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Oznaim LaTorah: Beshalach

The 13th of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Baruch Sorotzkin, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe in Cleveland . Born in Zhetl , Lithuania , where his father, Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin, was Rav (the father was later known as the Lutzker Rav). Rav Baruch’s mother was the daughter of Rav Eliezer Gordon, Rosh Yeshiva of Telshe. As a young man, Rav Baruch studied under Rav Elchonon Wasserman, in Baranovich, and then under Rav Baruch Ber Lebovitz in Kamenitz. In 1940, he married Rachel Bloch, daughter of the Telsher Rav and Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Bloch. With the advent of WW2, they escaped to America and settled in Cleveland , where he joined his wife’s uncles, Rav Eliahu Meir Bloch and Rav Chaim Mordechai Katz who re-established Telshe in America . In 1943, Rav Baruch began delivering shiurim in the Yeshiva. In 1964, Rav Baruch, together with Rav Mordechai Gifter, assumed responsibility for the Yeshiva. He was also very active with Chinuch Atzmai, Torah Umesorah, Agudath lsrael of America. (1917-1979)

“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a drum in her hand. All the women followed her out with drums and cymbals.” (Exodus 16:20) The women of the Exodus, in whose merit we were redeemed, appreciated music only as a means to sing to God. This in itself reflects their elevated levels.

We can learn from them to examine our use and appreciation of music. Do we use our music and song to sing to and of God? Or, do we use our music in more limited ways?

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