By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, April 01, 2015
As we approach one of the many peaks of the Seder, we raise the matzah and recite Ha Lachma Anya, opening the Maggid section. Speaking in unfamiliar Aramaic, we begin by stating that the matzah that we are about to eat at the Seder is the very same matzah that our forefathers ate in Mitzrayim.
By Rabbi Yitzchok Tzvi Schwarz | Wednesday, April 01, 2015
Two words, said the Mirrer mashgiach, Rav Yeruchem Levovitz. Just two words. And yet they entail such harsh ramifications for our oppressors. About the Mitzriyim who enslaved the Bnei Yisroel, Hashem told Avrohom Avinu, “Don Anochi, I will judge.” How great were the ramifications of these two words. Ten plagues in Egypt totally devastated the most advanced country of that time and there were many more piagues at the Yam Suf. According to Rebbi Akiva, there were fifty plagues in Mitzrayim and two-hundred-fifty at the sea.
I am in a quandary. I write these words for the Pesach issue of this wonderful newspaper, whose readers are scrupulously shomer Torah umitzvos. There is a mitzvah to be happy and the halachah ordains that Yom Tov interrupts mourning. So perhaps I should not even mention the recent tragedy that struck the Sassoon family and all of Klal Yisroel. In many ways, I feel that I am imposing improperly upon our dear readers. If so, please do not read on.
In 1966, Rav Chaim Shmulevitz, famed rosh yeshiva of the Mir whose yahrtzeit is this week, delivered his personal testimony to Yad Vashem which has come to light only now. Rav Chaim and his rebbetzin lived through the flight of the Mirrer Yeshiva to Japan, which had allied itself with Hitler. The interviewer noted that their testimony was not complete because they had “reservations for religious reasons.” In an interview with Yated Neeman, his son Rav Meir Shmulevitz speculates that the truth was that his parents simply did not wish to speak about themselves.
By Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz | Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Of course the headline grabbed my eye, a bold caption announcing the arrest of several rabbis. The article described how a group of female clergy from Manhattan’s Upper West Side had been taken into custody after causing a public disturbance.
Their crime? Blocking traffic in protest of a jury decision not to indict a police offer who had contributed to the death of a black New York City resident who was selling illegal cigarettes.