יום ראשון י"ד בתשרי תשע"ט 23/09/2018
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  • 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!

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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.

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  • 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.

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Reflections

Harav Yaakov Moshe Charlap ztz”l

Harav Yaakov Moshe Charlap was the rav of the Shaarei Chesed neighbourhood in Yerushalayim. He was one of the most prominent talmidim of Harav Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kook and served as the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav in Yerushalayim.

Avi Lazar 01/12/2009 17:17

Hagaon Harav Yaakov Moshe Charlap was born in the year 5642 to his father Harav Zevulun in the city of Yerushalayim. The Charlap family was of extremely distinguished lineage, a family of famous rabbanim going back generations, which could trace its ancestry back to Dovid haMelech. In his youth Harav Charlap learned in the Eitz Chaim yeshivah and also from his father Harav Zevulun, who was a member of the Beis Din of the Brisker Rov, Hagaon Harav Moshe Yehoshua Leib Diskin ztz”l. Harav Yaakov Moshe had also hoped to benefit from the wellsprings of Harav Diskin’s Torah, but when he was still young, Harav Diskin was niftar – and only nine days later, his father Harav Zevulun followed Harav Diskin to the next world.

Harav Yaakov Moshe was extremely crushed and despondent at this double blow, and felt as if his entire world had become dark. However, he found a salve for his spirits in his new rav and mentor, Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel Shapira ztz”l, who was one of the gedolei haTorah of Yerushalayim. Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel was also known as a great tzaddik and yerei Shamayim who was almost totally separated from the material world and would frequently seclude himself and practice self-flagellation. He exerted himself greatly in his determination to never sleep save for brief naps, and every night at chatzos he would immerse himself in the mikveh and recite the Seder Tikkun Chatzos amidst terrible weeping. To all outward appearances, Harav Yaakov Moshe’s attachment to Harav Shapira was surprising, as Harav Yaakov Moshe was known to be a great ilui and masmid, who had already gained the respect of the lamdanim of Yerushalayim, and was recognised as one of them. However, already at a young age Harav Yaakov Moshe had resolved to continually strive for ever higher levels of kedushah, and to this end he desired to attach himself to the tzaddik and porush Harav Shapira to learn from his ways, and he requested of him that he accept him as his talmid.

And so it was – although Harav Yaakov Moshe was still a young bachur, Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel recognised his great potential in Torah, his refined middos and his level of tzidkus, and he took him into his innermost circle of prized talmidim. When one of his older talmidim once asked Harav Shapira why he so esteemed the young Yaakov Moshe above himself, Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel replied, “Why do you compare yourself to him? He is simply a wonder to behold.”

During this period of his life, in the year 5658 when Harav Yaakov Moshe was sixteen years of age, he married the daughter of the brother of Harav Dovid Friedman (Karliner), one of the greatest poskim in Lithuania.

Harav Yaakov Moshe was known as an expert in halachah, and when a complicated halachic query was once brought before Harav Shlomo Zalman Baharan, one of the gedolei Yerushalayim, he asked his close friend Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel to bring him his talmid Harav Yaakov Moshe, to clarify the correct response. Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel Shapira placed his hands upon his young talmid, conferring his semichah on him, and even gave him all his handwritten chiddushei Torah. It is related that once Harav Yaakov Moshe purchased a new table in a stylish modern design with three feet. The matter became known to his rebbi Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel, and he rebuked his talmid. Displaying his total devotion as a talmid, Harav Yaakov Moshe immediately rushed home, seized the table and went out to exchange it for a more simple style.

In addition to his attachment to Harav Yehoshua Tzvi Michel, Harav Yaakov Moshe learned in the Toras Chaim yeshivah, with Hagaon Harav Yonah Rom as a chavrusa – and Harav Rom was eleven years his senior. A few years later, when the Kerem neighbourhood was established in the New City of Yerushalayim and Harav Yonah Rom was appointed its rav, Harav Rom began to publicise the greatness of his former chavrusa, Harav Yaakov Moshe.

Even before Harav Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kook arrived in Eretz Yisrael, Harav Yaakov Moshe had heard of his greatness and genius in Torah and had been immensely impressed by the profundity of his ideas. When Harav Yaakov Moshe heard that Harav Kook had been appointed as rav of Yafo and the surrounding settlements, he waited for an opportunity to become acquainted with him. Therefore, he was delighted to obey his doctor’s recommendation that he travel to Yafo to bathe in the sea, since this would afford him the occasion he had sought.

And so, just a few days after Harav Kook arrived in Eretz Yisrael, in the month of Iyar in the year 5664, Harav Yaakov Moshe travelled to Yafo. Harav Kook was then thirty-nine years of age, and Harav Yaakov Moshe was twenty-two years old. On the festival of Shavuos Harav Yaakov Moshe came to daven at the shul of Harav Kook, and just from his first glimpse of Harav Kook he was enthralled at his visage and his intense immersion in his tefillah. The peak of his wonder at the phenomenon that was Harav Kook occurred when Harav Kook was called for his aliyah to the Torah reading as a kohen. Before the Torah reading commenced, Harav Kook began to recite the ‘Akdamus’ amidst great trembling and tears. Harav Yaakov Moshe was incredibly affected by this sight, and he realised that Eretz Yisrael had not only gained a great gaon in Torah but also someone with an incredibly high level of kedushah, and he resolved to attach himself to Harav Kook. Indeed, he attached himself with all of his might to Harav Kook, becoming one of his closest talmidim and known as one of the greatest among them.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook  []

In the year 5668, when the Shaarei Chesed neighbourhood was established in Yerushalayim, Harav Yaakov Moshe was appointed as its rav, at the young age of twenty-six. Later on he was also appointed as the rav of the nearby neighbourhood of Rechavia. After the petirah of his rebbi Harav Kook in the year 5694, Harav Yaakov Moshe was appointed to serve as the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivat Mercaz Harav, to replace Harav Kook. He continued to serve in this capacity almost until his own petirah.
 
Yeshivat Mercaz Harav []

On the 7th of Kislev in the year 5712, Harav Yaakov Moshe was niftar at the age of seventy years. He left behind many writings, including the well-known ‘Mei Marom’ – a collection of contemplative writings; and the halachic responsae ‘Beis Zevul’.