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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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The View From The Beis Medrash

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Bennett Visits Mir Yeshiva

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett

Israel’s HaBayit HaYehudi leader, MK Naftali Bennett, in a recent visit to the Mir Yeshiva in Yerushalayim, extended a friendly message to the haredi tzibur by spreading word of his intent to not seek the uprooting of any yeshivos. HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman, shlita, reportedly approved of the visit, feeling that it would be beneficial for Bennett to get a firsthand look at some yeshivos.

Bennett visited and spoke with Mir Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, shlita, and a number of other rabbanim. During his stay, he was informed of the talmidim’s seder hayom. In his tour of the main beis medrash, Bennett had an opportunity to speak with a number of talmidim.

New Leader Appointed To The Vaad HaYeshivos

Gedolim in Eretz Yisrael unanimously appointed HaRav Chaim Aaron Kaufman as the new head of the Vaad HaYeshivos. The appointment was made with the realization that the gezeira of drafting bnei yeshivos is a real threat and requires a strong leader to head its opposition. The gedolim gathered last week in HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman’s home in Bnei Brak. Attending were HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz, shlita, HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaGaon HaRav Shaul Alter, HaGaon HaRav Menachem Ernster, and HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Shmuel Shmerler. HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen, rosh yeshiva at Porat Yosef, and a member of Shas’s Moetzes Gedolei Yisrael were also in attendance.

Rabbi Kaufman is an Amshinov chassid, and serves as the rabbi of the Maalot Dafna neighborhood in Jerusalem. Rabbi Kaufman is the son-in-law of Rabbi Asher Tenenbaum, zt”l, the late former chairman of the Vaad HaYeshivos.

Rosh Yeshiva Resigns

Rabbi Dovid Magid, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah in Bayonne, New Jersey, has announced that he will resign from his post by the beginning of next year.

Rabbi Magid is to be succeeded by Rabbi Aron Rokach of Toronto, the son-in-law of Rabbi Avremel Ausband of Riverdale yeshiva.

Petirah Of Rav Refael Rubin

Rabbi Refael Menachem Meir Rubin, z”l, was tragically niftar at the age of 36 on Friday night, Ta’anis Esther, following an illness. Rav Refael served as the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of South Jersey, which is attended by bachurim who have returned to the U.S. after learning in Eretz Yisrael. Rav Refael was a son of Rabbi and Mrs. Moshe Rubin and a son-in-law of Rabbi and Mrs. Yisroel Mayer Lasker.

The levayah was held at the Seventh Street Holocaust Memorial Chapel of Congregation Sons of Israel in Lakewood, New Jersey. When Rav Refael was two years old he was diagnosed with a liver condition. After hearing the doctor’s report that their son would not live very long, Rabbi and Mrs. Rubin went to beseech Reb Moshe Feinstein to daven for their son. Rabbi Moshe Rubin pleaded with Reb Moshe and demanded that Reb Moshe give him a havtachah that his son would live. After some time, Reb Moshe agreed and the couple left.

The following week the couple met Rebbetzin Feinstein, who told them that they owe her husband a yasher koach. She explained that after they left the Feinstein home, her husband was up all night davening for Refael. Needless to say, their son far outlived the doctor’s grim forecast.

On the morning of his petirah, the doctors informed Rav Refael’s parents that he had a few hours to live. Rav Refael’s father said at the levayah that he felt confident that his son would wait until Shabbos to leave this world, for Shabbos was the yahrzeit of Reb Moshe Feinstein. Rav Refael Rubin indeed waited until the yahrzeit of Reb Moshe, the one who davened to and beseeched the One Above to add many more years to Rav Refael’s life.

Rav Refael is survived by his wife, Elisheva, and their six children, along with extended family and friends who are grieving following his petirah. Twenty-two people sat shiva for Rav Refael.

Yehi zichro baruch.

Hospital Dedication In Bnei Brak

HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner, shlita, the Vishnitzer Rebbe, shlita, and HaRav Nissim Karelitz, shlita were among the rabbanim that attended the dedication of a new unit in Bnei Brak’s Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital.

The gedolei hador were hosted by the hospital’s founder and president, Rabbi Dr. Moshe Rothschild, and other senior hospital officials. They took part in the new unit’s mezuzah ceremony, located on the building’s third floor. The first mezuzah was set in place by Rav Wosner, followed by the Vishnitzer Rebbe. They then took part in a l’chaim.

Rav Wosner and the Vishnitzer Rebbe had warm words for the hospital and its staff. They praised the amazing work done as per the strictest adherence to halacha.

Man Convicted In The murder Of Moshe Berkowitz

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced the conviction of Anel Kolenovic on charges of second-degree manslaughter, operating a motor vehicle while impaired, and second-degree assault.

Moshe Berkowitz

Moshe Berkowitz

He was charged with killing Moshe Berkowitz, the driver of the car the 25-year-old Kolenovic struck while speeding and running a red light on Brooklyn’s Ocean Avenue on November 29, 2010. Two passengers in Kolenovic’s car were injured. He faces a maximum sentence of 5-15 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 18 before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.

Gayle Dampf, chief of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Seth Zuckerman of the Trial Bureau Orange Zone prosecuted the case.

Moshe Berkowitz was a talmid at Ohr Yitzchok. The rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, has since written a sefer Torah in Berkowitz’s memory.

Spinka Rebbe Visits Flatbush

Spinka Rebbe dancing with chassidim

Spinka Rebbe dancing with chassidim

The Flatbush community was graced with the presence this past Shabbos, parshas Ki Sisa/Parah, of the Spinka Rebbe, HaRav Abish Horowitz, shlita, of Williamsburg. The Spinka Rebbe, well known for his tremendous ahavas Yisrael, is recognized for creating a special relationship with every person he encounters. Many flock to his door for guidance on issues like shalom bayis, chinuch, business decisions and other personal matters. All of his visitors are greeted with warmth, and leave with chizuk and inspiration.

The Rebbe brought with him a legacy that dates back to his saintly great-grandfather, the Chakel Yitzchok of Spinka, zt”l. The Rebbe’s legendary father, Reb Hershele Spinka, zt”l, replanted the seeds of the Spinka dynasty on American soil after the war. He became a magnetic force for any Jew looking to become closer to Hashem, giving berachos and counsel to thousands of people from all parts of the community. The Rebbe, having absorbed his father’s outstanding example of ahavas Yisrael, continues to follow in his giant footsteps. His days and nights are filled with helping all Jews, instilling Torah, yiras shamayim and middos tovos in the hearts of klal Yisrael.

Among the many great accomplishments of the Rebbe is a tzedakah fund he established. This fund feeds dozens of needy families, supports many broken homes, and helps the poor marry off their children. All of its work is done in a discreet fashion.

Coming on the heels of the Rebbe’s visit last year, which left a lasting impression on all who were privileged to meet with and spend part of Shabbos with him, the community once again shared in the experience of his warm davening, beautiful tisch and uplifting Shalosh Seudos.

The Rebbe davened Mincha and Kabalas Shabbos on East 21st Street in K’hal Bnei Shlomo Zalman, the newly built shul of HaRav Yosef Frankel. The Friday night tisch was held in the shul’s simcha hall. The Rebbe also davened Shacharis in Rav Frankel’s shul, followed by Kiddush in Rabbi Weinfeld’s shul on East 22nd Street and Avenue L.

The Rebbe returned to the simcha hall in K’hal Bnei Shlomo Zalman for Mincha and Shalosh Seudos, where visitors benefited greatly from the Rebbe’s inspiring divrei Torah. Rabbi Usher Langsam hosted the Rebbe on Motzaei Shabbos, where he held private audiences.

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