As we went to print on Tuesday, Harav Elya Brudny, shlita, Rosh Yeshivah, Mirrer Yeshivah, was scheduled to address a special asifah in Khal Tiferes Yaakov. The Rosh Yeshivah shared with Hamodia in advance some of what he intended to say.
Harav Brudny, who personally knew Harav Moshe Twersky, Hy”d, and described him as a “Gaon and Tzaddik”, spoke words of hesped on all four Kedoshim and described the reaction of Harav Yerucham Levovitz, zt”l, to the Chevron massacre in 5689/1929.
Several days after word came of the terrible pogrom in Chevron, Harav Yerucham addressed his talmidim and referred to the conversations he had been overhearing. The bachurim of course blamed the Arab murderers, others also saw fit to blame the British, yet others pointed a finger at the Zionists.
Harav Yerucham told his talmidim that what they had forgotten was a explicit Gemara in Sukkah (52a) which explains a passuk in Yoel (2:20) as referring to the yetzer hara.
“He set his eyes against the first Beis Hamikdash and destroyed it and killed the talmidei chachamim within it … He set his eyes against the second Beis Hamikdash and destroyed it and killed the talmidei chachamim within it …”
The Gemara continues that “He leaves the other nations in peace and attacks only Yisrael.” Abaya adds that the yetzer hara seeks to battle against talmidei chachamim more than anyone else.
At the time Harav Yerucham said that the Alter of Slobodka wanted to bring Torah to Eretz Yisrael with the establishment of the Chevron Yeshivah. First his son Harav Moshe Finkel, zt”l, a spiritual giant in his own right, was niftar. A year later, the Alter himself was niftar. Then came the massacre that drove Jews out of Chevron.
This was all part of a kitrug against Torah, part of the war that the yetzer hara wages against talmidei chachamim.
Harav Brudny applied the same concept to the attack in Har Nof, and said it should be viewed as part of a greater battle by the forces of evil against the learning of Torah that merited such an amazing rebirth in Eretz Yisrael after the Holocaust.
“We are at a crucial crossroad,” Harav Brudny warned.