The Passing Of Gedolim
Klal Yisrael is mourning the loss of Rav Mordechai Rennert, zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Derech Chaim in Brooklyn, who was niftar on Friday night, February 7. Rav Rennert was only 69. He is survived by his wife and 12 children, along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A week earlier, klal Yisrael grieved over the loss of Rav Avrohom Elyashiv, zt”l, the youngest son of Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt”l. The 71-year-old Rav Avrohom was niftar on Wednesday, January 29. Among those at his levayah were his brothers-in-law, yibadel l’chaim, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, shilta, Rav Azriel Auerbach, shilta, and Rav Yitzchok Zilberstein, shilta, as well as Rav Shmuel Auerbach, shilta, Rav Meir Tzvi Bergman, shilta, and others. Rav Avrohom served as the rav of the famed caravan beis medrash, Tiferes Bachurim, in Meah Shearim, having succeeded his father. Rav Avrohom was also a rosh kollel in Mevaseret Tzion. His wife, Rebbetzin Yocheved, and their children and grandchildren survive him. He was buried on Har Hamenuchos.
The following day, on Thursday, January 30, Dayan Gershon Lopian, zt”l, of Edgware, England died at the age of 73. He was the son of Rav Leib Lopian, who was rosh yeshiva of Gateshead Yeshiva, and the grandson of Rav Elya Lopian. At 24 the dayan received semicha from Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l, and later traveled to the U.S. and received semicha from Rav Moshe Feinstein, zt”l. He received a third semicha from Rav Chanoch Henach Padwa.
Dayan Lopian is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Judy Lopian, and their children and grandchildren. Also surviving him are his siblings: Rebbetzin Gurwicz, wife of Gateshead Yeshiva’s rosh yeshiva, Rav Avrohom Gurwicz; Rav Dovid Lopian, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Mikdash Melech in Brooklyn; Rav Aharon Lopian, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Lev Aryeh in Yerushalayim; Mrs. Karp, whose husband, Rav Avrohom Karp, is the maggid shiur at Yeshivas Bais Moshe of Scranton, Penn.; Mrs. Kravitz, wife of Rav Yaakov Kravitz of France; Mrs. Tova Keller, wife of Rav Shmuel Yeshaya Keller, rosh mechinah of Telshe Yeshiva in Chicago; and Mrs. Kagan, wife of the late Rav Shaul Kagan, who established the Pittsburgh Kollel.
Yeshiva Bachur Arrested In Draft Dispute
Israel Defense Forces police arrested a talmid of Yeshivas Zichron Kedoshim late Tuesday night, February 4 for failing to report for military induction. His arrest followed his filing of a statement with police in connection with an accident that he witnessed. His name was red- flagged on the computer system as being AWOL from the military. Israeli police passed the information along to military police, who brought him before a judge. He was sentenced to five days in military prison.
Upon hearing the news, Rav Shmuel Auerbach personally praised the talmid for his mesiras nefesh. He also instructed talmidim to not report to induction centers or cooperate with military authorities in any way.
Rav Auerbach reportedly told the arrested talmid, “Fortunate are you, for you have suffered a loss for the Torah.” His berachah to the talmid was that his days in prison should pass with ease and that the military not subject him to any hardships.
After five days of incarceration, the talmid was released from Prison 6 this past Sunday.
His arrest sparked protests by thousands of haredim around the country. Thirteen haredim arrested at a stormy protest in Ashdod remain in jail, as police filed serious multi-count indictments against them.
Satmar Community Observes A Fast Day
On Thursday, February 6 the Satmar community observed a fast day, accompanied by the recitation of Tehillim. The Satmar Rebbe, shlita, of Williamsburg declared the fast and tefillos in light of three events involving Sifrei Torah falling to the ground in recent months and the difficult situation in Eretz Yisrael. The fast was observed on that Thursday, one of the last days of Shovavim Tat (an acronym that stands for each of the parshiyos from Parshas Shemos- Parshas Tetzaveh). Those unable to observe a fast day are encouraged to do a pidyon via the Brisi Shalom organization, which was created to combat efforts against metzitzah b’peh in New York City.
On Erev Shabbos, Parshas Tetzaveh, Satmar communities worldwide participated in the recitation of Tehillim during the early morning hours. The Satmar Rebbe, shlita, of Kiryas Yoel participated as well.
The Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg spoke of the Sefer Torah that fell, rachmanah litzlan, last Simchas Torah during kriyas haTorah in one of the side-room minyanim in Williamsburg. The following day the Aron Kodesh fell, miraculously causing no causalities. And on Shabbos Chanukah the paroches fell during davening.
As it is written in Shulchan Aruch, one must fast when these things occur. It is cited in sefarim that the fasting should be done during the Shovavim (the week of the declared fast was the last week of the Shovavim period). Thus the fast was observed on Thursday, February 6.
The Rebbe emphasized that anyone unable to fast should donate money to tzedakah.
Eida Chareidis Gavaad Issues Priorities
Eida Chareidis Gavaad HaGaon HaRav Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, shlita, spent last Shabbos, Parshas Tetzaveh, with his tzibbur in Beit Shemesh. That Thursday, the Gavaad delivered a schmooze for the yungerleit in the kollel of Toldos Moshe Aryeh. Rav Weiss also met with community rabbanim to discuss the pressing issue of a machlokes in the community surrounding insults aimed at talmidei chachamim.
On Motzaei Shabbos the Gavaad took part in a melaveh malkah in Beit Shemesh, speaking out harshly against those who dare to speak ill of others – and worse, the speaking out against talmidei chachamim. He hinted at attacks against the Dushinsky Rebbe, shlita, regarding recent construction of kevarim in Beit Shemesh.
The Gavaad explained that while the matter of kevarim is very serious, insulting talmidei chachamim and rabbanim over this issue is far more serious.
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