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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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The View From The Beis Medrash


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 Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan: A Day Of Tefillah

Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan has become a day of yom tefillah, when klal Yisrael davens for various, diverse things.

There is a famous tefillah composed by the Shelah, comprised of several tefillos ensuring that our children continue on the path of kedushah, that many people recite on that day. The organization Ichud HaKehilos has arranged for this day to be one whereby many people can come together to daven for the sanctity of our homes and communities.

This effort began a year ago on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan with a large asifa at Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens. Approximately sixty thousand men attended that asifa, and thousands more listened via hookups. It successfully raised awareness of tens of thousands of people about the dangers of the Internet and other relatively new social devices that many people in society deem harmless. It was made clear at that event that if one does not absolutely need to have access to the Internet in one’s home, it should not be there. It was espoused that searching for shopping sales is not a legitimate reason to have the Internet in one’s home, and that its dangers far outweigh the few dollars one might save on a sale. Finally, anti-Internet proponents said, if one decides to have Internet use in his home, a filter must be installed.

Since that asifa, there have been several smaller events held in different communities and schools. Ichud HaKehillos has organized several asifos this past week in numerous cities in order to raise awareness about and to daven for the sanctity of our communities. These asifos have been called “Haddar Kibulah,” referring to the Gemara in Shabbos that describes that at Mattan Torah the Bnei Yisrael were coerced into accepting the Torah and that in the time of Mordechai and Esther they reaccepted it willingly (haddar kibulah).

The crowd at last week's asifa.

The crowd at last week’s asifa.

An asifa was held at two Lakewood, New Jersey banquet halls, Ateres Chana and Lakewood Terrace. Words of hisorerus and guidance were offered, in light of the spiritual challenges presented by technology – specifically the Internet.

At this event, tehillim were led by Rav Aharon Schustal. Speakers included Rav Malkiel Kotler and Rav Matisyahu Salomon, rosh yeshiva and mashgiach of Beth Medrash Govoha, Lakewood; Rav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, rosh yeshiva, Telshe and Mesivta of Lakewood; and Rav Elya Brudny, rosh yeshiva, Mirrer Yeshiva, Brooklyn. Thousands of men attended while thousands more joined this event via live hookup.

Another asifa attended by thousands of men was held last Thursday night in Boro Park at the 18th Avenue Park on 57th Street. The crowd heard words of inspiration from a number of speakers, including the Skulener Rebbe; Rav Dovid Olewski; Rav Yosef Laufer; and Rav Kalman Halberstam. Rav Moshe Wolfson led the recitation of tehillim, and the Rachmastrivke Rebbe led Kabbalas Ohl Malchus Shamayim.

Following in this effort, the organization Venishmartem arranged for a “filterthon” this past Sunday in Rabbi Landau’s shul on the corner of Avenue L and East 9th Street in Brooklyn. Professionals were available all day to assist with the installation of computer filters.

Also on this past Thursday night, an asifa raising awareness of the Internet’s dangers was held at the Rockland Boulders Stadium in Pomona, in Rockland County, New York. Rav Ephraim Wachsman, considered by many to have been the most effective speaker at last year’s Citi Field gathering, addressed the male crowd of thousands. The attendees davened for klal Yisrael’s ability to maintain kedushah during these times of moral impurity.

 Haredi And Dati Rabbanim Unite On Kosel Controversy

In a move to counter Women of the Wall, a Reform women’s group that dons talleisim and tefillin on Rosh Chodesh while carrying the Torah at the Kosel HaMa’aravi, a new group of women – Women for the Wall – have been working to restore the sanctity of the holy site.

This new group called on all women who value the Kosel as a holy site, and who value the thousands of years of Jewish tradition, to go there at 6:30 a.m. on Rosh Chodesh for the purpose of davening and saying tehillim for klal Yisrael. This action would counter the great dangers to Torah and Judaism posed by the Reform women’s group. The goal is for these Bnos Yisrael to arrive before the Women of the Wall, and show the Israeli government and world media that the vast majority of women who wish to pray at the Kosel oppose any changes to tradition.

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