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Cleveland was a new world, yet Rav Chaim Stein was able to reach out across decades and continents and touch the majesty of Telshe of old. In time, the ninety-nine-year-old saintly figure in the middle of the beis medrash was the lone link, bringing students eighty years his junior into the world he’d seen destroyed.
The Torah community is still reeling from the loss last week of one of its elder roshei yeshivah, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz ztz”l, who carved his niche in the chinuch world of youngsters, investing decades as rosh yeshivah of Ponevezh L’Tzi’irim for teenage boys. This was his mission: to teach generations of boys to love learning. Five years ago, he granted Mishpacha,an exclusive interview, and shared his insights on chinuch. That wisdom continues to serve as an eternal guide to parents across the globe.
An obscure document. A forgotten tombstone. A grandfather’s memory. Suddenly, after decades of being just a “regular” Jew, a man discovers he’s really a Kohein or a Levi. What does the minyan think? How do his sons react? And most importantly, what are the personal obligations of a man who discovers he really has a special identity?
Turkey, the modern incarnation of the Fertile Crescent, has shadowed Jewish life since Avraham picked himself up from Ur Kasdim and Rivkah watered Eliezer’s camels. We wanted to see how the Jews in outlying cities were faring today, in the towns that once burst with Jewish vibrancy. We wanted to find the Donmeh, the secret sect of believers in Shabbtai Zvi who never admit to their affiliation. We wanted to discover the ancient fish of the Euphrates praised in the Talmud. What would our quest reveal?
As frum families grow larger and, correspondingly, the responsibility of marrying off children increases, communities have taken various steps to ensure that the wedding preparation process remains a joyous one, by minimizing the costs and pressures involved. Mishpacha speaks with community activists in various locales who spend much time working to reduce wedding-related expense and stress, to discover the secrets to their success.