A kit of Pesach supplies, including a newly-translated Haggada in Arabic, was sent to far-flung locales in Arab countries where Jews are keeping their religion secretly. The Haggada was also presented to prominent rebbes and rabbonim.
A Yad L’Achim delegation recently visited the home of the Chernobyl Rebbe to discuss the organization’s work in Pidyon Shvuyim and in combatting missionaries.
Harav Yoav-Zeev Robinson, a senior Yad L’Achim official, briefed the Rebbe on the full scope of missionary activities in Israel and on the organization’s success at returning lost souls to the Beis Medrash. The Rebbe was visibly moved by the stories of weddings that Yad L’Achim had arranged for survivors of cults who went on to build Torah-observant homes and blessed the delegation with great success in its sacred work in Pidyon Shuvyim and saving souls.
A few days later, a delegation that included all of Yad L’Achim’s department heads visited the home of the Erloi Rebbe. Harav Chaim Eisenberg briefed the Rebbe on the extensive activities of each department.
On hearing the painful stories that reach Yad L’Achim’s doors – of Jews who fell into cults and converted out of their religion and those who ended up in Arab villages – the Rebbe sighed deeply, calling out, “Oy, Ribbono shel Olam!”
Harav Binyamin Kluger, a veteran member of the organization’s counter-missionary department, detailed the activities of missionaries in Yerushalayim. He told of one facility that had been operating just a few streets away from the Beis Hamedrash Hagadol of Erloi. It was recently closed thanks to the intensive efforts of Yad L’Achim activists.
Rav Kluger also shared memories of his personal relationship with the Imrei Sofer of Erloi, zt”l.
Toward the end of the visit, the Rebbe asked how he could help in a personal way to halt the plague of missionaries in general and in Yerushalayim in particular. As the delegation was leaving his home, he called them back to accept a substantial contribution in order to participate in their activities.
A large delegation headed by Harav Shmuel Lifschitz, one of Yad L’Achim’s heads, paid a rare visit to the home of the Gaavad Zichron Meir. The Gaavad recalled the warm, close connection his grandfather, the author of the Shevet Halevei, zt”l, enjoyed with Yad L’Achim’s founder Hagaon Harav Lifschitz, zt”l.
“Many Rabbanin and Poskim visited my grandfather’s home, but due to his crowded schedule everyone was given a fixed amount of time,” he said. “However, when Hagaon Harav Lifschitz arrived to discuss fateful subjects on Yad L’Achim’s agenda, my grandfather brought him in right away regardless of whatever other pressing subjects were on his table, for as long as needed. It was a special relationship.”
The visiting Yad L’Achim activists surprised the Gaavad when they presented him with a picture of a Bar Mitzvah boy – the grandson of a sheikh from Shuafat who had returned to Judaism with the organization’s help – being blessed by his father, the Machsheves Halevi, zt”l. The Gaavad was visibly moved by the picture and the connection his father had also had with the organization.
“We merited to have a connection with generations of poskei halacha,” said a Yad L’Achim official. “With the Shevet Halevi, his son the Machsheves Halevi and with the Gaavad.”
The activists presented the Gaavad with a new edition of the Pesach Hagaddah in Arabic that was just published by the counter-missionary department. It is being sent to far-flung locales in Arab countries where Jews who reached out to Yad L’Achim are keeping their religion secretly.
Before blessing the Yad L’Achim activists and those who support their important work, the Gaavad noted that over the past decades he had personally known many organizations that opened and then shut down. However, Yad L’Achim had gone from strength to strength over the course of more than 70 years, engaging in Pidyon Shvuyim and saving Jews from cults and intermarriage.
“It is no doubt the messirus nefesh of the organization’s founder, Hagaon Harav Lifzchitz, zt”l, that stands on behalf of the organization’s important work in bolstering the walls that protect Am Yisrael from alien influences,” the Gaavad concluded.
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