The Matzav Shmoooze: What Can We Learn?


 schoolDear Editor,

It pains me to write the following, but due to the present  situation in Eretz Yisroel, it is incumbent to make this message public at this time.

Our gedolim have reiterated that we must continue to daven and do teshuvah, but one avenue remains to be addressed.

Almost seventy years have passed since the Holocaust ended in 1945. Our gedolim have told us that we cannot understand Hashem’s ways and why more than 6 million Jews died al kiddush Hashem. We have to accept this with true emunah and believe that, ultimately, it was
for our good.
However, we can still ask the following question:  What lessons can be learned from the Holocaust and how can we transmit these lessons to future generations?”
When we look at the stories in Nach, especially in the Neviim Rishonim, we find that when the Bnei Yisroel sinned, Hashem brought an enemy to attack. The Jewish response would always be to cry out to Hashem, so that Hashem would bring them a yeshuah. When King Sancheirev besieged Yerushalayim with 185,000 thousand troops, the Yidden woke up
the next morning to find that all the troops had died. This happened because King Chezkial cried out to Hashem and made all the Yidden do teshuvah.
The Yidden never said, “Never again.” They realized that the reason Hashem brought the enemy to inflict harm on them was to wake them up to their duty to serve Hashem properly and follow the Torah’s ways. In other words, the Yidden themselves had to change in order to
prevent more calamities from happening.
Unfortunately, today, when the Jew says, “Never again,” he stays the same and doesn’t feel the need to change. We are not utilizing the lessons from Nach.
So what lesson can we learn from the Holocaust?

Rav Moshe Wolfson stated, “The leader in Iran says clearly that he wants to kill every Jew in the world like Haman wanted to, and if he will be successful in getting a nuclear bomb, it will be a great danger to Klal Yisroel.”
Clearly, we haven’t learned from our own history how to correct our mistakes. If this were not the case, the current danger would not be happening.
So what teshuvah do we need to do to prevent this catastrophe?
I propose that if we work on the following as a community, Moshiach will come and peace will prevail.

In a word, it is simcha. What do I mean by this? We must serve Hashem with simcha, teaching our precious children besimcha. In Parshas Terumah (26:13), Rashi comments on the fact that the yerios draped down until they covered the silver adanim. Rashi quotes Chazal, who say that “the Torah is teaching us derech eretz that a person should care for and protect (chas) that which is beautiful and precious.” What could be more beautiful and precious than our own children?

Due to lack of simcha, in and out of the classroom, children drop out of school and
out of Yiddishkeit. Whenever a child gets thrown out of school, there is a kitrug in Shomayim.
My rebbi, Rav Matisyahu Salomon, said, “Many of the children whom we call ‘drop outs’ have not become like that because they have a bigger yeitzer hara than other people, but because they feel less cared for than other people.  Those children who fall through the cracks of our educational system have, very often, lost out on those fundamental skills that they should have acquired earlier in life. If we could only give them a little more care, a little extra understanding or a little more help, an invaluable chizuk can be achieved, giving these people a feeling of self-esteem. Instead of, chas veshalom, dropping out altogether, they will now want to achieve and stay within the fold, carrying on to reach high madreigos, which otherwise they would never have dreamt of.”
Never again should a student be expelled from any Jewish institution.
Never again should a student be refused to any Jewish institution they wish to attend.
Never again should a student say, “I hate Torah,” because of their school experience.
I fully believe that once we have taking full responsibility for our actions regarding the above situations, it will be a tremendous zechus for us all and will bring Moshiach, bimeheriah beyomeinu.

Rabbi Dovid Abenson

{ Newscenter}


  1. To Rabbi Abenson & everyone:

    I would like to tell you a few things:
    In regards to your first question of why WWII happened & what can we learn from it. I can tell you regarding this that-like you said-every tragedy has a wake-up call message straight from Hashem. Well to let you-& everyone- be aware of the wake-up call of WWII:
    If WWII had not happenedall of us would be reform today, don’t start telling me these stories my grandfather learnt in ponovetz yeshiva hes still a ???? today etc… We would all be reform today it was just a matter of time Hashem had no choice but to do it. Before the 2 ??? ???? were destroyed there were only 2 choices what to do (& one of them wasn’t to put a hunger in the land) either kill out all jews or destroy the ??? ????? that was the only makeup for the sins we did then, if Hashem destroyed all the jews then Israel is not full of uncleanliness anymore, if the ??? ????? is destroyed then the holiness left the land & the jews can live (either both holy=no jews or both uncleanliness=no ??? ?????) Hashem had to destroy it we were too low in spirits & couldn’t be with it anymore.

    In regards to your other question of why klal yisroel-as a nation-is not doing teshuva when we are in such a time of non-stop horrific tragedies, I would like to tell you & everyone:
    I would like to welcome you-sadly-to the new generation of today, where we are living in a state of instant-gratification & a state of self-centeredness etc… when tragedy strikes Rachmana L’tzlan in todays generation 95% of us or more will block it from our faces & ask ourselves

    “Vos Vil De Eibishter Fun Mir” (what does Hashem want from me?) I have nothing to do with 9-11 or Leiby Kletzky etc…, I didn’t even know him or even visit Manhattan, what does Hashem want from me?

    The situation in Eretz Yisroel & in the Diaspora is very bad from A major war going on in Eretz Yisroel to Terrorists worldwide to the entire Economy going down etc… If anyone should ask why all these Tzaros are Happening to Klal Yisroel he only needs to look at what the Rambam says.
    ??? ???????? ?? ????? ??? ????? ????? “there are no Tragedies in the world except because of “??? ?????

    Saying that as long as we remain ignorant of the present troubles that we have & what the reasons are that they are happening. The situation can only get worse until Mashiach comes. With the society we are living in today we (sadly) CONSTANTLY need reminders (wake-up calls) from HASHEM for us to do T’shuva & return to HASHEM so all this Tzaros can end & Mashiach comes.

    To just give you one example:

    In October of 2012 the east side of the United states (including the states of NY, NJ & CT etc…) was hit by Hurricane Sandy. With millions of people losing power & $88 billion dollars worth of damage & many people gripping in fear to see what will happen at the end. Everyone is asking why such a shaking hurricane would be sent by Hashem? The message from Hashem is Obvious, within the past 3 years alone,1)over 100 Gedolei Hador & rabbonim were niftar & left this world Rachmana L’tzlan. 2)many innocent children were niftar (in strange & young ages) 3) the economy getting closer & closer to crashing & the USA collapsing. 4)many other tragic events…. When so many tragedies happen & klal yisroel as a nation doesn’t take the wake-up call to change their ways towards teshuva, then sometimes Hashem has to send the wake-up call through catastrophic & shaking hurricanes & tsunami’s.

    Last but not least, it shocks me to watch klal yisroel be in such a tragic state of non-stop tzaros on a daily basis. Why have the gedolim of klal yisroel-in Eretz Yisroel & in America etc…-not made a time of teshuva, kinnus & fasting yet for all of klal yisroel? (like Mordechai Hatzaddik did in the story of Purim)how bad must the situation get Chas V’shalom for us to wake up & do teshuva? Perhaps someone can help me with an answer to this, cause the situation in klal yisroel is just getting worse & worse every day Rachmana L’tzlan.
    Thank you
    May we all start to wake up with facing reality & start heading towards Teshuva so Mashiach can come & Tisha B’av can be celebrated as a Yom Tov.

  2. Beautiful point however “Never again should a student be refused to any Jewish institution they wish to attend” really???

  3. please post my letter I sent earlier, it comes from the Rambam & from other Gedolim. its important that people know the truth & that the situation doesn’t get worse in klal yisroel C”V

    TESHUVA SHOULD BE OUR TOP PRIORITY NOW IN KLAL YISROEL, as we are in a very tragic situation & need Mashiach ASAP


    Keep up your great work MATZAV

  4. Improving the educational system is all well and good, but what do you do when the kid’s parents are total psychos? Speaking from personal experience.

  5. What about the bachur who so polltes himself with secular influences that he is affected other bachurim in his class??? How can you NOT throw him out if he cannot be controlled???

  6. Good vort, Rav Abenson. Anyone who arrives at the d’raga of real simchah is invincible. Yismakh Mosheh. The happiest kids I ever saw were repeating a mishnah in a dark, dank basement in Meir Sh’arim – 50 years ago. Elevated, farlikhtik simkhah.
    Your Vort is very simple. The simpler, the truer. Thanks.

  7. I’ll tell you what the real problem is. I don’t have any place to go for Shabbos Nachamu! No invitations! Nothing! If I end up staying in the City, I will be considered a total loser! It can have a detrimental affect on my future! This is the real crises here. With all their huge summer homes, no one has room for one more?

  8. King Chezkiah was miraculously saved because PRIOR he had enforced the ENTIRE nation to be frum jews

    #1 please insinuate about yourself only

  9. Rabbi Dovid Abenson,

    Rav Yaakov Weinberg once stated:It is downright impossible to help every single child (in a school setting)

  10. Our response to the problem of OTD children has always been to blame outside influences. We don’t realize that the problem is within us as Rabbi Abenson has repeatedly pointed out. It is much easier to blame others than it is to work on ourselves

  11. Rabbi Abenson a terrific article. How true was every single word . “Yehudah”you have ????? ? Cool ,,! How do I get some of that