יום חמישי ז' בכסלו תשפ"ג 01/12/2022
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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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Place

  • 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

HaRav Gedaliah Nadel

Rav Gedaliah Nadel was a true talmid chacham who was exceptionally brilliant with a creative mind

08/06/2009 17:15
HaRav Gedaliah Nadel was one of the greatest students of the Chazon Ish zt’l, and possessed an exceptionally brilliant and creative mind, as well as a depth of knowledge in many fields. He was born in Lithuania in the year 5693 and came to Eretz Yisrael at the age of thirteen, when he went to learn in the ‘HaYishuv’ yeshiva in Tel Aviv.

It happened that one day, as Rav Gedaliah was learning in yeshiva, that Rav Meir bar Ilan paid a visit, and in his discourse to the talmidim he expressed his admiration for the bachur Rav Gedaliah Nadel, and added that; “when he will finish learning, he should go to university.” When the Chazon Ish heard of this, he immediately instructed Rav Gedaliah to leave Yeshivas HaYishuv and to go to learn in the Lomza Yeshiva in Petach Tikva.

When Rav Gedaliah reached marriageable age he married the daughter of HaRav Eliyahu Veiner, who was a talmid of the Chofetz Chaim zt’l. Before the engagement was finalised, Rav Eliyahu sought, and received the assurance of the Chazon Ish that he had nothing to fear from the ‘college bachur’ – there was no reason to be concerned about his hashkofas.

After his marriage, the Chazon Ish appointed him as Rav of the Zichron Meir neighbourhood in Bnei Brak. During this period, Rav Gedaliah learned with exceptional diligence in the nearby town of Yehud, and would return to Bnei Brak only once every few days. Gedolei Yisrael, especially talmidim of the Chazon Ish, and also the Steipler Gaon and his son Rav Chaim Kanievsky, would frequently consult with him on halachic issues. In his personal matters he was extremely stringent, not relying on mehadrin hechsherim. He slaughtered and salted his chickens himself, and for a livelihood, he produced wine, and was extremely particular to pay his workers before the shkiah, in order to fulfil the mitzvah of ‘you shall pay him his wage on the same day’.

Rav Gedaliah lived in great simplicity, keeping far away from the public eye. He practised asceticism in all aspects of his life. It is said of him that he never ate ice cream, since it was an item of food that was eaten entirely for pleasure, without nutritional value. When he heard that a young man learning in his kollel had an air-conditioning unit installed in his home, he stopped paying that man’s stipend. All his deeds and actions were performed only after great deliberation, without any concern as to the opinions of others.

For a period of time he served as Rosh Yeshiva in Vizhnitz. When the Vizhnitzer Rebbe was asked how he could employ a litvishe Rosh Yeshiva for a chassidishe yeshiva, he answered that Rav Gedaliah was a Kotzsker (Kotzsk being a chassidus renowned for its sharpness of mind and its extreme detachment from the material.) On one occasion the talmidim of the yeshiva decided to challenge Rav Gedaliah, their litvishe Rosh Yeshiva, and they questioned his knowledge of chassidishe seforim. Rav Gedaliah replied that they were free to bring him any chassidishe sefer of their choice to test him on – so they brought Sefer haTanya, considered to be one of the most difficult to comprehend. Yet, to their surprise and wonder, Rav Gedaliah displayed a deep grasp of the entire sefer.

Rav Gedaliah was known to explain the expression ‘gezeiras ha’kosuv’ (a decree from the Torah) as meaning not that the Torah decreed something for no particular reason, but that the human mind was incapable of fathoming the depth of the matter, and therefore, it was impossible to understand it logically. Once, Rav Gedaliah was asked a question in halochah, and when he answered, his questioner queried that his teshuvah was contradictory to the words of the Shach. But Rav Gedaliah simply answered that there was no such Shach, and when this was verified, he was asked how he could have known that there was indeed no such reference. Rav Gedaliah replied that he had not known, but that it was clear to him that he had ruled correctly, and that the Shach could not have ruled otherwise.

Rav Gedaliah had a knowledge of many fields of wisdom such as philosophy and technology. Once, on a visit to a London college of technology, he revealed to the scientists there that they had erred in a particular calculation. When the matter was investigated, it was found that he had been correct.

Rav Gedaliah was known for his great love for his fellow Jew, and he would customarily greet everyone he met with a warm smile. Once, somebody returned to him wine that he had purchased from Rav Gedaliah, since he believed the wine to be ‘yayin nesech’, wine that a gentile had handled. Seeing that the man was angry with him, Rav Gedaliah quipped that - to the contrary – since the man was now engaged in the performance of a mitzvah, he should instead be happy!

Rav Gedaliah did not publish his chiddushei Torah. The sefer by the name of ‘Chiddushei Rav Gedaliah’ contained only his letters, which he had originally withheld, but eventually released for publication. His talmidim brought out a pamphlet of chiddushim on Aggadah which was called ‘Shiurei Rav Gedaliah’.

Rav Gedaliah was niftar in the year 5764 at the age of eighty-one and his levayah was attended by a huge throng of people. In his eulogy, Rav Nissim Karelitz said of the niftar that; “although it is true that today there are none with the status of a true talmid chachom – yet Rav Gedaliah had the status of a true talmid chocham.”