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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.



MM217
 
Marriage Prep is a Teaching Moment
Yonoson Rosenblum Show young, searching Jews that Torah works
Elephant in the Room
Eytan Kobre Welcome to the Monkey House
No Hitting
Jacob L. Freedman “Torah doesn’t stand for that kind of behavior”
The Must Vs. The Should
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Performing G-d’s mitzvos transcends personal feelings
Tongue in Check
Faigy Peritzman There’s no substitute for positive reinforcement
Debugging the Dynamic
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Positive change starts with the spouse who’s smart
Social Savvy Vs. My Kids’ Shidduchim
Sara Eisemann As parents, we have the obligation to contain ourselves