Rabbis Discourage Music from Non-Jewish Sources
A letter signed by several prominent rabbis has been publicized recently in Lakewood, lamenting the playing of music at weddings that originates from non-Jewish sources.
It urges all chasanim to follow certain guidelines to ensure that their wedding is “a truly uplifting occasion, as is befitting of a Yiddishe simcha.” The guidelines call for, among other things: no non-Jewish songs or intros, no loud electronic sound effects, and no flashing, moving, or color-shifting lights.
Lakewood Philanthropist Disseminates Pro-Vaccine Brochure
Dr. Kasriel “Richie” Roberts, a Lakewood philanthropist, has recently printed and disseminated over 190,000 copies of a brochure aimed at dispelling some of the myths surrounding vaccinations.
It is written in three languages − English, Yiddish, and Hebrew. The first section consists of letters from many leading Torah authorities who strongly encourage everyone to be properly vaccinated. Included are letters from Rabbi Aaron Shechter, Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rabbi Shmuel Fuerst, Rabbi Asher Weiss, and the Satmar Rebbe.
In the second section, Dr. Roberts directly addresses a letter signed by two unnamed rabbis, countering their arguments line by line, contending that their conclusions are highly unscientific.
Torah Scrolls Stolen
On Tuesday morning, congregants of the Tiferes Shimon synagogue in Bnei Brak were stunned to discover that burglars had broken in the night before. Four Torah scrolls were stolen, and several other holy items were left in a state of disgrace, strewn across the floor of the sanctuary.
Police arrived at the scene to collect fingerprints and other evidence.
Students Tested on the Entire Talmud
Rabbi Nissim Kaplan and Rabbi Raphael Shmuelevitch, the roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva Daas Aharon in Jerusalem, wanted to show their students what they could accomplish with sufficient willpower, so they invited students of the Shas Yidden program − who typically review over 13,000 pages of Talmud annually − to be tested on the entire Talmud in front of the yeshiva’s students.
What followed was an amazing display of Torah knowledge. Forty-two students answered questions fired at them from all areas of the Talmud over several hours. Rabbi Kaplan and Rabbi Shmuelevitch tested the boys as the yeshiva’s student body looked on in wonder.
Later, Rabbi Kaplan commented, “I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. Forty-two living ‘Shasim’ – students who have complete mastery of the entire length and breadth of Shas.”
Rabbi Gershon Eidelstein, rosh yeshiva in Ponevezh, commented about the Shas Yidden program: “Fortunate are the eyes that witnessed the Shas Yidden performing publicly.” Rabbi Dovid Cohen, rosh yeshiva in the Chevron Yeshiva said, “It is a mitzvah for every yeshiva to invite the geniuses of Shas Yidden, so that every student may see for himself that he too can become a Shas Yid.”
Torah Student Tragically Dies
Last Thursday, Yonatan Shiffer − a 22-year-old student at the Chevron Yeshiva and resident of Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem − fell from a second-story window in the yeshiva’s dormitory. He was rushed to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in critical condition and passed away that evening.
His levaya began before dawn at Shamgar and made its way to Har Hamenuchot, where he was buried. In attendance were Rabbi Dovid Cohen and Rabbi Chaim Kook, as well as many of his friends from the yeshiva.