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For close to 130 years, Antwerp’s legendary Yesodei HaTorah institution, with its thousands of alumni and its living testimony to the miracle of a post-Holocaust resurgence, has rallied to its challenges with confidence. And now, in the shadow of a government clampdown on education, Antwerp’s flagship institution still clings to its legacy.
The family of Rav Mordechai Dov Kaplan, the rav of the Ari shul and the Old City in Tzfas, was entrusted with a sacred mission by the Rebbes of Ruzhin. Every Lag B’omer, he’d travel to Meron, to watch flames of joy and salvation overtake the dark hilltop. And while he views today’s massive crowds as a sign of blessing, he misses the unity that marked the Meron of his childhood — when there was one fire for everyone.
Eli Schwebel may hail from a family of Jewish music stars, but it took years of struggle before he found his own voice and could sing the tunes of his own heart.
Jews in Alsace once accounted for more than half the French Jewish population. But emancipation, urbanization, and ultimately World War II nearly emptied the area of its Jews. Today, there are hundreds of shuls to visit, but very few Jews to meet. Ari and Ari set out to find what remained.