Tuesday, July 28, 2009
REBUILDING FROM THE ASHES
PREVIOUSLY: Simcha Ma Zeh Oseh – What Does Joy Do?
The Nesivos Shalom – Why Are We Mourning?
The following was culled from a number of sources: HaMaayan, Dei’ah VeDibur, and a Hebrew parsha sheet called "Kol HaMishna." I believe the focus here is very appropriate for these days preceding Tisha B’Av…
The "Nesivos" lighting the fire at Meron...
The Slonimer Rebbe, HaRav Shalom Noach Berzovksy zt"l, was born in the Polish town of Baranovitch. His father, HaRav Moshe Avraham, was the Rav of the community. As a youth, he grew up in the sacred courtyard of Slonim and was especially close to the Slonimer Rebbe, the Beis Avraham, who held him in high esteem, predicting that R. Shalom Noach was destined for greatness.
Shortly before his passing in 1933, the Beis Avraham recommended to his cousin, R. Avraham Weinberg of Tiveria (Tiberias) that he take R. Shalom Noach as a son-in-law. (The last pre-war Slonimer Rebbe, R. Shlomo David Yehoshua Weinberg, was killed in 1944, and for ten years, no successor was named. In 1954, R. Shalom Noach's father-in-law agreed to assume the mantle of the Rebbe. His teachings are collected -- by R. Shalom Noach -- in the work Birchas Avraham, and he is known by that name.)
In 5696 (1936) he moved to Eretz Yisrael following the advice of his mentor, the Slonimer Rebbe. During the first years after his marriage he lived near his illustrious father-in-law in Tiveria, and imbibed Chassidic thought from him. It was a blend of peerless avodas Hashem and amal baTorah [striving in Torah learning]. Together, he and his father-in-law studied in the Ohr Torah Yeshiva located near the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess.
In 5702 (1941), reports of the wicked Nazi fiend wielding his sword over European Jewry reached Eretz Yisrael, HaRav Shalom Noach discovered that he had lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Barely a vestige of the Slonim Chassidic sect remained, and from the scores of shtiblach [small shuls] scattered throughout Europe, R. Shalom Noach survived…
The following describes what he went through at that time, as he wrote:
"At the depths of the destruction in the camps and the ovens, at this time the word was getting out about how bad it was…Amongst all the pools of blood and tragic news that reached us, we hear of Baranovitch, where all that is holy to us, how it is being completely destroyed…I could not calm myself, my Slonim had been sunken and destroyed…and where am I? We turn around like lunatics, with streams of tears falling from our eyes each night, over the destruction of our people, and my strength is dissipating. And then…I decided, if I cannot save the people, and least I can invest all my strength to save the spirit..." A strong inner voice welled up within him, calling unceasingly, "Why do you slumber?"
It was then that the Rebbe realized that he must take action. Since he survived, with the know-how and the ability, he had a mission: to restore 'the fallen Sukka' [hut], to erect a yeshiva in which to teach and pass on that which he received from his Rebbes and his father. After the destruction of the towns and yeshivos in Europe, he must continue the chain of the generations in Eretz Yisrael, from where it left off in Europe. "I must do everything in order to build the Yeshiva," he would say.
There were those who discouraged him. "How can you build a yeshiva? There are hardly any students, no budget, and certainly no building!" And one of the elders claimed, "In the present state of affairs, we cannot continue our group as before. There’s no one left, no one can lead us! There’s no choice - we must join up with another group or another Chassidus…"
The Rebbe answered him, "I, together with the students already in the yeshiva, are remaining - we won’t budge! For we believe with perfect faith that our holy group will continue, and we will remain until Moshiach comes!"
So with his vision, he perceived the designs of his Rebbe, and rose up like a lion and founded the Beis Avraham Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He understood that the heavy task of reviving the Chassidic sect of Slonim lay upon his shoulders, and with great courage he mustered all his strength and began to rebuild the illustrious community. His father-in-law, the Birchas Avraham, saw him as the one who would bring about the revival of the Slonimer Chassidim and, like a father to his son, he lovingly supported him in his efforts.
On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5702 / October 21, 1941, he opened the yeshiva in the shul of the Slonimer Chassidim in the Beis Yisrael neighborhood of Yerushalayim with just five students. He dedicated himself solely to educating generations of talmidei chachamim and gedolei Torah, personally instilling in each student the aspiration to grow in Torah and Chassidus. In a remarkable manner he merged the lamdanus [intellectual striving] of the yeshiva world with the fervor of Chassidus. His shiurim, which were well known for their depth, and his discourses in Torah and Chassidus, inspired his students to serve Hashem with added zeal. In his discourses he transmitted the spiritual legacy he had received from the mentors of the Slonimer Chassidic dynasty. R. Shalom Noach also could be found sitting with the students for hours on end, especially on Friday nights, teaching them the traditional Slonimer melodies.
And so the Rebbe built the Beis Avraham Yeshiva of Slonim, in 1941, with a handful of students. He would remain as its Rosh Yeshiva for forty years! In time, it became one of the leading Chassidic yeshivos in Yerushalayim, with over 400 students today.
Zechuso yagein Aleinu, v’al Kol Yisrael! May the Slonimer Rebbe's merits protect us all!
Bible prophecies strongly indicate that the Palestinians, along with the direct support of Arab nations, will unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in 2010, relative to the pre 1967 boarders as they are outlined in U.N. Resolution 181 and the world powers will confirm such a move with the U.S. abstaining along with it’s refusal to exercise it’s UN veto against such International support. Thus Zionist Israel’s move in the 1967, six day war to gain control and declare it’s sovereignty over the Old City East of the Jaffa st. intersection, will be reversed. Moreover, those same prophecies indicate great stress at that time over Jerusalem’s division and hope for Messiah. Like that of King Saul’s reign, which fell in battle, the Zionist government created by the same U.N. Resolution 181, in 1948, will be rendered impotent to deliver the nation from this world control. As a result, the settlements in those occupied territories will be cut off and not “visited”…in other words they will not be annexed . Again, as on the other occasions, Av 9, will be a very troubling time in the upcoming year with this third overturning. Unlike the first two which were military moves against Jerusalem, this third time will be political by proclamation upheld by the nations of the world with none in support of Zionist Israel’s position. Not only the nation itself but all of Judaism world wide, will be in mourning as of the loss of their first born. WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD AGAINST HIM. AND THE REDEEMER SHALL COME TO ZION, AND UNTO THEM THAT TURN FROM TRANSGRESSION IN JACOB, SAITH THE LORD. AS FOR ME, THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM…AND THE KINGDOM, AND THE GREATNESS OF THE KINGDOM UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH, WHOSE KINGDOM IS AN EVERLASTING KINGDOM, AND ALL DOMINIONS SHALL SERVE AND OBEY HIM.
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