Rabbi Alexander (Sender) Linchner z”l, the Founder of Boys Town Jerusalem, was born and raised in the United States right after the turn of the 20th century. He was one of the few American bachurim to study at the great yeshivos of Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. During the course of his studies at the yeshivah at Radin, Poland, he came under the direct, personal influence of the holy Chofetz Chaim, Rav Yisroel Meir Kagan zt”l; and for the rest of his life, he always considered the Chofetz Chaim as his personal mentor. He returned to the United States before the outbreak of World War II, where he became principal at Yeshivah Torah Vodaath, in Brooklyn, New York, working under the guiding hand of his father-in-law, Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l, who was also the founder of Torah Umesorah, the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools. He and his son-in-law trained and inspired a generation of Jewish educators who founded Jewish day schools in many American Jewish communities, forming the backbone of Jewish education in this country.

Pharaoh asked Moshe to pray to G-d to remove the frogs. Moshe Rabbeinu prayed and the frogs went away. The same thing happened with the plague of wild animals. Pharaoh suffered and begged Moshe and Aharon. They davened to Hashem and the wild animals left. Likewise, with the hail and the locusts. Pharaoh begs Moshe to daven for him, Moshe davens, the hail stops, and the locusts leave. Why was it necessary that every single time, Pharaoh would ask him to pray, Moshe would daven, and only then the plagues would cease? The answer, says Rav Yerucham Levovitz zt”l (Mashgiach of Mir) is that this narration teaches us something very fundamental about life: The way to obtain things in this world is to pray for them. This is the only way to achieve things in this world. Without prayer, not even Moshe could have prevailed.

A shadar is a sh’lucha d’rabbanan – a rabbinic emissary, who is sent by the rabbanim of poor communities to raise much needed funds on their behalf. One of the most famous emissaries, as well as one of the greatest Sephardic sages of his time, was the holy Chida, Chacham Chaim Yosef David Azulai zt”l. He was born and raised in Jerusalem, but spent more than 50 years of his life traveling abroad on various missions. In 1753 (5413), at the age of 29, he traveled to Europe as an emissary of the communities of Eretz Yisrael, and again in 1772 on behalf of the city of Chevron. Each trip lasted in excess of five years. He completed his second trip in Livorno, Italy, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Unlike Sefer B’reishis, which relates the story of Creation and how our ancestors revealed the glory of the Almighty to the world, Sefer Sh’mos is a progression of actions, a series of miraculous events, that catapult the children of Israel into becoming the Chosen Nation of klal Yisrael. It teaches us how, in the future, we are going to see not just the good deeds that we do, but the ripple effects of those deeds and how they manifest themselves in the world. How special it is when a person sees the fruits of his labor. That feeling of seeing the fruits of every one of our deeds will be unparalleled. Now is the time to do the labor, to grab every opportunity to perform a good deed. That will be our glory and that is our lives.

The story of Operation Brothers is about the rescue of thousands of Jews who were whisked out of enemy lands and brought to the Holy Land. It was one of the finest rescue operations in Israel’s history. It dates back to 1977 with the election of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Reports came into Israel that Ethiopian Jews were fleeing the civil war and famine in their homeland, many heading to neighboring Sudan where they were being housed in refugee camps.

Although Yaakov Avinu was ill and in bed, he nevertheless managed to bow and prostrate himself “al rosh ha’mitah” – at the foot of his bed. Rashi explains: “He prostrated himself to Hashem because his offspring were perfect, insofar as not one of them was wicked, as is evidenced by the fact that Yosef was a king, and furthermore, that (even though) he was captured among the heathens, he remained steadfast in his righteousness.”