanim went to HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, shlita, rosh yeshiva of Ponovezh, to see what they can do, and his response was to increase Torah learning and kavod haTorah in the city. So Dirshu decided to invest a tremendous amount of resources in Teveriah, promoting limud haTorah.

Rav Ezrachi said, “When the Bnei Yisrael left Mitzrayim, we find that Pharaoh regretted sending them away and ran after them in an attempt to force them to return. The pasuk tells us, ‘Pharaoh hikriv, Pharaoh came close.’ As a result of their fear, Pharaoh succeeded in ‘drawing close’ the hearts of the Bnei Yisrael to their Father in heaven. When the Bnei Yisrael saw Pharaoh drawing close, when they understood his diabolical designs against them, they davened to Hashem!”

Nevertheless, Rav Ezrachi concluded by addressing the anti-religious mayor and urging him to desist his anti-religious designs, “Enough already!”

At the siyum, Dirshu announced they will open more than ten new Daf Yomi shiurim in Teveriah as well as Daf HaYomi B’Halacha shiurim.

One of the gedolim who has expressed great worry over the fate of Teveriah’s Jews is Rav Shimon Baadani. He addressed the assemblage like a father speaks to his sons: “I have occasion to travel all over the world, and wherever I go I see this wonderous development, a Torah revolution that is transpiring. So many people who never learned Torah are starting to learn with such dedication. I am sure that in the merit of the additional Torah being learned here, he who battles Yiddishkeit will not succeed. I truly feel that Hashem sent the difficulties to this city in order to encourage us to strengthen ourselves.”

The final address of the evening was given by Rav Dovid Hofstedter, nasi of Dirshu.

He began his address on a personal note. “When I first came to Teveriah many years ago, I was met with a spiritual midbar, a spiritual desert. Today, however, we see the Torah community growing, blooming and blossoming, Baruch Hashem!

“Still,” Rav Hofstedter remarked, “there is increased anti-Semitism around the globe and even in Eretz Yisrael. How do we explain this?

“The midrash says, ‘When the time came to redeem Bnei Yisrael from Mitzrayim they did not have mitzvos. Hashem therefore gave them the mitzvah of korban Pesach and bris milah.’

“The Jewish people became influenced by the culture of Mitzrayim. That is how they sank to the 49th level of tumah…The only way to extricate themselves from the culture of Mitzrayim was with mesiras nefesh, with blood—blood of milah and blood of Pesach—real mesiras nefesh.

“Yes, we have zechusim, but to be an oveid Hashem requires sacrifice. To think that with a 30- or 40-minute superficial seder we are yotzei and then we are done?!

“If we show that we love our mesorah, we learn with every fiber of our hearts and our souls, and cut ourselves off from the culture of the goyim, then certainly Hashem will help us, and just as we were redeemed in the month of Nisan from Mitzrayim, so too will He redeem us once again in Nisan with the geula shelaima.”

By Chaim Gold

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