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Acharei Mot: B’eir Moshe

The 7th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib (ben Yechiel Chaim) Epstein (Leibush the 2nd) of Oztrov [Ozhorov] (1852-1928), grandson of Rav Aryeh Yehuda Leib HaLevi (Leibush HaGadol), founder of the Oztrov dynasty. In his early teens, he married


Rebbetzin Draizel, who herself learned Gemara and personally tested their five sons. Rav Leibush succeeded his father as Rebbe in 1888. His most famous follower was Rav Meir Yechiel HaLevi Halshtok of nearby Ostrovtza. Rav Leibush was succeeded by his oldest son, Rav Avraham Shlomo, whom in turn was followed by his son Rav Moshe Yechiel HaLevi Epstein (the Aish Das of Oztrov, 1890-1971). Save for its 350-year old cemetery, nothing remains today of the town of Oztrov. [Hamodia says 1914]

“With this shall Aaron come into the Sanctuary; with a young bull for a sin-offering and a ram for an elevation-offering (Vayikra 16:3).” These two offerings represent Strength of Heart and Zeal: The young bull is described, “Many crops come through the power of the ox (Proverbs 14:4),” strength, in our context, the strength of one’s heart. Of the ram it is written, “Naphtali is a hind let loose who delivers beautiful sayings (Genesis 49:21),” let loose to live with zeal.  It is with these tow attributes that the Kohen Gadol must perform his service in the Holy of Holies, and only with these qualities that will merit to approach the Highest places in our Service of God. (B’eir Moshe)

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