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Radal: Holy Space

The 5th of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Dovid Luria (1798-1855). The Radal, was a student of the Rav of Vilna, Rav Shaul Katzenellenbogen. He wrote an important commentary on Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer. He is also known for known as a commentator on Gemara and Midrash. He also composed halachic responsa and a commentary on Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. Radal’s dedication to learning was legendary. It is said that he did not sleep more than one hour during the short summer nights and three hours in the winter, in addition to an afternoon nap of precisely 12 minutes. In 1854, he was offered the rabbinate of Warsaw. He refused this position despite the encouragement of the Gerrer Rebbe that he take it. However, R’ Dovid did involve himself in communal needs, including a meeting in 1846 (together with R’ Yitzchak of Volozhin) with Sir Moses Montiefore to address the needs of Russian Jewry.

“Wherever the righteous are, God will be found among them.” (Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer 35) The correct text should read, “wherever the righteous stand,” as in the place where the focus their attention to prepare to pray or study. (Beiur Radal 33)

The Radal insists that we must make a place special before we will be able to attract God’s Presence. (See The Music of Halacha: MySpace Rabbinic Style)

This is why Halacha insists on having a permanent place to pray.

We should have specific places in our homes where family members pray.

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