Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Operations Manager of Chazaq, interviewed HaGaon HaRav Reuven Feinstein shlita as part of Tuesday Timely Torah Talks on Tuesday evening, November 16.
Rabbi Meirov asked Rav Feinstein to share something that he remembers that was really special about his father, Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. He shared that Rav Moshe would be writing all day until someone would come to speak with him. Then, he would stop and talk to the person for an hour or so, and when the person left, Rav Moshe would go right back to the exact letter on the page where he left off.
Rabbi Meirov asked Rav Feinstein to describe the biggest challenge facing the generation today. Rav Feinstein responded that every five years there is a different problem. He shared that bitul is the problem we have today. People think its permissible to be disrespectful. “We have to get people to understand derech Torah and how to behave.” People can disagree, and that’s okay, but they don’t have to yell or belittle anyone. It just belittles the Torah.
Next, he asked about the challenges of technology. Rav Feinstein shared that it’s a big problem. Some forbid it. It may work for some; but on the other hand, Zoom helped spread Torah. He said that now he gives a shiur every Motza’ei Shabbos on Zoom. Technology is not for shmutz. Hashem made it for spreading Torah. Some people are working on getting legislation passed that people would not be able to put something on the Internet without permission. That is a law already in England. He shared that the whole world is a world of bitul. There is no difference whether the bitul is Internet or in life.
Rabbi Meirov asked the Rav his thoughts about anti-Semitism today. The Rav shared that the Democrats are trying to change the whole value system of our country. Will the Republicans be able to prevent this? In either case, we get to be in the middle, so maybe we should all have passports in good condition.
Next, Rabbi Meirov asked what the most important thing is that we should work on to bring Jews back to Yiddishkeit. The Rav said that belief in Hashem is the main ingredient and that requires a lot of work.
Next, he asked the Rav how one should balance time for outreach and time for learning. He shared how Chazaq has an outreach program for public school children. Rav Feinstein noted that the Rosh Yeshiva held that everyone had to maaser his time. A person should maaser his free time. If everyone is involved, you will have an army out there.
Rabbi Meirov then asked Rav Feinstein to share a final message. Rav Feinstein shared how Avraham Avinu was a baal chesed. He served the angels when they came even when he was weak. Why did he ask Sarah to bake bread, and why did he have to kill an animal and work on koshering it, etc.? All these preparations took a lot of time. Didn’t he have food available for the guests when they came to his house? He answered that Avraham wanted them to feel special. “I made it for you. You are a choshuve person.” This, he explained, is the proper way to do chesed. He emphasized that everyone should get involved in chesed and making people feel good. Also, marriage is a wonderful thing. His brachah to everyone was to be successful and to merit seeing Mashiach.
At the end of the program, Rav Feinstein spoke about Chazaq. He stated that he was happy to see what Chazaq does. Their success rate is fantastic. They are doing a wonderful job with bringing back public school. ”You’re showing them what a Jew is. You should be successful, double and triple, until Mashiach comes.”
This shiur can be viewed on www.TorahAnytime.com.
By Susie Garber