Friday, Nov 26, 2021

My Take On The News

A Tefillah More Meaningful Than Ever

We are working our way through bein hameitzorim, and it seems that the time is flying by. We have only just made it through the fast of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz, but Tisha B’Av is right around the corner, with Elul and the Yomim Noraim following closely on its heels. Hopefully, this will be the year when we see the fulfillment of the novi’s promise that Tisha B’Av—along with the other fast days commemorating the Churban—will be transformed into a festive holiday.

Speaking of Tisha B’Av, a Reform clergyman was appointed this week to head the Knesset Constitution Committee, and one of the news articles about his appointment mentioned that Reform Jews do not fast on Tisha B’Av. According to the report, this isn’t only because of their general disrespect for mitzvos and the will of Hashem; they also believe that the founding of the State of Israel obviated the need to mourn over the Churban. This is yet another example of their misguided and warped philosophy.

The Churban Is Tangible in Yerushalayim

Every year, I find my own trepidation rising during these weeks. The period of bein hameitzorim is always a difficult time for Klal Yisroel. As the posuk states, “All her pursuers overtook her within the straits” (Eichah 1:3). Klal Yisroel is certainly in dire straits; this year, it does not take much effort to feel the fear and sadness of this period of mourning.

I cannot stop thinking about the disaster in Surfside. Almost two weeks have passed since the collapse of the building, and every day only brings more fear and dread. Every body that is pulled from the rubble represents another life that has been shattered. I read about Stella, the girl whose father is a firefighter who is working to find victims trapped in the rubble. I heard about the two doctors, and about the girl who recited Tehillim and inspired so many, and I felt that my own heart could not bear the pain. There were so many people trapped in the ruins of that building, and many of them were Jews. The tragedy is unfathomable.

We also have plenty of reasons for sorrow here in Israel. Above all, there is the current evil government, which has already gotten off to an ominous start. There is no telling how this government will wreak havoc in the weeks to come. There have also been several disastrous car accidents; last week, four people were killed on Israel’s roads. One of the fatalities in a recent traffic accident was a child under the age of two. Since the month of January, there have been 185 traffic fatalities in this country.

The Three Weeks are a time of general mourning, and I believe that those of us who live in Yerushalayim feel the sorrow more keenly than anyone else. I know that Uri Maklev agrees with that sentiment; he once made the same statement during a short speech in the Knesset shul. The reason is simple: In Yerushalayim, we are closer to the Kosel Hamaaravi than anyone else. A visible reminder of the Churban sits before us every day. Let us all daven that this period of mourning will soon be replaced with rejoicing.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus is at the top of everyone’s list of concerns. The Indian variant is spreading, and it has become clear that the latest outbreak in Israel originated with travelers entering the country. The virus has now been discovered in the sewer system in Ashkelon and Yerushalayim as well. Let us not forget that Yvette Lieberman blamed a previous outbreak on “17,000 yungaleit from Brooklyn”; I shudder to think of what would have happened had the virus been discovered in Elad or Beitar Illit rather than Binyamina and Modiin. Boruch Hashem, the chareidi community hasn’t been seriously affected by the latest surge in cases. As of Sunday evening, there were two confirmed cases in Bnei Brak, fifty in Ramat Gan, and 324 in Tel Aviv. But the fear is still there. And all of us in Israel are in the same proverbial boat.

The Twisted Goals of a State Commission of Inquiry

When the Agranat Commission was formed after the Yom Kippur War, the president of Israel at the time, Professor Ephraim Katzir, was very hesitant about it. He later wrote in his memoirs, “In a radio interview, I personally expressed my hope that the committee would seek to learn from the mistakes of the war in order to improve the situation in the future, and not for the sake of punishing anyone.” Looking back on the committee’s impact, the president lamented, “It was later agreed that the activities of the commission, as important as they were, prevented the rotations of personnel that were necessary in the IDF in the aftermath of the war, and disrupted the work of many of the army’s senior officials. The officers invested their time and energy in preparing to appear before the committee, instead of applying themselves to the responsibilities involved in their jobs.”

This is a terrible indictment of the entire system. Katzir also expressed his chagrin over the fact that the government chose David Elazar, the chief of staff of the IDF during the war, as a scapegoat. It was later revealed that Elazar had actually made the best possible decisions during the war. Shortly after the committee forced him to resign, he died of a broken heart.

This is the scenario that many people fear will result from the commission of inquiry into the disaster in Meron. As believing Jews, we know that the proper response to the tragedy is to fix the lapses that caused it in the first place.

The chareidi community wanted a committee to examine the situation in Meron and pinpoint safety flaws at the site. The main objective is to draw appropriate conclusions for the future and to make sure that individuals with poor judgment will be removed from the decision-making process. This would be much more productive than looking for someone to penalize for the catastrophe. This point, however, was not clearly explained to the public, and the chareidi parties were therefore accused of trying to whitewash the incident.

The truth is that there is no reason to whitewash anything, since it is absolutely clear who is to blame for the tragedy. No, the people at fault were not the chareidi politicians who fought the attempts to use the coronavirus regulations to curtail the festivities at Meron. Nor should any fingers be pointed at the staff of the Center for Holy Sites, who were excluded from the decision-making process to begin with. Even the narrow passageway where the tragedy occurred wasn’t to blame; it has been there for many years already, and none of the analyses and probes that the police conducted after Lag Ba’Omer every year have indicated that it was a ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, the answer is clear: The blame for the catastrophe lies with the police officers who blocked the exit from the passageway. Their actions resulted in the loss of 45 lives.

Many have claimed or insinuated that the chareidi parties tried to block the investigation out of fear of what it will uncover. This appalling accusation is far from the truth. What the chareidi parties wanted was a parliamentary commission of inquiry, whose job would be to prevent the next tragedy from occurring. What we received instead was a state commission, whose function is to identify people who can be blamed. Most of the state commissions of inquiry in the past—including those that focused on Sabra and Shatila, the Goldstein massacre, and the Versailles catastrophe—focused on a quest for vengeance.

Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini wrote the following (in Yediot Acharonot, no less) after the commission of inquiry was formed: “The issue is that the tragedy in Meron requires serious investigation. It calls for lessons to be learned and changes to be made, but all of that can be done without destroying people. The problem isn’t the probe; the problem is the basic objective of any state commission of inquiry…. Virtually the only outcome of previous commissions has been to force resignations or dismissals. That is not what we need.”

Yemini’s words echoed the arguments of the chareidi parties, yet when the same sentiments were expressed by religious politicians, they were accused of trying to abet a coverup. He adds, “What does a judge know about how to hold an event with thousands of participants? Why shouldn’t the committee be headed by an expert in such matters, who will look to make appropriate changes and ensure public safety in the future, rather than searching for scapegoats?” He mentioned the Or Commission, which probed an incident in the year 2000 when Arab demonstrators were shot by police officers, and pointed out, “That inquiry led to the dismissal of Shlomo Ben-Ami [from the position of Internal Security Minister]. Did it prevent the riots of 2021?” This is a cogent and well-reasoned argument. It is a shame that the same reasoning wasn’t accepted when it came from the chareidi politicians.

Respect for a Jewish Woman

Outgoing Israeli Pres-ident Reuven Rivlin was a guest of President Biden last week in the White House. Accompanying him was his long-time assistant Rivka Ravitz, who is the wife of the mayor of Telz-Stone and daughter-in-law of Degel Hatorah MK Avrohom Ravitz. Rivlin introduced her to his host and noted that she is a religious woman and the mother of 12 children. Upon hearing that, the American president got down on one knee and bowed to her, expressing his respect for her. That gesture garnered much conversation in the religious communities here and in the United States.

The Chareidim Dominate the Knesset

I was in the Knesset this week, and I observed that the coalition, in spite of its razor-thin majority, managed to pass the laws it desired. Several of those bills, such as the Norwegian Law, had been bitterly denounced by the very same politicians when they were promoted by the Netanyahu government. Right now, the coalition is apoplectic over the opposition’s refusal to join them in extending the Citizenship Law, which is extended every year as a matter of course. Last year, though, when Netanyahu approved the law’s extension, the members of Yesh Atid skipped the vote in order to avoid antagonizing the Arabs and the left. Now that they have realized that the law is in jeopardy, they are excoriating their political opponents for the same behavior. The speeches in the Knesset were a parade of hypocrisy in which Yair Lapid played a starring role; the veteran demagogue spoke out scathingly against the opposition and then expressed his hope for an atmosphere of mutual respect and appeasement. The irony is inescapable: How could he possibly expect any sort of rapprochement, when he is doing everything in his ability to sour the relations between the parties?

Amazingly, the chareidi MKs are not only a powerful presence in the Knesset; they are actually dominating the parliament. Every member of UTJ and Shas has been ascending to the podium time and again to voice their views on every bill that is presented. And they have spoken cogently and lucidly. Take the events of last Monday for instance, when the Knesset wrapped up its sitting at 4:08 a.m. The opposition simply wore out the coalition. The Shas party delivered a total of 35 speeches, beginning with a motion of no confidence in the government and addressing various laws as well, especially the coronavirus legislation. The scene repeated itself again this past Monday, when the chareidi lawmakers broke the record set the previous week. The Knesset remained in session until 7:00 in the morning, and MK Pindrus even recited birchos hashachar at the podium. When he reached the brocha of shelo asani ishah, an uproar erupted in the Knesset.

Bennett Alleges Diplomatic Sabotage

A prime minister must choose his words carefully. Of course, the same is true of every person on the planet, but it is especially true of a prime minister. Naftoli Bennet must remember that he is no longer an ordinary member of the Knesset sitting somewhere toward the back of the room, who can voice any thoughts that pop into his head. As Netanyahu put it, “Until now, all they did was tweet. Now they will have to formulate policies and implement them.”

As the prime minister of Israel, Bennett must be careful with his words. He reportedly commented at a closed session of the Yamina party (which should perhaps be renamed Smola, given its leftward tilt), “Certain elements in the opposition are trying to sabotage my relationship with President Biden of the United States, and the relationship of the entire Israeli government with the American government.” That is a very severe accusation; it is almost tantamount to an allegation of treason.

On Monday, the opposition gathered to address the public through the media, and reporters were allowed to ask questions. Yissochar Zalmanowitz, a reporter for Kol Baramah, asked Netanyahu about Bennett’s comment, and the former premier flatly rejected the idea. “It is just as true as all the other lies of the coalition,” he said firmly.

When it comes down to a question of whether to believe Netanyahu or Bennett, I think the answer is clear. As Aryeh Deri put it in the Knesset, “After Bennett lied to his entire voter base, how can we take him at his word when he promises to protect the chareidi community?” At the same time, this allegation cannot be allowed to hang in the air. Someone must insist that Bennett identify the person he suspects of such heinous actions and prove his claims—or apologize!

A prime minister must choose his words carefully. Of course, the same is true of every person on the planet, but it is especially true of a prime minister. Naftoli Bennet must remember that he is no longer an ordinary member of the Knesset sitting somewhere toward the back of the room, who can voice any thoughts that pop into his head. As Netanyahu put it, “Until now, all they did was tweet. Now they will have to formulate policies and implement them.”

As the prime minister of Israel, Bennett must be careful with his words. He reportedly commented at a closed session of the Yamina party (which should perhaps be renamed Smola, given its leftward tilt), “Certain elements in the opposition are trying to sabotage my relationship with President Biden of the United States, and the relationship of the entire Israeli government with the American government.” That is a very severe accusation; it is almost tantamount to an allegation of treason.

On Monday, the opposition gathered to address the public through the media, and reporters were allowed to ask questions. Yissochar Zalmanowitz, a reporter for Kol Baramah, asked Netanyahu about Bennett’s comment, and the former premier flatly rejected the idea. “It is just as true as all the other lies of the coalition,” he said firmly.

When it comes down to a question of whether to believe Netanyahu or Bennett, I think the answer is clear. As Aryeh Deri put it in the Knesset, “After Bennett lied to his entire voter base, how can we take him at his word when he promises to protect the chareidi community?” At the same time, this allegation cannot be allowed to hang in the air. Someone must insist that Bennett identify the person he suspects of such heinous actions and prove his claims—or apologize!

Lapid’s Blunders

One cannot help but laugh at Yair Lapid’s enthusiasm during his trip to Dubai. Imagine that one government official launched a major new construction project and then left his post, and his successor attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and beamed with pride over his “accomplishment.” Lapid has done nothing but cut the ribbon; all the work was done by those who came before him. And he doesn’t even realize that everyone is laughing at him behind his back.

I predict that Lapid will set a record as Israel’s foreign minister: He will be even more of a failure in this position than he was as the country’s finance minister! That will be his only “achievement.” Experts have already warned that his response to the law passed in Poland was juvenile, harmful, problematic, and disconnected from reality. This was a very weighty issue, and it is not something that should be handled by someone who is both a clown and a novice.

Lapid’s haste and inexperience have already made him a laughingstock twice. The first time was when he released a public statement from Dubai calling on all the Arabs to make peace with Israel; the English translation of his statement was so poor that he drew ridicule for his clumsy use of the language. The second time was when he expressed his warm wishes to America in honor of the Fourth of July. Lapid attempted to attach images of the Israeli and American flags to his message, but he doesn’t know what the American flag looks like abd posted the wrong flag.

Haaretz Continues Hounding Netanyahu

It is astounding to watch as the persecution of former Prime Minister Netanyahu continues apace. This week, a new “investigation” was opened. The issue at hand this time is a jacuzzi that was installed in Netanyahu’s private home in Caesaria; the investigators are probing whether it was financed by state funds. Netanyahu has responded that he doesn’t even own a jacuzzi, much less one that was installed at the taxpayers’ expense, but the entire Israeli media is focusing obsessively on this story.

Why do I keep expressing my compassion for Binyamin Netanyahu, who is being relentlessly hounded by his opponents? For one thing, Jewish people are known for their innate mercy. Even more importantly, though, the religious community in Israel often bears the brunt of the same hatred and persecution that Netanyahu is experiencing. I am sometimes astonished at the way the media and the left manage to turn every molehill, no matter how small, into a formidable mountain. Take the following comment made by a political commentator in Haaretz: “In Netanyahu’s first speech as chairman of the opposition, he avoided using the title ‘prime minister’ in reference to Naftoli Bennett. The following days made it clear that this wasn’t a random occurrence; instead, it was a deliberate tactic used by all the parties in the bloc…. The goal was to negate the legitimacy of the new prime minister.”

If the writer was referring to the speech that Netanyahu delivered after Bennett and Lapid on the day when the new government was inaugurated, his argument is completely specious. At that point, before the Knesset voted on the new government and before Bennett was sworn in to his new position, there was no reason to refer to him as the prime minister. The writer also pointed out that certain members of the Likud party were continuing to refer to Netanyahu himself as the prime minister. The truth is that this was a slip of the tongue on the part of Mickey (Machlouf) Zohar. I was there when he made the mistake, and I can attest that it was a simple error—which triggered its fair share of laughter and humorous quips. Other speakers, including Aryeh Deri, also began their speeches by addressing Netanyahu as the prime minister, and Zohar introduced Deri as the Minister of the Interior. It seems excessive to attribute any malicious intent to these simple mistakes. This week in the Knesset, the prime minister himself addressed Aryeh Deri twice as “Minister of the Interior.” Would Haaretz also consider that to be part of some bizarre conspiracy? The truth is that old habits simply die hard.

Last Friday, a new correspondent for Haaretz, Michael Hauser-Tov, who worked until recently for Galei Tzahal, penned a long article accusing Netanyahu of ordering reams of documents shredded before Bennett took office. This is highly improbable. Netanyahu is not a fool, and most documents today are computerized. Even printed documents generally have copies and originals; there is likely nothing to be gained from shredding papers. It sounds like a very strange allegation, but then again, Hauser-Tov isn’t exactly a novice in the newsroom. Did someone mislead him? Netanyahu denied the allegations, but his response appeared in small print, whereas the allegations themselves were emblazoned across the entire front page of the newspaper.

In other political news, the battle against the new spokesman for President Yitzchak Herzog is utterly appalling. Of course, this should have very little to do with the chareidi community. The chareidim tend not to concern themselves with national symbols of any kind; they participate only in the areas of government that concern them and that have a practical purpose, in what amounts to an ongoing emergency protocol of sorts. Nevertheless, the virulent attacks against incoming President Yitzchak Herzog’s new spokesman should infuriate every man of good conscience. Herzog tapped Naor Ihia, a native of Yokneam, to occupy that position. The left was outraged by his choice, since Ihia previously served as a spokesman for Prime Minister Netanyahu. That alone, apparently, is enough of a reason to invalidate him. And the choice of Ihia for the post has sparked a series of leftist demonstrations. This is simply unbelievable.

Bennett Pledges Cooperation with America; Netanyahu Fires Back

At the same meeting of the opposition leaders in the Yerushalayim Auditorium last week, Netanyahu revealed that Bennett disagrees with his approach to the American nuclear agreement with Iran. While Netanyahu feels that Israel should fight the United States government’s plan to sign the agreement, Bennett favors merely trying to influence the Americans to change the terms. On the one hand, that is his right; after all, he is the prime minister. But I cannot say that it doesn’t make me apprehensive. Bennett also announced that he will not make any moves regarding Iran without coordinating them in advance with the United States government. Netanyahu was asked for his reaction to that, and he launched into a full-scale attack on his successor.

“We are a sovereign country that is in existential danger,” the former prime minister said. “We need the ability to act with complete determination in order to thwart the Iranians’ plans. We have taken many actions; I notified the Americans about some of them in advance, but not all of them. Since the current government announced a policy of no surprises, that means that they will give the Americans advance notice of everything. And you know what will happen: America will go back to the dangerous nuclear plan. If we notify the Americans before launching an offensive, what do you think they will do? They will pressure us not to do anything. And they can also leak our plans to the enemy. That would be a very dangerous thing, and it has happened in the past.” That revelation alone was quite dramatic!

Netanyahu continued, “This is why a policy of no surprises is a potentially deadly policy on the most important issue for the security of the State of Israel—preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon that it would use to destroy us.

“The frivolity, the lack of understanding, and the rashness with which this commitment was made should be very disturbing,” Netanyahu added. “I hope that Lapid will make the same ‘mistakes’ that I made, instead of these potentially fatal errors.” I would have phrased it somewhat differently—as the hope that Lapid would forgo this type of “accomplishment.”

Betrayed by the Likud

In response to another question from the reporters, Netanyahu declared that if he were asked to help the government deal with the Citizenship Law crisis, he would agree to do so—if the government passed a new Basic Law to provide a long-term solution to the problem. When he was asked if he would also assist the government with vaccines, he replied in the affirmative. “Isn’t this ironic?” Netanyahu added. “They can’t do it on their own; they need our help.”

“I am convinced that if you are asked to help, you will do everything in your ability,” Aryeh Deri interjected.

“I will help in any way I can,” Netanyahu agreed.

A chareidi reporter named Yishai Cohen asked Netanyahu if he would agree to call the CEO of Pfizer again at 3:00 in the morning, and if he would promise to be a faithful partner to the chareidi parties in voting down anti-religious laws. Netanyahu laughed at the first question. “Why should I call specifically at 3:00 in the morning?” he asked. But it was clear that he would do so if the need arose.

The Likud spokesman called on the next reporter, but Aryeh Deri stopped him. “Would you answer the second question as well?” he asked Netanyahu.

“Gladly,” Netanyahu replied. “We are committed to the status quo, and it will remain in place.”

Actually, Avi Dichter and Nir Barkat of the Likud party betrayed this commitment in the Arrangements Committee this week (which is still operating in lieu of the permanent committees of the Knesset). The religious parties have been fighting an ongoing battle against a law that governs the religious exemption from IDF service for women. I won’t go into too many details, but I will say simply that the Likud party clearly opposed the chareidi stance. Moshe Gafni was infuriated and promised to seek “clarification” from Netanyahu.

Bennett’s Neglected Promise

Ever since the new government was sworn in, the MKs from the opposition have managed to fluster the coalition members time and again, with very little effort. All they need to do is quote the past statements of the coalition members themselves, on issues such as the Norwegian Law or a rotation government, in order to highlight their hypocrisy and leave them shamefaced. This week, Dudi Amsalem publicly embarrassed the Knesset speaker by reading aloud a list of brutal insults and then challenging his audience, “Do you know who said this? It was the Knesset speaker himself, Mickey Levi.”

Levi, who was sitting next to him, stammered awkwardly, “It wasn’t in the Knesset; it was in a committee.” Not that such conduct is any more becoming in a committee chamber….

Then there is Bennett himself, whose broken promises have been trotted out time and again to remind the public of his duplicity. The opposition takes pains to remind the people of the commitment that Bennett signed on camera, only to violate it shortly thereafter. Of course, it is possible that Bennett will turn against his new partner, Yair Lapid, as well. Perhaps Bennett plans to break up the government immediately before he is scheduled to relinquish his office to Lapid. He can then triumphantly proclaim, “You see? I didn’t let Lapid become prime minister after all!”

This week, when Shas filed its motion of no confidence in the government, Aryeh Deri observed that if Bennett lied once, there is no reason to presume that he won’t lie again. Here is the exact quote: “It is hard for me to believe [Bennett] after he deceived us, and he deceived me personally over many months of negotiations. It would be hard for me to trust him now; even if I wanted to trust him, it would be impossible.”

MK Yinon Azulai found another past statement to use against Bennett this week. “Mr. Speaker, honored ministers, and members of the Knesset,” he said, “I want to quote something to you: ‘I am here at Sde Boaz, one of the fledgling settlements. There are 70 settlements that are home to 25,000 working residents who pay taxes and serve in the army, yet they are second-class citizens. For 12 months, Netanyahu has done nothing in order to legalize these settlements. On my first day as prime minister of Israel, I will sign a full approval of the settlements in Yehuda and the Shomron.’ Do you know who said this?” he continued. “You may be surprised to learn that it was Naftoli Bennett, the chairman of the Yamina party, and he made this statement on February 21, 2021, not long ago.”

Avigdor Lieberman has always been haunted by his promise to execute the terrorist Mohammed Haniyeh. (On May 29, 2016, Lieberman solemnly gave his word that as soon as he became the defense minister, Haniyeh would be dead within 48 hours. Nevertheless, when he was appointed to that post, he did not make a move to eliminate the terrorist.) Now Naftoli Bennett has his own albatross: the settlements that he promised to legalize. And Azulai hammered the point home. “The first 24 hours went by, and then it became 48 hours, and then 72 hours, but he has done nothing,” he declared. “This is a corrupt government that is constantly preoccupied with its own honor instead of dealing with the coronavirus crisis. True, the corona crisis is over, boruch Hashem, with siyata d’shmaya and through the work of Binyamin Netanyahu. We were privileged to have a good prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. But this inflated, bloated government…. Bennett did not keep his promises, neither in the first 24 hours nor in the first 48, and he may not fulfill them in the future. There is only one thing that this government might live up to: their promises to attack Jewish values, because that is written in their agreements. The settlements are not mentioned in writing, and the disadvantaged members of society are not mentioned, but the attack on Jewish values is included. And we are here in order to fight them on that.”

A Fateful Encounter in the Stairwell

They met in the stairwell. “Hello,” the upstairs neighbor said. “Aren’t you a mashgiach in a certain yeshiva?” He named one of the foremost Sephardic yeshivos in the country.

“Yes,” the other man confirmed.

The upstairs neighbor revealed that a shidduch had been suggested for his daughter with one of the top talmidim in the yeshiva, but the young couple’s meetings had not gone well. On paper, everything about the shidduch seemed perfect, but the match was barely limping along. “My daughter is trying to steer their conversations toward all sorts of important things—chinuch, hashkofah, and so forth—but it hasn’t been working well. They aren’t moving past small talk. Would it be possible for someone on the faculty to give some guidance to the bochur?”

The mashgiach assured his neighbor that he would do his best to assist the boy.

In the yeshiva, the mashgiach struck up a conversation with the young bochur. “Someone asked me about you for a potential shidduch,” he told the young man, altering the story in order to preserve the peace. “I am happy to hear that people are speaking highly of you. How are things going?”

The bochur innocently explained that he was already in the middle of a shidduch; however, he added, he felt that the shidduch would not work out, in spite of its many positive aspects.

“Why is that?” the mashgiach asked.

“Personally, I am in favor of it,” the bochur said. “The girl has yiras Shomayim, and her parents are bnei Torah, but for some reason the shidduch is simply dragging. Our conversations have been too superficial; we haven’t gotten into any matters of substance. “

“You have to take the lead in the conversation,” the mashgiach advised him, tapping into his experience as an educator. “Speak to her about chinuch, hashkofah, and other such matters.”

The young couple recently celebrated their engagement. The overjoyed father of the kallah embraced his neighbor warmly at the engagement celebration. “You and I are the only ones who know that without your help, the shidduch wouldn’t have come to fruition,” he whispered.

Minutes later, the chosson whispered his own words of thanks to the mashgiach. “Hashem sent you to me precisely at the right time!” he told his rebbi warmly.

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