Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Every Stone a Story

Yisroel Besser

When you join Rabbi Binyamin Levene for a walk through Jerusalem’s older neighborhoods, you’ll see the city through the eyes of an American-born teenager, a teenager who delights in the charming eccentricities and wholesome welcome of the unapologetically authentic Jerusalemites. As the cherished grandson of the legendary Rav Aryeh Levin, Binyamin was that teenager. He spent his summers absorbing his grandfather’s city and his love for its people. Decades later, the magic hasn’t faded.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

old jerusalemRav Binyamin Beinush Levene’s Jerusalem office is relatively small, but it feels expansive, even grand. Every inch of wall space is covered with pictures and colors of Old Jerusalem: Images of great men, flags, decals, and handwritten notes, some in childlike scrawl. If an interior decorator would theme this sort of decor, it might be called “Ahavas Yisrael-infused,” emanating love for the Jewish People and homeland.

But Rabbi Levene’s real office is the Jerusalem street, the alleys and paths along which he guides Jews, telling them about so much more than dates and places. His workplace is the narrow strips of road where, as a child visiting from Jersey City, New Jersey, he walked with his hand gripping that of his doting zeideh, Rav Aryeh Levin.

When Rav Aryeh Levin, the legendary “tzaddik of Jerusalem,” first welcomed his American einekel, he recited the brachah of shehechyanu, and then he quoted the words of the pasuk with which Yosef HaTzaddik blessed his younger brother, Binyamin: “Elokim yachnecha bni – Hashem will grant you charm, my son.”

Reb Aryeh’s blessing is evident as you watch Benji, as he is known — a man of charm — walking through the most charming city on earth.



Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"