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Rav Reuven Elbaz was just a bochur the first time he heard a shiur from Rav Ovadiah Yosef, but even then he knew he’d found his rebbi for life. Later, Rav Ovadiah would go out of his way to help his prized talmid — even traveling abroad to fundraise for Rav Elbaz’s yeshivah. Because for Rav Ovadiah, there was no hierarchy: it was all about more Jews learning Torah. With the approach of Rav Ovadiah’s first yahrtzeit on 3 Cheshvan, Rav Elbaz reveals little-known details of that most cherished relationship.
When Charlie Press enlisted in the US Army in 1945, he became an unwitting witness to the horrors of history in the waning days of World War II: carting away pillaged Nazi gold, capturing SS troops as they were trying to move out surviving prisoners, and aiding emaciated concentration camp inmates. But it took nearly 50 years until he was ready to talk about it.
For the residents of Maaleh Hazeitim and other mixed neighborhoods in Jerusalem, the festive week of Succos meant fending off attacks from Israeli Arabs who unleashed a ferocious string of violence against their Jewish neighbors — who share the land both claim as their own.