In doing so, I have created what should be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in researching our history; anyone who wants to know who we are and where we came from. But the world has told me it doesn't care. I am willing to do this work for no pay, but I am not willing to do it for no reason.
I am moved to break my silence today because I came across a passage which reveals how the Jewish People are capable of being disastrously misled by their leadership. We tend to remember our own history in terms of two thousand years of relentless persecution. But there is more to our story than that. We don't like to remember the times when we contributed to our own misfortunes by our stubbornness and arrogance, but maybe we should.
If you want to read into this something about the recent re-election of Netanyahu, well, that's entirely up to you. I'm just saying.
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Today's installment is out of sequence: which is to say, I've leapt ahead to a chapter near the end of Volume Four, where the author describes his visit to the renowned Volozhin Yeshiva, founded by Reb Khayim of Volozhin, a student of the Vilna Gaon, who later passed the leadership of the yeshiva on to his son, Reb Itzeleh. This story relates to a time when the Russian Government reached out to the Jews in an attempt to bring them into the modern world. As part of this initiative, Jewish dignitaries from across Russia were invited to the St. Petersburg to meet the Tsar and his ministers. Among those invited was Reb Itzeleh Volzhiner.
We take up the story now in its original Yiddish, with annotations.
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