יום רביעי י"ז בשבט תשפ"ב 19/01/2022
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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

A tale of Shabbos in two cities

“All those who profane it shall surely be put to death” – struck down, not to rise again. Fallen, lying in his blood, on the Tel Aviv beach – one Chaim Arlozorov.

Chaim Twerski 15/06/2009 12:00
The night of Shabbos Kodesh, parshas Shelach, the 23rd of Sivan 5693. The sound of the soft lapping of the waters of the Kinneret wafts through the still Tiberias air. There, near the water’s edge, is the old synagogue of Kollel Reisin – there, the Slonimer chassidim have just completed their ma’ariv prayers for that Shabbos night. It was a warm and impassioned tefilla – warm being Tiberias in the heat of summer – impassioned, the traditional Slonimer fervour, still reverberating between the walls of the synagogue.

The night of Shabbos Kodesh, parshas Shelach, the 23rd of Sivan 5693. The waves of the Mediterranean sea lap against the limestone rocks along the Tel Aviv shoreline, wave after wave hitting with force. The sound of the frothing waters contains no hint of the drama poised to unfold just a few short minutes later, before the very eyes of the few individuals meandering back and forth along the shore-path.

The tzaddik Rav Mordechai Chaim Kastelanitz–Slonim, known to all as Reb Mottel Dayan, walks slowly from his regular place in the beis medrash, passing by the Rav of Tiberias, the gaon Rav Moshe Kliers zt’l. He wishes him a Gut Shabbos, and continues on, walking past the bimah, where he meets his close friend Rav Avraham Weinberg (later to become the Admor of Slonim, the author of ‘Birkas Avraham’ and ‘Nachal Eitan’). They exchange a few chiddushim, profound ideas gleaned from the parshah of the week, whose sole topic is love of Eretz Yisrael and the importance of speaking in its praise.

With calm and measured steps, Chaim Arlozorov continues his pacing. He is greatly admired by the secular leadership of the new yishuv, who predict a wonderful future for him. He is just thirty-three years of age, yet he has already been appointed to the powerful position of ‘Head of the State Bureau of the Jewish Agency in Eretz Yisrael’.

It has been a difficult week. The British Mandate authority had decided to cease their employment of Jewish workers for their projects, having decided that they preferred to employ gentiles, who could work a seven-day week, rather than Sabbath-observers. The dilemma had given him no rest for the entire past week, and it had only been towards its conclusion, that his prodigious efforts to find a solution had borne fruit, after enlisting the assistance of the Jews of Britain. Finally, the British commander Arthur Vikop had agreed to return the positions available to Jews, on the condition that Arlozorov would promise to supply workers who would labour for the entire seven days of the week.

The world was in turmoil; the breach that Arlozorov had made in the holiness of Shabbos shook and incensed chareidi Jewry; word of his act reached all quarters. As Rav Mordechai Chaim Slonim makes his way towards the door to leave the beis medrash, he detects in the background the heated exchanges of the younger members of the shtiebel. He turns and approaches them, and is stunned to hear of the developments that have struck at the heart of every Jew. One of the group discussing the events relates at length to Rav Mottel the background to the incident, even as another indicates the clock on the wall, reminding them to hurry home to their seudos Shabbos – soon they will have to rush back to the ‘zitzen’ of Shabbos night – hurry – look what time it is already…

What is the time?

This is the question that is even then, at that very minute, being asked on the beach of Tel Aviv. What is the time?
It is half past nine, the questioner is answered.

Reb Mottel turns pale as he hears of the breach made in the holiness of Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael – by Jews – with a trembling voice, he murmurs, almost under his breath; “All those who profane it shall surely be put to death” – struck down, not to rise again.

Two shots ring out and pierce the still air on the Tel Aviv beach. Two shots – to this day, their source is unknown. Straight into the heart of Chaim Arlozorov – he falls, lying in his blood; he dies minutes later. Two shots, which cause the new secular settlement in Eretz Yisrael to shudder.

In Tiberias no one was surprised to hear of the news on Motzei Shabbos. There were those who had known already on Shabbos evening that words emitting from the holy mouth of Reb Mottel were not uttered in vain.