The Jewish Eye
The "Crazy House" Of Novhardok Is Spared
I saw this story brought down in the name of Rav Dovid Povarsky zt”l the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevezh. During the dark days of Russia’s religious oppression the Novhardok Yeshivos continued to flourish without fear or regard for the communist. One day the Yeshiva found out that a big conference of many top leaders of the communist government would be held in the building directly across the street from the Yeshiva. The hanhala thought that this was too much already, as the Kol Torah would be easily heard in the conference hall!
They went to ask the Alter of Novhardok if the Yeshiva should disband for that day and then regroup the next day because this was Sakanas Nefashos. The Alter told them that they should not alter the Yeshiva schedule one iota and they need not worry because Torah will protect them.
On the day of the conference, it didn’t take long for the communists to hear the voices of Torah they so bitterly despised. Enraged at the nerve of the Jews, a group of soldiers were sent across the street to “silence” the voices. They stormed into the yeshiva and went straight for the Bais Medrash, where all the noise was coming from. They opened up the doors and saw a sight that made them stop in their tracks. A bunch of teenage boys were standing over books, jumping up and down, thumbs flying, and screaming at each other. They were sure they mistakenly came into a home for the mentally ill. At that time in Russia it was a crime to harm mentally ill people. Having no choice they turned and headed for the exit.
Disappointed that their thirst for blood was not satisfied, on the way out they noticed that there were more rooms for sleeping. They decided to search these rooms hoping for a compensation prize. Lo and behold they found a number of bochurim, who despite the Alter of Novhardok’s insistence that they would not be harmed, didn’t want to take their chances.
All these boys were Lo Aleinu taken outside and murdered Al Kiddush Hashem. “Ki Dam Avadav Yikom V’Nakan Yashiv L’Tzarav”
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