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Saturday, March 15, 2008


I returned home following Thursday night's Selichot and Hespeidim at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav completely exhausted. After days and days of Nichum Aveilim, crying, shock and hurt- who wasn't completely drained? But along with all the confusion, pain, questions, sadness, anger and despair, I am filled with respect, pride, awe and hope. Over the past week, we have been privileged to see renewed Achdut and Kavod HaTorah. Heartbreaking and inspiring expressions of Emunah, strength and Kidush Hashem. Clarity of vision, resolve and Mesirut Nefesh. Every shiva visit, interview, interaction with the mourning families, Rabbanim and Talmidim, revealed deep faith and love for Torah and Eretz Yisael.

In the days following the massacre, my shiur and I had the privilege of davening together with Rav Yerachmiel Weiss - the heroic Rosh Yeshiva and the Talmidim at Yeshiva L'Tzeirim of Merkaz HaRav. On Tuesday morning following Tefillah, Rav Weiss addressed the Beit Midrash ("I want to say a few words before the press descends on us again"), and expressed his pride in his talmidim; and while choking back tears, thanked them, praising them for their strength and resilience... he spoke movingly about the need for Achdut and the importance of continuing to be standard bearers and role models for Am Yisrael. "Our way- the way of Torah and truth- is one of love, sweetness, and patience with other Jews- especially those we disagree with... we are all struggling together; and have the zechut of being the vehicle through which Am Yisrael are united."

After davening and the sicha, I approached Rav Weiss to thank him; through tears and an unforgettable embrace, he said, "Thank YOU for davening with us..."

Throughout the week I was zocheh to cross paths with Rav Weiss a number of times; at the Yeshiva, shiva homes etc. In each brief interaction, he expressed his thanks and appreciation for everyone's support.

(BTW- in case somehow you missed it: Arutz Sheva's R' Hillel Fendel translated parts of Rav Weiss' moving interview with Ilana Dayan in his article Faith Through Tears; the interview (in hebrew) is a must see, and gives us a glimpse into the worldview of a true leader: a modest Torah scholar who speaks from the heart and addresses the most difficult questions with clarity and wisdom).

This Erev Shabbat I called Rav Weiss- just to say "Thank you".... As always, he was gracious and friendly, and refused to accept any praise, saying over and over again how "we are all in this together".
Thank you Rav Weiss. Thank you Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Shapira. Than you to all the Rabbeim and Talmidim, families and chevra- for strengthening us and giving us hope in the future of Klal Yisrael. May we be blessed with Yeshuos V'Nechamos

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  • At 6:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you rebbe, for following after your rabbeim and gedolim, for always being there for all your talmidim.


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