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“A concern in a person’s heart, yisechena” (Prov. 12)

Rav Ami says, yisechena means he should remove it [the concern] from his heart.

Rav Assi says, yisechena means he should tell it to another.

Rashi explains: tell to another–perhaps he will be able to provide you with advice.

Yoma Chapter 8


1 August in History

Today is the birthday of Rabbi Tuvia Geffen, longtime leader of Congregation Shearith Israel. He held a deep connection to Orthodoxy, yet also valued secular education. Four of his boys attended Emory University, a Methodist University. He received a special exemption for his boys from needing to attend chapel on Sundays, and from taking notes or tests on Saturdays. His children did need to walk four miles to classes until a local Jewish family was found that the boys were able to spend Shabbat with.

While in Atlanta, he oversaw the Kashrut of Coca-Cola, and as such is one of the few people to ever learn all the well guarded recipe. Because of this knowledge, he was often known as The Coca-Cola Rabbi.

21 Av in History

Today marks the passing of Rav Chaim Soleveitchik of Volozhin and Brisk (1853-1918). Son of the Beis Halevi, Rav Yosef Dov Soleveitchik, Rav Chaim was born in Volozhin, but moved with his family to Slutzk while still quite young, when his father became Rav of the city.

When Rav Chaim was 20, he married Lifsha, the daughter of Rav Raphael Shapira, the son-in-law of the Netziv. Since Rav Raphael was a rish mesivta in Volozhin, Rav Chaim moved there. When Rav Raphael moved away, Rav Chaim took the post of rosh mesivta Volozhin in 1880.

In 1892, following the closing of the Volozhin yeshivah, Rav Chaim moved to Brisk where he succeeded his father as the community Rav. Rav Chaim is buried next to the Netziv in the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw. His oldest son was Rav Moshe, who was the father of Rav Yosef Dov and Rav Ahron Soleveitchik. His other famous son was Rav Yitzchak Zev (the “GRIZ”), also known as Reb Velvel, the Brisker Rav of Yerushalayim.

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May 2020