By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, March 05, 2014
The wondrous account of Megillas Esther annually reinforces the closeness Jews feel with the world’s Creator.
Unlike many of the famed miraculous redemptions that occurred in the Holy Land, or at a time when the Bnei Yisroel conducted themselves with piety, the Purim story transpired when the Jews were exiled and forlorn, uncertain about their role, despondent about their condition, and fearing for their future.
Efforts are converging in Europe toward a final push toward Holocaust restitution, with British lawmakers, backed by the World Jewish Restitution Organization, launching a strong initiative last week aimed at Poland and governments in Eastern and Central Europe with the shabbiest restitution record.
Just as Mordechai and Esther gathered the Jews of Shushan to cry out against Haman’s extermination program, in the largest public gathering in Israel’s history, all sectors of the chareidi tzibbur, Degel Hatorah, Agudas Yisroel, Shas, and the Eida Hachareidis, united as one in a giant atzeres to pray that the Israeli government’s plan to infringe on the growth of yeshiva world be repealed. In response to the appeal of the gedolim, over 600,000 Jews, from the Golan down to Eilat, trekked to Yerushalayim, where they cried out to Hashem to annul the coercive yeshiva draft and criminal sanctions proposal.
By Rabbi Yitzchok Tzvi Schwarz | Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Learning mussar is not a difficult thing. Becoming a baal mussar is another matter entirely. Rav Elya Lopian zt”l would say that everyone understands that there is an enormous difference between one who has knowledge of Hashem and one who doesn’t. Even greater is the chasm between one who ingrains the knowledge in his heart and one who merely knows it intellectually, for there is a vast distance between the mind and the heart. The heart may be blocked by bad middos and inclinations that don’t allow the intellect to penetrate it, and breaking through this barrier takes a lot of effort and persistence.