Rav Tzvi Hirsch Meisels zt”l was a rov in Veitzin, Hungary, and a highly regarded morah hora’ah. During World War II, because Hungarian Jews were not deported until 1944, Rav Meisels was still carrying on extensive correspondence with his colleagues in Hungary as late as 1943. After the occupation of Hungary, he was deported along with his community to Auschwitz, where his wife and six of his children were murdered. While in Auschwitz, he made halachic decisions on fateful issues that arose there.
Last week, I merited to bask in the presence of my rosh yeshiva, Rav Nechemya Kaplan, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Shaar Hatalmud in Yerushalayim. In his characteristic manner, Rav Kaplan shared with his talmidim currently residing in the United States warm words of hadrachah, providing an injection of chizuk for them to hold on to in the months to come.
Over the past two weeks, I, like many others, have viewed footage of numerous gatherings of tefillah and Tehillim all over the world for the kidnapped boys. I have been struck by the fact that at virtually every one of these asifos, the program concluded with the singing of Acheinu Kol Bais Yisroel. Those stirring words, recited during times of travail and suffering, were generally sung to the beautiful and stirring tune composed by R’ Abie Rotenberg and first recorded on Lev V’Nefesh two decades ago. The words of Acheinu have practically become synonymous with Abie’s remarkable composition.
Thursday, 26 Sivan/June 24, is the third yahrtzeit of Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Ponovezh Yeshiva L’tzeirim, whose greatness in Torah and sterling character continue to inspire Yidden around the globe.