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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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The View From The Beis Medrash

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Israel’s Attorney General Against Issuing A Seruv

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein of Israel is now targeting private batei din. He says that issuing a seruv (letter of refusal) against an individual who is unwilling to appear before a beis din is illegal. A beis din would issue a seruv even when a person wishes to take the case to a civil court.

The seruv may carry a number of sanctions, including defamation of the recipient’s character, placing him in cheirem (excommunication), or other measures. Weinstein says that such action taken against someone adjudicating a case in civil court may constitute a crime, including interference in a legal proceeding or even more serious charges such as threats and extortion. Weinstein said that this is a violation of one’s fundamental rights.

The attorney general’s new directive is intended primarily for private batei din, not those affiliated with the Chief Rabbinate system.

A separate determination will have to be made in each case if an investigation or criminal prosecution is warranted. Because of the matter’s sensitivity, the determination will not be made by anyone other than the assistant attorney general.

Weinstein said that there might also be steps taken toward disciplinary action, be it in a private or state rabbinical court. Based on the evaluation of a case, the attorney general’s office may recommend delaying or disqualifying support for the institution involved. This will be at the total discretion of the attorney general’s office.

Rav Matisyahu Solomon On ‘Sharing The Burden’

The Lakewood mashgiach, HaGaon HaRav Matisyahu Solomon, shlita, says that one who believes that lomdei Torah are not actively ‘sharing the burden’ is speaking apikorsus.

Rav Matisyahu Solomon

Rav Matisyahu Solomon

The mashgiach explained that there are those who believe that “we simply take from others without contributing. They believe that we do not share in the burden. Chazal teach us that one who muses, ‘of what benefit is it to me that there are rabbanim’ is an apikorus, for every talmid chacham who studies Torah gives the world more than all the others. We are aware that we give more than we take, but the world perceives the situation differently, as if we take without giving a thing.”

He spoke of the enormous responsibility resting on the shoulders of the lomdei Torah, for this is the koach that has the potential to save us – including saving us from those trying to pull lomdei Torah to a different path, chas v’shalom.

The mashgiach said that if there is a kitrug on the Torah, the Gra teaches us that this is a sign that there are complaints against us in shamayim. Although we do not have prophets today, we know that Hashem works with middah k’neged middah, and we must see from where our troubles are coming in order to be informed as to where the teshuvah and ma’asim tovim must be focused.

Petirah Of Rebbetzin Ruchoma Shain

Rebbetzin Ruchoma Shain passed away this past Motzaei Shabbos in Lakewood, New Jersey at the age of 98.

Rebbetzin Ruchoma Shain

Rebbetzin Ruchoma Shain

She authored many books, including her most famous work, the classic All for the Boss – which had an enormous effect on so many individuals. That book focuses on her father, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Herman, and many other gedolim. The rebbetzin grew up surrounded by some of the greatest pre-World War II gedolim, such as Reb Baruch Ber Leibowitz and his son-in-law, Rav Reuven Grozovsky; Rav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, the rosh yeshiva of the Mir; Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz; and Rav Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler. In her book, she portrays the Torah values that she absorbed while in her father’s house.

All for the Boss

All for the Boss

When Reb Baruch Ber came to America to raise funds for his yeshiva, he stayed at the Herman’s home. Reb Baruch Ber called Rav Herman the “Chofetz Chaim of America,” for he would educate and spread Torah values in the U.S. Rav Herman was also known for his tremendous hachnassas orchim; his home was always open to all guests.

Yahrzeit Of Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus

Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus (1944 or 45-April 2001) was an American who grew to become a giant in Torah and mussar. He served as chief rabbi of Ofaqim in Israel for the last 20 years of his life.

In his early years, Rabbi Pincus learned in Beis HaTalmud yeshiva in New York under Rabbi Aryeh Leib Malin. Afterwards, he made aliyah and learned in Brisk yeshiva under Rabbi Berel Soloveitchik, the son of the Brisker Rav. After his marriage, he lived in Bnei Brak and then in the Negev. At that time, he was the mashgiach of the yeshiva in Ofaqim. He subsequently became the rosh Yeshiva in Yeruham. At the request of Rabbi Elazar Menachem Man Shach and Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the Steipler), Rabbi Pincus accepted the position of chief rabbi of Ofaqim. He made public speeches – mostly free of charge – all over Israel, the U.S. and South Africa. He visited Chile with his parents to strengthen the kehillah in Torah and mussar.

Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus

Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus

Rabbi Pincus was known for having been loved by everyone with whom he came across, each person feeling a personal connection to him. He put the needs of others before his own, and was known for his love for Hashem and every Jewish person. He is quoted as having said that there is something wrong with a person’s Yiddishkeit if that person does not do for another Jew what he would do for his own son.

Many of his shiurim are available on cassette or online and most of his teachings were written posthumously by his students. His books include Sha’arim B’Tefillah; Berachos B’Chesbon; Shabbos Malkisa; Haggadah Shel Pesach; Tiferes Shimshon; Sichos HaRav Shimshon Dovid Pincus; Tiferes Avos; and the series of nefesh Shimshon on Shabbos Kodesh; HaTorah U’Kinyana; Galus U’Nechamah; Tehillim; Seder HaTefillah; Sha’arei Emunah; Pesach, Sefiras Ha’Omer and Shavous, and Al HaTorah.

While a bachur at Beis HaTalmud, an encounter with Rabbi Aryeh Leib Malin would greatly impact the way Rabbi Pincus would live the rest of his life. The summer z’man in Beis HaTalmud ended with Tisha B’Av. One year, Tisha B’Av fell out on Shabbos and most of the bachurim went to the Catskill Mountains before Shabbos to get an early start to the summer. This violated Reb Leib’s rule; he wanted the boys to stay in yeshiva until Tisha B’Av. Reb Leib said that if Tisha B’Av was pushed off until Sunday, so too should the yeshiva. However, most of the bachurim did not adhere to this and left for the Catskills for Shabbos.

So on Friday night only two bachurim were left in yeshiva for Shabbos. One can imagine the righteous feeling they had for being the only two bachurim who adhered to Reb Leib’s rule. As usual, the boys went to Reb Leib after davening to wish him a gut Shabbos. Reb Leib wished them a gut Shabbos and quickly added in Yiddish, “But you do not deserve a yasher koach!” Reb Leib’s message was that one does not deserve a yasher koach for doing what is expected of him.

Rabbi Pincus lived the rest of his life doing everything he could for Hashem and his people. Many wondered how he was able to afford his monetary distributions when, in fact, he did not have any money for himself. Others wondered how he was able to exert energy on behalf of strangers. But it was Reb Leib’s message that helped him accomplish all of his acts of tzedakah v’chesed. Rabbi Pincus felt that this is what he must do. And he did it without seeking recognition.

Rabbi Pincus and his wife, Chaya, had 12 children. His wife administered the religious high school Neve Yocheved for girls in Ofaqim. In 2001, at the age of 56, Rabbi Pincus was killed in a car accident, along with his wife and 18-year-old daughter, Miriam.

Yehi zichro baruch.

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