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Pinchas | 24 Tamuz 5782 | July 23rd, 2022 | Issue 954
What is in this week's Sabbat MiTzion?
Our sincere condolences to the Rothschild family on the passing of Kurt z"l (1921-2022)
World Mizrachi President and dear friend of Torah MiTzion.
We will continue his legacy of devotion to Am Israel.

Here are a few words of Ze'ev Schwartz's connection with Kurt, sent to him and his family on the occasion of Kurt's 100th birthday:

I first met Kurt in person, when I entered the role of chairman of World Mizrachi's 'Young Guard' in 1995.
 'Kurt' was a renowned figure from Toronto that was always talked about. Only during my trip to Toronto to meet the leadership and the community, was when I first met Kurt. In the summer of '96, he organized meetings for me with young potential leaders and representatives of the different shuls, schools and with various personalities and key families.
I appreciate the fact that at the time, Kurt was already in his mid-seventies, playing a key role in Toronto Jewish life and in World Mizrachi too. Every time I visited Toronto it was obvious that I would be meeting with Kurt in his office or home. That was my acquaintance with a very connected man, updated on everything that is happening in Jewish communities all over the world, always interested, always giving the right advice and sharing his wisdom. Kurt immediately understood the importance of Torah MiTzion and its great potential.
I kept an ongoing contact with Kurt. I learnt that his commonly used phrase, "Leave it with me", meant he will do his best to make things happen, obtaining responsibility, involvement and seeing things through.

 Whenever Kurt would visit Israel there was always an air of respect that surrounded him, a halo that made it clear that Kurt is a "super important" person.
Interestingly enough, it took a longer time to open up a Kollel Tzioni specifically in Toronto. For some reason, despite the various efforts, including a couple of special trips to Toronto, attempts that Kurt was involved with and meetings he organized with families, it wasn't successful at first. Only about eleven years ago did the Kollel finally open, in a joint enterprise with Yeshiva University.
When I was the Mazkal of World Bnei Akiva, I initiated a gap year program “hachshara” for German Youth and I knew that I would need financial backers for this project. I made a brochure and with the knowledge that German Jewry has a special place in his heart, I flew to Toronto to meet with Kurt. Kurt simply told me "Leave it with me" and miraculously, by recruiting the help of those that believe in him, put together the first funding for the year long program. The project is continuing to run for its tenth year.

Kurt was always the right person to suggest how to turn to different donors, who and when. What's the right timing? How do you stay in touch with the donors? His guidance has always been of great value. He has become my mentor, and even more so as a role model of a Man of Chessed. This has been proven during the tragedy of Gush Katif, Kurt took it upon himself to recruit others to help rehabilitate the settlements, synagogues, businesses etc. He has an unusual talent of turning to others and fundraising for the good of the projects that he believes in, and this is extremely significant.
Kurt shows continued interest in "his" projects. He is always interested at eye-level: How is Torah MiTzion doing? The Shlichim? The Communities? When there is an event and he understands that his presence is important – he is always there, participates and honors everyone.Whenever there is a need for a speech – it's always quick and to the point.
Kurt expects a lot from himself. Years ago, during one of my visits in Toronto there was snow and ice, and in the entrance of the 'Or Chaim school', Kurt slipped on the ice, fell down and got up immediately. Although he was obviously hurt and in pain, he continued walking. He didn't let it stop him.
He has a good sense of humor and enjoys a good joke. You can always make him laugh. He puts his whole heart into everything he does. A couple of years ago, when he was already at an older age, he requested that I take him to an engagement party that he felt it was important he attend. He didn't want to arrive empty handed and so we stopped at a store on the way. He got in and out of the car went into the store slowly – but didn't give up. I always looked forward to the opportunity to drive him from place to place, taking the moment to catch his attention and receive some valued advice.

A couple of years ago, he made the effort to take part in my daughter's Chuppah. He doesn't give himself 'discounts'. He doesn’t miss a day at the office. Doesn't miss davening Mincha with us or saying Kaddish for his parents and in-laws.
Recently, during the Corona Pandemic, I asked him what his secret to success is. He answered me simply: "to know how to swim over the waves".

Kurt is a noble, caring, charitable, idealistic and ideological person. I recognize the fact that it is a big Zechut for him to be a part of our everyday life at Torah MiTzion,Bnei Akiva and Mizrachi for many years. He is the eldest person I know. He gives us the zechut of doing the Mitzvah of "והדרת פני זקן"
Dedicated in memory of Yaakov ben Avraham and Sarah Aharonov z"l
Dvar Torah - Pinchas / Matot

Many Types of Leaders

Shanen Bloom Werber
Family coordinator for the first Torah MiTzion’s presence
in Chicago in the 1990's
Community activist, she currently lives in Gush Etzion

Click here for the PDF version
Click here for the dvar torah on Matot
 

Leaders come and go. And that is the way it should be.

Some leaders are appointed; and willingly or reluctantly, they serve. The people may follow or not.

Some leaders are born into the role and they may or may not fit it. Some act; and through their actions, they become leaders, as others follow.

Some leaders do a specific action in which they lead, and then they fade into history. Others may act in a way that becomes the norm, and that action is remembered as historic.

Surprisingly, parshat Pinchas has a number of fascinating leader-types, although the hero of last week’s parsha, Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon haKohen, is the leader most focused on when learning and discussing this parsha.

Pinchas saw what was happening, realized how problematic this “contagious” idolatry was, and stepped forward to stop it. (The man Pinchas killed was himself a tribal prince, a leader; who was leading Bnei Yisrael - to sin!)  Pinchas acted when no one else did. And for this powerful public action he was awarded a unique “brit shalom”. His leadership was rewarded, and featured to the nation.

Bnot Tzlafchad, 5 daughters of a man with no male heirs, were leaders of a different type. They saw a wrong which affected their family and stepped up to ask for equal rights. Quietly, directly to the leader, Moshe, they made their case. But their quiet request needed to be referred to HaShem to judicate. And the rest is history –  inheritance rights (and regulations) for daughters when there is no son.

Yehoshua is a leader with proven abilities: he and Calev were the only scouts who presented a positive view of Eretz Yisrael.  An aide to Moshe, he trained - learning the issues and the approaches needed to guide / lead a nation into an unknown Homeland, through wars, with a goal of establishing a nation’s government and settlements.

Moshe asked HaShem for a leader who would take his place, as his role was to end before crossing the Yarden. Requesting a leader who would guide the people faithfully, HaShem directed him to Yehoshua, an already familiar figure who had long been by Moshe’s side. A formal “passing of the scepter” made the appointment public and the transition was smooth.

In one parsha, full of names and inheritance groups, and of chagim and their korbanot, there are 6 types of leadership roles presented:

- Zimri, a prince, who led the people to sin

- Pinchas, whose initiative ended the idolatry

- Machla, Noa, Chogla, Milka, and Tirza who gently gained rights for women

- Moshe, the faithful retiring leader, concerned about continuity

- Yehoshua, his aide; prepared for this role, smoothing the transition

- Elazar haKohen, whose priestly role proclaims the continuity of leadership

May Am Yisrael merit leaders with initiative, who are willing to stand up for principle and halacha, who train and learn from those before them, who know quietly when and how to ask, and how to make things happen. And may we, the people, recognize and follow these types of leaders.

Indeed, may we head for גאולה שלימה and a ברית שלום with such leadership.

אמן! כן יהי רצון! 

Dedicated to the memory of Rav Michael Jay Bloom,
as we read his bar mitzva parsha, Pinchas.
He knew how to lead and how to follow.
רב מיכאל יעקב בן אברהם וחוה דבורה בלום ז"ל

comments: werberfamily@gmail.com
 

For more Divrei Torah on the parsha click here
'One Who Loves Tanach'

A short Dvar Torah for Parashat Pinchas (5 min)
A Man With Spirit

A short Dvar Torah for Parashat Matot (5 min)
That's Not the Issue!

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Pinchas
Matot
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Biur time has come for the first fruit this shemitah. But...what does that mean, exactly?
📽️Our clip on bi'ur explains it in a nutshell. So sit back, relax, enjoy, and you might even learn something! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O8XbFqgw0s

ℹ️ See also our infographic on bi'ur from Shemitah on One Foot
Our friend Benjy Singer has a very useful website, www.israelb.org,
which contains accurate and fresh information of what's going on in the Religious Anglo Community in Israel.
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