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He wasn’t a smooth talker and lacked the typical fundraiser’s skill set. But Reb Zalman Ashkenazi, exuded a passion for his cause that donors couldn’t ignore, and built one of the largest chesed empires in this world, raising millions to feed and clothe the poor of Israel in a dignified fashion. Just weeks after the “human turned malach” ascended to the Heavens, we met with family, friends, and donors, to learn what passion fueled the man behind Mesamche Lev.
As hundreds of thousands of Libyan refugees have already fled the mercenary troops of Muammar Gaddafi, the shaky new regimes of Egypt and Tunisia — Libya’s eastern and western neighbors — are facing a refugee crisis they are patently unequipped to handle alone. We entered the thick of this logistical nightmare, meeting refugees in their new “homes” — the square meter of their mattress.
Decades after the mysterious disappearance of Moscow’s Rav Shmaryahu Yehuda Leib Medalia in 1938, his fate still remained a mystery. For the last twenty years, Moscow’s current chief rabbi, Rav Pinchas Goldschmidt, has been digging. Would he succeed in unearthing the mystery? Newly released records about the NKVD and Stalin’s reign of terror provided Rabbi Goldschmidt with some answers — and finally, a measure of closure on a tragic piece of modern history.
There is something about the weekly dvar Torah from Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb that makes it seem like a personal letter. But labeling Rabbi Weinreb a great writer is to minimize a man who accomplishes so much in so many fields. He is a man of learning and oratory, a pioneer in the world of mental health, an advocate for battered women, a baal tefillah, a diplomat, and — of particular delight to me on this sunny summer morning — a great conversationalist. But it was his pen that drew me to him first.