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Thousands of chassidim, devotees, and local residents and guests from the New York area joined the Rebbe, who resides in Kiryas Yoel, New York, for tefillos and tishen.

The Rebbe’s visit came as a new Satmar building is being constructed in Boro Park. The structure is set to house some 70 classrooms, a wedding ballroom, and several smaller halls.

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Construction began about six months ago, and work on the first floor has now begun. On Sunday, the week of parshas Vayikra, a special Livnas Hasapir event is scheduled to take place.

Following the Friday night tish that didn’t end until well past midnight, a large crowd regrouped for davening with the Rebbe on Shabbos morning. It was reported that at Shacharis, approximately $8.5 million was raised to fund the new building.

After the tefillos, the Rebbe visited the home of a prominent supporter who pledged half a million dollars. He spent seudas Shabbos with those who have donated over a quarter-million dollars for the new building.

Following Ma’ariv and Havdalah the Rebbe went to his host’s home, where he met more building contributors.

Reb Dovid Soloveitchik On The
Military Draft Of Yeshiva Bachurim

HaGaon HaRav Meshulam Dovid HaLevi Soloveitchik, shlita, son of the Brisker Rav and rosh yeshiva of one of the prominent Brisk yeshivos in Eretz Yisrael, told talmidim during a schmooze, “The intent of the haters of Israel by trying to draft bnei yeshivos is to destroy the major foundation of Torah, to destroy the yeshiva world, and to uproot klal Yisrael’s neshamah from its roots – the yeshivos haKodesh. In such a case,” he said, “we will be compelled to leave the country as was done during the time of the gezeirah against limud Torah in Vilna by the Communists.”

Reb Dovid Soloveichik

The rosh yeshiva referred to the “share the burden” effort as a “threat against the Torah world and Yiddishkeit, rachmanah litzlan.” He continued by referencing the Rambam’s Iggeres Teiman, where the Rambam writes about gezeiros against limud Torah by non-Jews.

Reb Dovid said, “When we refer annually in the Pesach Haggadah to ‘b’chol dor vador, omdim aleinu lechaloseinu,’we allude to the gezeiros of the haters of Torah seeking to uproot the Torah HaKedoshah, rachmanah litzlan.” He warned that if the drafting of yeshiva bachurim is brought to fruition, there “is no alternative but to run away from here,” – and that Torah study will continue abroad.

Reb Dovid called on the entire haredi tzibur to unite against this gezeirah, and advised everyone to conduct a cheshbon nefesh as to why this is being carried out against haredim today. He explained that if one does not perform mitzvos properly, one might lose the ability to fulfill these mitzvos.

Reb Dovid concluded by saying, “Therefore, we are compelled to strengthen our adherence to Torah and mitzvos, to improve our performance of mitzvos, and of course our yiras Shamayim.”

Yahrzeit Of
Rav Yeshaya Ben Dov Meir Shimanowitz

The yahrzeit of Rav Yeshaya Shimanowitz, zt”l (1908-1998), will be observed on 20 Adar (the date has been wrongly listed in many public postings as 22 Adar, but his son makes this correction). Rav Shaya, who served as rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yaakov Yosef (RJJ) in New York, was born in Rubizevitch, Poland. At the age of ten, he began learning in the yeshiva in Bialystok, where his rebbe was the young Steipler Gaon, zt”l.

Rabbi Shaya Shimanowitz

Following his bar mitzvah he enrolled in the yeshiva of Slutsk, where he became the favorite disciple of Rav Ahron Kotler, zt”l. He also developed a lifelong very close relationship with his chavrusah, Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach, zt”l. At fifteen Rav Shaya decided to change yeshivas, moving to Kaminetz to learn with Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, and remaining there until his early twenties. He then went to Radin to learn Kodshim b’chavrusah with Rav Mendel Zaks, zt”l, (the Chofetz Chaim’s son-in-law) for over three years in the Chofetz Chaim’s house.

When Rav Shaya was twenty-five, he was invited to join the select Mir Yeshiva – Rav Lezer Yudel Finkel’s select chaburah. Within a short time Rav Shaya found his eishes chayil, Rebbetzin Ettel, a”h. He was one of the few yungerleit accepted into the famous Kovna Kollel, and later traveled with the Mir Yeshiva to Shanghai and Japan.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.