Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Sparks in a Frozen Graveyard

Eytan Kobre

Today there’s nothing unusual about getting on a plane and traveling to holy sites for personal salvations, but this group of venerated rabbanim and roshei yeshivah was different. They were humble shluchim, representing the thousands of Torah learners who are about to complete a seven-year cycle of daily connection to the Chofetz Chaim.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Each year, as the Yom Hakadosh reached its apex at Ne’ilah, Be’er Yaakov Rosh Yeshivah Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro ztz”l would movingly recall how his father, a rav in Bialystok, tried in vain to get him — a child of seven — to come along when the tzaddik hador, the Chofetz Chaim, would come to town. “Not now, Tatteh,” he’d reply, “I want to play.” The Rosh Yeshivah would rue the opportunity of a lifetime squandered in favor of literal “child’s play” — and he’d urge his listeners: “When your turn comes, when your priceless moment arrives, seize it and don’t let go.” Rabbanim, dayanim, roshei yeshivah, and mashgichim ruchaniyim all tend to be very busy people, shouldering responsibilities most of us can’t imagine. There are sh’eilos to answer, shiurim to deliver, kehillos to tend to, Shas and poskim to learn. What, then, might have motivated a group of 13 distinguished talmidei chachamim to interrupt their very full lives last week for a 24-hour whirlwind journey from Eretz Yisrael to Belarus and back, by plane and bus, and bus and plane back again — all to recite some kapitlach Tehillim? The answer lies in where they were headed, and why. The destination: The tziyun of the heiliger Chofetz Chaim, situated just yards from where his famed Radin yeshivah stood — and stands yet as a shadow of its former self. The objective: To daven on behalf of the thousands of Jews who have been following the cycle of daily learning of the Mishnah Berurah, instituted seven years ago by that incomparable engine of Torah study known worldwide simply as Dirshu; and the thousands more — by Dirshu’s reckoning some twenty thousand more — who, come this April, have committed to join the next journey through the Chofetz Chaim’s halachic magnum opus. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

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.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without