March 4, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Unkelos translates the word re’eh as chazi, reminding one of the word chazon, the vision of Yeshayahu. When I think of vision, I think of my uncle, Rabbi Genack, who upon introducing the then running for office Bill Clinton, referenced the words in proverbs: “Without vision, you will perish.” This was in response to Bush Sr.’s now famous quote where, when asked what his vision for the country was, he mockingly said, “Oh, that vision thing” (a quote he was never able to shake). When I think of vision, I also think of my great-great-grandfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Levine, who had a visionary explanation of why Torah refers to shalom. He said Torah brings shalom between the guf and neshama. This is a sentiment his grandson Shlomo Yosef Genachowski would embody when, in his old age, a doctor said he didn’t need anesthesia for an operation, but the Gemara in his hand brought him peace. I’m then reminded of Shlomo Yosef’s son, Eliyahu Moshe Genachowski, a member of the Knesset who was faced with having to cast a vote regarding the drafting of women to the military. He turned to his confidant, the Chazon Ish, about how to proceed and he was told to miss the vote, an act that could have put his seat in jeopardy. The Chazon Ish told him that for this act of missing the vote, his son, Rav Avrohom Genachowski, would light up the world with his Torah, which is exactly what transpired. Finally, I’m reminded of my first cousin, Rabbi Yaakov Nagen (Genack), who upon enduring the Shabbos in Otniel where four of his students were murdered, he took on the vision of one of those students who always spread leaflets of Torah drashot, to also participate in any Torah gathering he was invited to from thereon in. I think when one thinks of chazi, one thinks of mission and responsibility and the ability to see beyond one’s self to imagine the consequences of what will be in the future.


Steven Genack is the author of “Articles, Anecdotes & Insights,” Genack/Genechovsky Torah from Gefen Press.

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