שבת ט' בכסלו תשפ"ג 03/12/2022
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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Reflections

The Yarzheit of Rabbi Ephraim Navon z"l

The author of the 'Machaneh Ephraim' was from the honored Navon family.

B. Wolff 20/04/2009 10:00
In the year 5495 the Gaon Rabbi Ephraim Navon of Kushta was niftar, the author of ‘Machaneh Ephraim’. One of the most esteemed families of noble lineage among the Jewish people is the family Navon, which has its origins in Kushta, Turkey. Many great Torah figures emerged from this family, whose members included rabbonim, dayanim and talmidei chachomim, all of whom excelled in their Torah knowledge.

The Navon dynasty originates with Rav Ephraim Navon, the ancestor of this great family from whom are descended many illustrious figures. Rav Ephraim was born in Kushta, Turkey, in the year 5437, to his father Rav Aharon Navon. Whilst still relatively young he married the daughter of Rav Yehudah Orgaz. Rav Yehudah was a respected and wealthy man who regarded talmidei chachomim highly and made great efforts to secure Torah scholars of repute as husbands for his daughters. After Rav Ephraim’s marriage in approximately the year 5460 Rav Yehudah took his daughter and new son-in-law with him to the holy city of Yerushalayim.

Rav Ephraim would seclude himself and learn with great intensity and persistence. He developed into a great scholar, both in Torah and halacha, until he became known as one of the most prominent rabbonim in Yerushalayim of old. It was known that any person with a query or problem on any area of Torah could turn to him for a solution.

Rav Ephraim Navon dwelled in Yerushalayim for over twenty years. Towards the end of his sojourn there, difficult times loomed for the Jews in that city, with the rise of Jew-haters to power. The new leaders caused many sorrows for the Jewish residents of Yerushalayim, and their precarious financial situation became even more dire. Many of the Jewish inhabitants of Yerushalayim were forced to return to their original homes in the diaspora. One of the few individuals who remained to support the dwindling community was Rav Ephraim Navon.

The rabbonim of Yerushalayim convened a meeting in order to seek a solution to their troubles, and the result of their deliberations was a decision to send an emissary to seek contributions from the Jews of the diaspora, to finance the community’s support of talmidei chachomim in Yerushalayim. The assembled rabbonim then turned to Rav Ephraim Navon and pleaded with him to take on this holy and vital task.

And so, in the year 5488 Rav Ephraim bade farewell to his family and left for his birthplace of Kushta as the appointed emissary of the great rabbonim of Yerushalayim, in order to collect tzedoka funds for the support of Yerushalayim’s impoverished Torah scholars. Upon his arrival in Kushta he was greeted by all the notable scholars of that city, who were delighted at their privilege of hosting such a worthy and eminent guest. One of the great rabbonim in Kushta, Rav Yaakov Rozanis, author of the ‘Mishneh leMelech’, turned to Rav Ephraim and entreated him to remain in Kushta to serve as dayan and moreh horo’ah there. Rav Ephraim acquiesced to this request, and subsequently became known as one of the greatest Torah scholars of Kushta, owing to his exceptional knowledge and the sharpness of his mind. When Rav Yaakov Rozanis was niftar, Rav Ephraim was appointed Rav in his stead.

In the year 5495 after a severe illness Rav Ephraim was summoned to the Heavenly Yeshiva and was buried in Kushta. He was just 58 at the time of his petira. In his will he requested of his sons that they publish his sefer ‘Machaneh Ephraim’, which he had based on the works of the Rambam.

In the year 5498, approximately three years after the passing of Rav Ephraim, his eldest son Rav Yehudah fulfilled his father’s request and the sefer ‘Machaneh Ephraim’ was printed. It became a fundamental text for Torah study up until the present day.

In fact, one of the most illustrious descendants of Rav Ephraim Navon was this eldest son of his, Rav Yehudah, who lived in Yerushalayim and taught many students, and also authored the sefer ‘Kiryas Melech Rov’, based on the Rambam, which was published in turn by his son, Rav Ephraim, who carried his grandfather’s name.