יום חמישי ד' בתשרי תשפ"ג 29/09/2022
Search
  • 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!

    Read More...

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.

    Read More...

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.

    Read More...

Join Our Mailing List!

Please add a Valid Email Address
Join
Thanks!

Reflections

Yahrzeit of Rabbi Aryeh Levine zt’l

The 9th of Nissan is the Yarzheit of Rabbi Aryeh Levine who was fondly called the Rav of the Prisoners.

Motty Meringer 03/04/2009 10:00
Rabbi Aryeh Levine zt’l was born on the 6th of Nissan in the year 5645 in the town of Orla, near Bialystok in Belarus. While yet a young lad, Rabbi Aryeh left his parents’ home to exile himself to a place of Torah; his wanderings took him to many yeshivos over the breadth of Lithuania, where he made a name for himself as a great scholar with an exceptional mind. He learned in Brisk, followed by Pinsk, and then made his way to the great ‘mother of the yeshivos’, the yeshiva in Volozhin.

When he reached Volozhin, the roshei yeshiva were reluctant to accept him, owing to his tender age; therefore, he left, and went to learn in the Slutsker yeshiva, under the Gaon Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer zt’l. In the year 5662 Rabbi Aryeh made his second attempt to gain admittance to the Volozhiner yeshiva, and this time, he was accepted.He learned diligently in Volozhin for three years, during which time a powerful yearning to ascend to Eretz Yisroel took hold of him. In the year 5664, at the age of just nineteen, Rabbi Aryeh began the lengthy process of procuring the necessary funds and documentation necessary to make aliya to the Holy Land.

In the month of Adar, in the year 5665, after suffering many hardships, Rabbi Aryeh finally merited to set foot upon the holy soil of Eretz Yisroel. In describing this period in his life, he wrote; “and so it was; from the moment when I first glimpsed from afar our Holy Land, that HaShem promised to give to our forefathers, I became another person entirely. I was overcome with emotion, feeling a great surge of happiness within me, and tears flowed from my eyes. I said to myself ‘now I can die, now that HaShem has granted me the great merit of entering into the Land of our Fathers’. I forgot all the suffering I had undergone and a new spirit and strength entered into me – a spirit of joy, of incredible pleasure without measure. My tears flowed without respite, overwhelmed as I was at being the recipient of Heavenly mercy that had allowed me to enter into the Holy Land which both mortals and immortal beings long to see. I descended onto the shore and trod onto the holy ground; with every step I took I sensed that I was walking on holy ground.”

Four months after arriving in Eretz Yisroel R’ Aryeh married Chana, the daughter of Rabbi Dovid Shapira. In the year 5669 he was granted semicha by the Rav of Yerushalayim, the Gaon Rabbi Shmuel Salant zt’l, the Gaon Rabbi Chaim Berlin zt’l (the son of the Netziv of Volozhin), and Rav Avrohom Yitzchok haKohen Kook zt’l. Rabbi Aryeh settled in Yerushalayim and from the year 5677 until the end of his life served as mashgiach in the Talmud Torah of Yeshivas Eitz Chaim.

Rabbi Aryeh was renowned as a tremendous baal chessed; in the merit of his many righteous deeds he was beloved in all sectors of the Jewish people. One of his many noble practices was that of regularly visiting the leper hospitals, where those stricken languished in loneliness, since most people kept their distance, fearing contagion. Rabbi Aryeh, however, was unconcerned about his own welfare where the welfare of other Jews was concerned, and he made sure to visit often, greatly lifting the spirits of the sick.

Rabbi Aryeh was also known as ‘Rav of the prisoners’. Over a period of twenty-five years he regularly visited the various prisons, where he would spend time with the inmates, making conversation with them and generally trying to uplift their mood. His most well-known visits were to the captured fighters of the underground, and to those who had been sentenced to death, during the years of the British Mandate. He would visit them, concern himself with providing proper nourishment for them, and endeavour to lift their spirits and encourage them as much as possible.

After the War of Independence, the bodies of the thirty-five Jews, who had been ambushed and murdered by arabs in Kfar Tzurif whilst on their way to reinforce Gush Etzion, which was then under siege, were returned to Israel from Jordan. Owing to the passage of time after their deaths, the army rabbinate was unable to determine the specific identities of the thirty-five bodies. After consulting with the Rav of Yerushalayim, Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank zt’l, it was decided to appoint Rabbi Aryeh to cast the goral of the Vilna Gaon in order to discover which body matched which name. Rabbi Aryeh complied and cast the goral again and again until all the bodies were matched with their correct names and could be brought to Jewish burial.

Rabbi Aryeh was summoned to the Heavenly Yeshiva on erev Shabbos, the 9th of Nissan 5729. According to the custom of Yerushalayim, he was buried before the onset of Shabbos, in the cemetery in Sanhedria. In his will he requested that he not be eulogised; his request was honoured, owing to the lack of available time before Shabbos would begin, and also because eulogies are not delivered in the month of Nissan. In his will, Rabbi Aryeh made mention of those who had been dependent upon him in his lifetime, writing; “to all those to whom I was attached during my life, especially to those with whom I was doubly bonded, feeling their pain and suffering with them in their trials – I will not forget them, and if I find that I possess any merit, after the twelve months are over, I will beg mercy for them before the Heavenly Throne.”

Rabbi Aryeh had lived on Har Gerizim street in the neighbourhood of Mishkenos Yisroel. After his death, the name of the street was changed to Rav Levin street. His son, Rabbi Refoel zt’l, served as a dayan on the Yerushalayim Beis Din and continued in his father’s path of deeds of kindness. Rabbi Aryeh’s daughter married the Gaon Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv shlita.