Home Tags Chofetz Chaim
Tag: Chofetz Chaim
Let me emphasize that it is not me indicting Lakewood. It is coming from a Charedi Musmach.
There is an old rabbinic anecdote about a rabbi who was called on to deliver a eulogy for someone who had no redeeming social value whatsoever. The rabbi was hard pressed to think of anything positive to say about this person. So when he spoke he solemnly pronounced: “No matter how evil the deceased truly was, he was still a far better person than was his brother!”
In spite of the fact that the Chofetz Chaim was vehemently opposed to the non-religious spirit of the secular Zionists, he encouraged the aliyah of God-fearing Jews. He saw the surge of mass aliyah from Russia as “the footsteps of the Mashiach,” and the beginning of the ingathering of the exiles which precedes the Mashiach’s coming.
This wasn’t supposed to happen, especially not to me. I could give you all the stats: my great-grandfather learned in Radin with the Chofetz Chaim, my grandfathers learned in Slobodka and Novardik, and my father has smicha from Ner Yisroel in Baltimore. Outside of the brief fantasy (which lasted a lot longer than I care to admit) that I would be the star player who takes the Chicago Bears to the Superbowl, I always saw myself in yeshiva. It is what I had always planned to do, and I never really contemplated anything else
With Israel surrounded, as ever, by implacable enemies and forced to endure withering assaults of negative international opinion, we can take needed comfort and learn an important lesson from the Torah context of some key phrases in the Yom Kippur liturgy we recited just days ago.
In 1924 Harry Fischel had occasion to visit the town of Eishishok in Lithuania.