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New Beginnings in Vizhnitz

Aryeh Ehrlich

When the Vizhnitzer Rebbe shlita, Rav Yisrael Hager, agreed to take on the mantle of leadership in Vizhnitz, it was with one stipulation: the honorific “kvod kedushas” — the way a rebbe is usually addressed — would not be added to his title. Yet his extreme humility has not inhibited his massive following.

 

By Fire or By Fraud

By Avi Friedman

For years, the story seemed straightforward enough: the Aleppo Codex, a precious historical manuscript, was saved from the torches of Arab rioters, smuggled into the fledgling state of Israel, and brought to Yad Ben Zvi. But why are there no burn marks on the rescued pages? And why would a Sephardic religious treasure end up in a secular Ashkenazic research institution? A new book documents the efforts of a journalist, an amateur historian, and a former Mossad agent to unravel the mystery.

 

Missives from a Lost World

Refoel Pride

In 1932, 18-year-old American bochur Yehudah Leib Gordon left for a world now lost to the mists of memory. Drawn by the light of Mir and Kamenitz, Yehudah would stay for seven years, basking in the radiance of Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, Rav Leizer Yudel Finkel, and Rav Yerucham Levovitz, and returning to the US the same year the iron gates slammed shut. His letters home conveyed his excitement to parents and siblings who eagerly awaited every word. Today those letters are a precious family legacy.

 

Posek for a World at War

Eliyahu Ackerman

Who was the dayan of Brisk, referred to by Rav Chaim Brisker in his writings as “my good friend, Rav S.Z.”? Rav Simcha Zelig Riger Hy”d left none of his own seforim as a legacy, but as an integral part of Brisk and confidant of the Soloveitchik gedolim of prewar Europe, his name continues to be venerated as a remarkable halachic arbiter and a rav dedicated to his people until the end. His grandson, Rav Chaim Ber Gulevsky, shares his memories of the zeideh he left when he fled Europe for safer shores.

 

Flower Power in Flatbush

By Eytan Kobre

It’s a bright and breezy Friday morning in May, and at 9:30 AM, the Sasregen shul at Avenue M and 24th Street isn’t even close to emptying out. As yet another minyan gets underway, the Sasregener Rebbe, Rav Rubin, is putting away his talis and tefillin at the front of the shul. And in the back, at his post, is Reb Yehoshua Danese, who in less than a year’s time, has made Shalom Bayis Flowers a Flatbush byword – and, he’s hoping, a buy word, too.

 

Thinking Out of the Box about Torah and Life

Yonoson Rosenblum

Rabbi Dan Roth insists that he never wanted to be the star of any show. So why do the popular educational videos produced by his company, Torah Live, often feature Rabbi Roth going to the ends of the earth, literally, to bring Torah concepts to life for today’s generation? The answer, he says, can be found in a commentary on Pirkei Avos that few people have read.

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Fallen Idols
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Even the best of values can become idolatry
Declaring Bankruptcy
Yonoson Rosenblum The implosion of the Conservative movemen
Something from Nothing
Eytan Kobre Israel should go for a bigger win than baseball
The Business Trip
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger Sometimes business trips aren’t strictly business
Death and Taxes
Jacob L. Freedman Aliyah ups, downs, and all-arounds
Perspective Shift
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman Single, female, Orthodox, adult: not an oxymoron
Mission with Ambition
Faigy Peritzman The way you see her is what she will become
Drop the Nagging
Sarah Chana Radcliffe You can gain cooperation, but not by nagging
Trying Our Patience
Rebbetzin Aviva Feiner Savlanus isn’t just patience, it’s endurance
Redeeming Factor
Shoshana Itzkowitz “When was the last time we ate a meal behind the dryer?”