Revach L'Neshama http://revach.net/ RSS feed for - Section: DAAS TORAH Category:IKVISA D'MISHICHA Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 http://revach.net/img/small_header.jpg http://revach.net/ info@revach.net Thu, 17 Aug 2017 03:00:00 -0700 240 Reb Elchonon Wasserman's Last Drasha, We Are Saving The Yidden in America http://revach.net/article.php?id=4619 http://revach.net/article.php?id=4619
Reb Elchonon Wasserman was one of the great pre-war Roshei Yeshiva in Europe.  He learned in Telz Yeshiva and joined the Chofetz Chaim's Kodshim Kollel later on, where he learned B'Chavrusa with Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman the Ponevezher Rov.  During this period he became very close with the Chofetz Chaim whom he considered his Rebbi.  Reb Elchonon was the Chofetz Chaim's spiritual heir, becoming the ultimate arbiter of Daas Torah for the pre-Holocaust generation fighting haskala, zionism, communism, and the other ills of the generation.  

Reb Elchonon was in his mid-60s when the war broke out.  He had spent a great deal of time in America collecting for his Yeshiva in Baranovich.  Although he was quite fond of the few Bnei Torah he met in America and held our great hope and promise for their future, nevertheless he resisted their pleas to remain in America and chose to return to a Europe that was about to engulfed in flames.  As Rosh Yeshiva and the conscience of the Lithuanian Yeshiva world, he felt personal and public responsibility to be with his flock in their time of need, come what may.

Tragically Reb Elchonon fell victim to the Nazi collaborators on 11 Tammuz 5701/1941 when he was murdered AL Kiddush Hashem along with his son and a handful of talmidim and other Rabbonim.  Sadly his death did not come together with the Talmidim he chose to return to from the safe shores of America.  He was taken in Kovno while on a short trip to take care of some documents in order to secure visas for escape.

Reb Ephraim Oshry who was 27 years old at that time, was one of the few that managed to escape. He related the following about the last thing Reb Elchonon told them.
 
When they saw the end was near Reb Elchonon got up and spoke to them. He spoke the same way he always did, he was calm and there was no indication of panic. He said the following.

"In Shamayim it seems that they consider us to be tzadikim, because we have been chosen to be Korbanos for Klal Yisroel. Therefore, we must do Tshuvah now. We don't have much time. We must keep in mind that we will be better korbonos if we do tshuvah. In this way we will save the Yidden in America. Let no foreign thought enter our minds, Chas V'Shalom, as that will make us pigul, an unfit korban. We are now fulfilling the greatest mitzvah. Yerushalayim was destroyed with fire and will be rebuilt with fire. The same fire that will consume our bodies will one day rebuild Klal Yisroel."

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Wed, 13 Jul 2011 03:00:00 -0700
Parallels Between Yaakov's Meeting With Eisav And The Days Of Moshiach http://revach.net/article.php?id=3097 http://revach.net/article.php?id=3097

Rav Elchonon says that the meeting between Eisav and Yaakov upon Yaakov's return to Eretz Yisroel is symbolic of the what will happen before the coming of Moshiach.  He says in the name of the Vilna Gaon that we see a clear hierarchy of the various components of Klal Yisroel during this meeting.  The gemara says in Sanhedrin (97) that the generation Moshiach will come in will be like the face of a dog, meaning that Kavod HaTorah is at a low and is disgraced, while the empty ones will be on top.

The pasuk says (Vayishlach 33:2), that first came the Shifachos, the maidservants and their children.  This refers to the Eirev Rav the lowest elements of Am Yisroel, who will be first.  They will "lead" Am Yisroel despite their glaring lack credentials for such a task. Next will come Leah and her children who represent the average Jew.   Kavod HaTorah will be lacking and those who are learning torah and deserve the highest honor, will be the most disgraced.  This we see from the pasuk that says, Rochel and Yosef were last.  They represent the Talmidei Chachomim.

May the crown of Torah be restored to its former glory and may we rejoice in the coming of Moshiach!

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Tue, 09 Dec 2008 03:00:00 -0800
Reb Elchonon - Who Do You Listen To, The Optimist Or The Pessimists? http://revach.net/article.php?id=2995 http://revach.net/article.php?id=2995

In the times of old, Am Yisroel had Nevi'im.  It seems hard to understand why Am Yisroel had such a hard time doing tshuva, when the Nevi'im were not shy about spreading their gloomy messages.  The answer says Reb Elchonon, lied in their counterparts, the Nevi'ei HaBa'al.  For every call from the Nevi'ei Hashem to awaken or else, the Nevi'ei HaBa'al would decry them as agents of doom.  "Hashem loves you, keep it up", the Nevi'ei HaBa'al would say.  Needless to say Nevi'im like Yeshayahu and Yirmiyahu had a rough time getting the message across and were usually on the run afraid for their lives.  Not surprisingly even back then people preferred to hear good news.

"Pnei HaDor Kpnei HaKelev" is the hallmark of the days preceding Moshiach, says Reb Elchonon.  While there are no Nevi'im, the leaders are like dogs.  Although they walk in front, they only go in the direction that the people they are leading want them to go.  We are sure we are perfect in the eyes of Hashem.  Problems in Eretz Yisroel?  Of course says Reb Elchonon, it is because of the Arab leaders incite their people. It is the tactical errors made by our political leaders.  It is the fault of the international community who fail to adequately understand and address the problem. In other countries where the Jews are, it is the antisemitic leaders that are causing the trouble.   BiKitzur, in a nutshell it is everyone's fault except our own.  Instead of curing the real problem, we spend our time debating the best solution for each of the problems that we concoct.

The gemara in Kesubos says Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakkai cried, "Ashreichem Yisroel, when you do Hashem's will, no nation can stand up to you.  When we do not, we will be given over to a lowly nation (Arabs according to Rashi, in the words of Reb Elchonon).  Reb Elchonon says the word "Ashreichem" how fortunate, goes on the fact that we will be given over to a lowly nation.  Why?  He says that if we are given over to a mighty nation, we would view it as "the way of the world".  The Nevi'ei HaBa'al would have a voice.  When Eretz Yisroel is held hostage by a group of powerless bandits, it is clear that this is the Yad Hashem.  The voice calling for tshuva is the lone voice being broadcast.  Fortunate are we to live in a time where circumstances are so bizarre that the call of the Nevi'ei HaEmes clearly dominate the noise of Nevi'ei Sheker. 

Reb Elchonon Wasserman Hy"d was a Talmid and the spiritual successor to the Chofetz Chaim.  His voice was Da'as Torah for the generation that was led into to the abyss of the Holocaust.  He was a Navi L'Hashem, preaching and beseeching the people to do tshuvah and avert the disaster that ultimately struck.  He fought like a lion against the prevailing views o his day, which dismissed Torah as irrelevant and an icon of the past.

Despite his ominous warnings and clear vision about the impending disaster, although he was safely on the shores of the US for a fundraising trip and was beseeched not to go back to Europe, he insisted on being with his Yeshiva where he ultimately met a heroes death, butchered by the Nazis Yimach Shimam V'Zichram. 

The Nazis are history, but Reb Elchonon's voice still lingers on and is eerily relevant to our generation. A collection of his speeches were collected and published in Ikvisa D'Mishicha.


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Mon, 17 Nov 2008 03:00:00 -0800
Reb Elchonon - What Is A Goy? http://revach.net/article.php?id=2967 http://revach.net/article.php?id=2967 The translation of the word "Goy" is a nation.  Why do we refer to non-Jews as Goyim?  Aren't the Jews a nation as well?  Reb Elchonon Wasserman distinguishes between the word "Goy" and the word "Am", which also means a nation.  "Goy" he says, is a nation that has national borders.  Geography is the sole basis of their unity.  "Am" is a unity based on religion and spiritual heritage.

Bilam said (Bamidbar 23:9) "Hein Am L'Vadad Yishkon", Bnei Yisroel is an Am.  As an Am they are compelled to lives alone.  If we were to integrate and assimilate, we would no longer be unique.  We would no longer be an Am.  Could we have our own land and be a "Goy", a nation like all other nations with our own state?  Bilam answers that question with the end of the pasuk, "U'BaGoyim Lo Yischashav", Bnei Yisroel can never be a Goy.  Hashem declares that we have no value and no right to exist as a Goy among the other Goyim. 

A marked territory, even Eretz Yisroel, cannot distinguish us as a nation.  It is not the way we we came into existence.  We were built from ideals and continue to exist because of these ideals.  Lack of a Torah lifestyle is the only existential threat that we face today.  Without Torah no borders and no army can save us.  Am Yisroel would cease to exist.  With Torah, no one can threaten our existence.  Am Yisroel Chai!

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Tue, 11 Nov 2008 03:00:00 -0800
Rav Elchonon On Klal Yisroel's Collective Punishment In Troubled Times http://revach.net/article.php?id=2928 http://revach.net/article.php?id=2928

Can we be punished for the aveiros of our ancestors?  Is there reward in this world?  These are two fundamental questions that Rav Elchonon grappled with in the period where the Nazi beast was let loose and about to wreak havoc on the Jewish nation.  There are vast contradictions in the Torah and Chazal on both these topics. 

On one hand, its says that Hashem will only punish a person's aveiros for four generations.  On the other hand, the Torah vows that until the coming of Moshiach we will continue to pay for the Chait HaEigel and the Avodah Zara committed after Yehoshua's death.  We also know that the Galus Bavel lasted 70 years as a punishment for the 70 Shemittos not observed starting almost 500 years earlier.

With regard to reward in this world, Chazal say (Kedushin 39b) it doesn't exist, only in the Olam Haba.  On the other hand the Torah is full of promises of bracha if we keep the mitzvos.

Rav Elchonon says that we need to distinguish between the Yachid - the individual, and the Klal - Am Yisroel as a group.   An individual can receive his punishment either in this world, or the next, or both.  Therefore we can see a Tzaddik suffer and a Rasha prosper.  However the Klal is judged collectively and receives Bracha or Klala only in this world.  A good generation will know no evil and a bad one will absorb the wrath stemming from the failure of all the generations in history, as judgement of the nation is taken without regard to past or present.  We are all one, spanning across the boundaries of time.

Form Rav Elchonon's words we clearly see that in any generation that the entire generation suffers, it is not the fault of the Dor HaMidbar nor is it the fault of the Dor HaMabul or the Dor HaFlaga.  We need to collectively look in the mirror and find our blemished and fix them.  If we do this, then we cannot be punished, and in the blink of an eye all will be rosy.  It is as simple as that!

Reb Elchonon Wasserman Hy"d was a Talmid and the successor to the Chofetz Chaim.  His voice was Da'as Torah for the generation that was led into to the abyss of the Holocaust.  He was a Navi L'Hashem, preaching and beseeching the people to do tshuvah and avert the disaster that ultimately struck.  He fought like a lion against the prevailing views o his day, which dismissed Torah as irrelevant and an icon of the past.

Despite his ominous warnings and clear vision about the impending disaster, although he was safely on the shores of the US for a fundraising trip and was beseeched not to go back to Europe, he insisted on being with his Yeshiva where he ultimately met a heroes death, butchered by the Nazis Yimach Shimam V'Zichram. 

The Nazis are history, but Reb Elchonon's voice still lingers on and is eerily relevant to our generation. A collection of his speeches were collected and published in Ikvisa D'Mishicha.

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Mon, 03 Nov 2008 03:00:00 -0800
Reb Elchonon On The Stock Market Crash And The World Depression http://revach.net/article.php?id=2893 http://revach.net/article.php?id=2893 Typically, says Reb Elchonon Wasserman, when the economy is good everyone pats himself on the back about the great financial decisions they made.  When disaster strikes, they start blaming everyone and everything around them.

Da'as Torah is the opposite.  When the 10 Shevatim found themselves in big trouble standing before Yosef, they proclaimed, "Aval Asheimim Anachnu", we are guilty for what we did to Yosef, and we brought upon ourselves our own trouble.  Not once did they blame their troubles on Hashem or other outside reasons.

The great difference between these two approaches lies in the way a person tries to solve the problem.  When blaming others, a person can try all he wants to change the situation but since it is not the real source of his troubles this will not help one iota.  By understanding that the problems comes from Hashem, for a reason, a person can rectify himself and resolve these issues.

Reb Elchonon identifies the financial crisis as caused by the lack of mobility of funds.  Money didn't disappear, says Reb Elchonon.  The problem is that in order to have a working economy, money must easily flow from one person to the other.  In the current situation the money is locked up in the hands of a small minority of rich people.  These people, due to lack of trust, are not willing to lend it or move it around (i.e. the credit crunch).  They are keeping it safe and sound.  This has caused the economy to grind to a halt.

Why is this happening, asks Reb Elchonon.  Is this group to blame?  He explains that this is a punishment from Hashem, Midda K'Neged Midda.  While the Yetzer Hara for Avodah Zara disappeared, the Yetzer Hara of Kefira, denial of Hashem has taken its place as the spirit of the day.  This is far worse than Avodah Zara.  For Avodah Zara a person is killed only by Bais Din after a proper trial with Eidim and all.  With an Apikores, say Chazal, you areMorid V'Eino Maaleh, meaning they can be killed without any trial and without any eidim.

True the depression affects billions of people around the world, however we know that Puranuyos, tragedy, comes to the world on account of Bnei Yisroel.  Hashem has declared, if you do not have any Emuna in Me and you do not believe in Hashem, I will extend that lack ofEmunah, to a lack of trust in other people.  You will find out the hard way that just like the world cannot exist without Emunah in Hashem, it similarly cannot exist without Emunah between people.

Reb Elchonon didn't win the Nobel Prize for economics with this speech, but then again there have been lots of other economists since then who apparently haven't found a way to solve a 75 year old problem either.  Maybe it is time for us to try a new direction, Da'as Torah.

Reb Elchonon Wasserman Hy"d was a Talmid and the successor to the Chofetz Chaim.  His voice was Da'as Torah for the generation that was led into to the abyss of the Holocaust.  He was aNavi L'Hashem , preaching and beseeching the people to do tshuvah and avert the disaster that ultimately struck.  He fought like a lion against the prevailing views o his day, which dismissed Torah asirrelevant and an icon of the past.

Like a true Torah leader, despite his ominous warnings about the impending disaster, although he was safely on the shores of the US for a fundraising trip and wasbeseeched not to go back to Europe, he insisted on being with his Yeshiva where he ultimately met a heroes death butchered by the Nazis Yimach Shimam V'Zichram. 

The Nazis are history, but Reb Elchonon's voice still lingers on and is eerily relevant to our generation. A collection of his speeches were collected and published in Ikvisa D'Mishicha.

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Mon, 27 Oct 2008 03:00:00 -0700