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Shemini: Meir Einei Chachamim

The 19th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Meir Yechiel ((ben Avrohom Yitzchok) HeLevi Haldshtok, founder of the court of Ostrovtze (1851-1928).


A talmid of Rav Elimelech of Grodzinsk, a scion of the Kozhnitzer dynasty. Ostrovtze was one of two courts in Poland known for their yeshivos and high level of learning; the other was Sochatchov.

Rav Meir Yechiel’s intricate sermons, which drew heavily on gematria, came to be known as “Ostgrovotze pshetlach.” They have been collected in Meir Einei Chachamim, and his teachings on Bereishis in Ohr Torah.

“Moshe said to Aharon: Come near the Altar and perform the service of your sin offering and your elevation offering and provide atonement for yourself and for the people (Vayikra 9:7).” Only if you first acknowledge your own sin, “your sin offering,” will you be able to fix it, “Your elevation offering,” and only then will you be able to bring atonement for the people.

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